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From the start, All-Star game full of slights, snubs

Posted: Monday, July 09, 2001

SEATTLE -- Way before Bobby Valentine vs. Cliff Floyd, or Joe Torre vs. the world, the All-Star game already had a history of slights, snubs and squabbles.

From future Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx not playing at all to Dave Winfield playing too much, it seems someone always is getting steamed in the July classic.

This year's midsummer mess was smoothed over somewhat Sunday.

Floyd, who had been feuding with NL manager Bobby Valentine, was added at the last minute. The Florida outfielder will replace New York Mets pitcher Rick Reed, slowed by back problems.

''All the stuff is behind us. I'm going to have a blast,'' Floyd said. ''It's a good ending to a bad beginning.''

Torre, criticized for picking seven of his own New York Yankees and not enough of the hometown Seattle players, wound up with eight Mariners for Tuesday night's game at Safeco Field.

A day after reliever Jeff Nelson replaced Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, Seattle outfielder Mike Cameron replaced Tampa Bay outfielder Greg Vaughn, who strained his right hamstring.

Will some hard feelings linger? Probably.

Cito Gaston can attest to that firsthand.

Gaston brought in his own Toronto reliever, Duane Ward, to close out a 9-3 win in the 1993 All-Star game at Baltimore.

Problem was, Orioles pitcher Mike Mussina was warming up in the bullpen at the time and never got into the game. In an odd scene, the crowd at Camden Yards loudly booed throughout the ninth inning.

Eight years later, Gaston was offering no apologies.

''Mussina knew what was going on. I still don't have a lot to say to him,'' Gaston, now a Blue Jays coach, said Sunday at SkyDome. ''It wasn't like he wasn't told what was happening.''

The Baltimore crowd did not care that Toronto was on the way to winning its second straight World Series title with those players. The fans were incensed that no other team had more than two players on the AL roster.

''Hey, Joe (Torre) took his guys. I took my guys. You're going to take care of your guys in the All-Star game,'' he said.

''I wouldn't say you have to walk on eggshells. You just can't take enough guys,'' he said.

Sometimes, the fans make players mad.

Garry Templeton was miffed that he did not get elected to start for the NL in 1979 and stayed home, even when he was picked as a reserve.

In a classic line, the St. Louis shortstop vowed: ''If I ain't starting, I ain't departing.''

Juan Gonzalez turned down a chance to play in 1999 when he was left out of the starting lineup by fans. A year earlier, Ken Griffey Jr. bent to the pressure and reversed a decision not to take part in the home-run derby.

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was the one who got upset in 1987.

He was peeved that New York outfielder Dave Winfield played all 13 innings of the AL's 2-0 loss. When Winfield went into a slump soon after the break, Steinbrenner lashed out at AL president Dr. Bobby Brown -- a former Yankees star.

''The president, in his infinite wisdom, didn't choose enough outfielders,'' the Boss blustered.

A couple of years later, then-Oakland manager Tony La Russa annoyed the Anaheim crowd in 1989 when he chose his own pitcher, Dave Stewart, to start instead of longtime Angels favorite Nolan Ryan.

No matter that Stewart was leading the AL with 13 wins and had pitched the Athletics into the previous World Series.

''To me, there is no question that the guy who deserved it was Stewart,'' La Russa said at the time.

Stewart ended up allowing two runs in the first and left. Ryan followed with two scoreless innings.

At least Ryan got into the game.

Foxx was on his way to the AL MVP award in 1933 when the first All-Star game was held. The Philadelphia A's slugger joined his own manager, Connie Mack, in the dugout -- and stayed there the whole afternoon.

Mack was determined to win that day at Comiskey Park in Chicago and decided to use another first baseman for all nine innings. A guy named Lou Gehrig.



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