For as much was made about so many Yankees making the All-Star team, in effect, it doesn’t really matter. Why? Because none of ’em seem to be playing. Alex Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera already decided to give it a miss, and now, too, will Derek Jeter.
This is not a total shock. While he’s been playing every day since his return from the disabled list, that’s mostly to get his 3,000th hit out of the way. One figures that once that happens, he’ll be resting that calf more than he has been. And what a better way to get some rest than to not fly out to Arizona and to play in an exhibition game?
Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.
Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.
At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.