Man, the more I read about this Zack Greinke thing, the more annoyed I get.
Sunday, I read these two things where Tony La Russa explained why he didn't choose Johnny Cueto or Zack Greinke for his National Leage All-Star roster ...
"If Dusty had been more interested in Cueto being on the team, then he wouldn’t be pitching him on Sunday. Cueto probably would be on the team if he wasn’t pitching Sunday."
La Russa attributed the absence of Greinke and Reds starter Johnny Cueto to the abundance of quality arms in the NL.
"That’s exactly right, those are the two guys [who were close], and there are others that you could point out," LaRussa said. "There was something to consider: both Greinke and Cueto are pitching Sunday. When you’re splitting some pretty fine hairs, that worked against them."
Seems pretty straight-forward, right? If you're going to start a game on the Sunday before the All-Star Game, the manager's not going to choose you for the All-Star Game. So if you want to be chosen for the All-Star Game, figure out a way to not pitch on Sunday.
Well, that's fine when it comes to Cueto. But it never seemed fine regarding Greinke, and now it really doesn't seem fine. Look at this series of tweets from Buster Olney:
In fact, the Brewers arranged Greinke's schedule so that he'll pitch this Saturday -- not Sunday -- and be in position to pitch ASG in K.C.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 2, 2012
Recently, the Brewers asked Greinke what he preferred, and he asked to be put in position to have a chance to pitch in the All-Star Game.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 2, 2012
Greinke's pitching tonight, and then Saturday, leaving him in perfect position to be asked to pitch in the All-Star Game. It didn't happen.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 2, 2012
And finally, the coop-duh-grace delivered by John Fay, who cites a specific rule in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that prohibits a pitcher from being left off an All-Star roster because he's scheduled to pitch on the Sunday before the All-Star Game. The rule (via Fay):
(ii) Sunday Pitcher Rule. Any starting pitcher elected or selected to the All-Star team who makes a start on the Sunday immediately preceding the All-Star Game ("Sunday Pitcher") shall have the option to participate or not participate in the All-Star Game. If such starting pitcher elects to participate in the All-Star Game, he will not be permitted to pitch for more than one inning, and he may also inform his manager that he should be removed from the game if he reaches a certain pitch count (irrespective of whether he has completed one inning), provided such pitch count is reasonable. If a Sunday Pitcher who was originally named to the team elects not to participate in the All-Star Game, he will be replaced on the roster but treated in the same manner as other All-Stars who are excused from participation, and he will be encouraged to attend and be announced at the All-Star Game.
Well, maybe that's not quite the coop-duh-grace that Fay thinks he sees. According to Fay, "No pitcher is supposed to be passed over because he’s starting on Sunday."
But that's not what the rule says. The rule doesn't seem to prohibit a Sunday pitcher from being passed over; rather, it simply says what must happen if a Sunday pitcher is an All-Star. Unless I'm missing something.
So maybe La Russa didn't break a rule. Except the Rule of Logic, which dictates that Zack Greinke has been one of the National League's best pitchers this season, and is one of the National League's best pitchers, and thus belongs on the National League's All-Star team.
I always root against the National League anyway, because that's how I grew up. But this time around, I'll root against La Russa's team with a bit more relish than usual. Unless Greinke winds up on the team. Which he might, somehow.