One of the reasons I tend not to get too caught up in the All-Star Snub Wars is that just about every snubbed player eventually gets in the game anyway, what with the pitchers who throw on Sunday, the guys who get injured and the guys who pretend that they’re injured who really just want a few days off. And ultimately it makes little difference because, generally speaking, an All-Star is an All-Star is an All-Star.
But that doesn’t really apply to Mariano Rivera. He’s pitched in eight All-Star Games, saving four of them, never allowing a run or even a walk. In a game that already favors pitchers, Rivera has always been the American League’s deal closer. But not this year: he has decided to sit this one out to give some nagging injuries some time to heal.
Most of the All-Star roster shuffling you’ll see over the next several days is meaningless. Mariano Rivera’s decision to sit out is not. In fact, it’s one of the few potentially power-shifting things that will happen between now and Tuesday.