The Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played Tuesday night, and it really shouldn’t have. They shouldn’t have played the game at all. It should have just been called off.
That’s because of the travesty that had a certain pitcher watching the game on television from his Atlanta home instead of being there in person.
Tommy Hanson, a Cy Young Award candidate, was snubbed and not selected for the NL roster. And it was just a horrible decision.
Yeah, that Tommy Hanson -- the one leading the NL in opposing batting average with a .190 clip and the one who is leading the NL with a 6.097 hits per nine innings ratio.
That’s the same Tommy Hanson who is second in WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) in the NL with a 1.016 mark, third in ERA (2.44) and strikeouts per nine innings (9.494), fifth in wins (10) and eighth in strikeouts (109).
Did Hanson call NL manager Bruce Bochy’s dog a name when the Braves were in San Francisco? The shock of not being picked had to make Hanson think of something that silly, since there’s really no logical reason he didn’t make the roster.
Hanson has been really good for some time now. It started after last year’s All-Star break, when the big right-hander had a great second-half run for Atlanta. His record (2-6) wasn’t very good, but Hanson had a 2.51 ERA in 16 starts.
He has been even better this year, with a 10-4 record and a 2.44 ERA. That great one-year run has Hanson’s career ERA now under 3.00 -- at 2.99.
But it was not good enough to be an All-Star.
Bochy instead selected his pitchers, Tim Lincecum and Ryan Vogelsong, to go with him to the game. We saw Bobby Cox do this when he was an All-Star manager -- take his own players. But I don’t believe Cox ever did anything this blatantly stupid.
Certainly a case can be made for Lincecum still being one of the best pitchers in the game. He has won two Cy Young awards, and he did help Bochy’s Giants win the World Series last October. But this year Lincecum is 7-7 with a 3.06 ERA in 19 starts.
And then there’s Vogelsong, who was in Japan for three years and came back and actually spent all of last year in the minor leagues. He didn’t help the Giants win the World Series, but since he has a 6-1 record and a 2.17 ERA his manager took him to Phoenix.
Sure, Vogelsong has done well. And while his ERA is better than Hanson’s, his overall numbers pale in comparison.
And then there’s Pittsburgh’s Kevin Correia, who went despite a 4.01 ERA in 20 games pitched. He was supposedly picked by the players, but the irony is Correia started his career with Bochy’s Giants.
That’s OK. Let’s hope Bochy had fun with his players in Phoenix. But when the Giants come to Atlanta next month, Bochy better hope there’s not a 6-foot-6 pitcher with red hair on the mound facing his team.
It’s only natural for Hanson to be disappointed. Who wouldn’t be? That’s just human nature to know you did well at something, only to have others who didn’t do as well be honored in that way. But this is only going to motivate Hanson. It’s only going to make him want to beat every opponent who gets in his way between now and late October.
And if Bochy gets in his way, so be it. Maybe then he’ll realize how good Hanson is and how leaving him off only pushed Hanson to be better. Of course, if Hanson wins Game 7 of the World Series, not pitching in the All-Star Game won’t matter one bit.
Listen to The Bill Shanks Show from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at www.foxsports1670.com.