Now that we know that All-Star managers Joe Girardi and Charlie Manuel were instructed to add at least one utility player to their rosters, the selection of Omar Infante to the NL roster makes a lot more sense. Infante becomes insurance that no one will have to play out of position next week in Anaheim.
I'd still like to see MLB reconsider the issue of requiring that each team be represented by at least one player. I can't imagine the game would lose its viewership in Houston, for example, if Michael Bourn wasn't on the roster.
I didn't feel that way as a kid, but my expectations were different then. In 1963 the Senators were awful: 56-106, the worst performance by a Washington team in my lifetime. The All-Star Game that year was on July 9, at Cleveland, and there was no fan voting then.
At the break the Senators were 30-56. None of their pitchers had winning records. Two of their outfielders, Jim King and Don Lock, had decent power numbers, but the AL had no shortage of better options in the outfield.
So, when push came to shove, AL manager Ralph Houk went with Don Leppert, Washington's back-up catcher. Leppert was a solid receiver and was hitting .262 at the break, with 5 home runs and 18 RBI. The reason he got the nod, though, was that 3 of those homers and 5 of those RBI came in the same game, when Leppert and the Senators hammered the Red Sox 8-0 on April 11, a 1-hit, 10 strikeout shutout by Tom Cheney.
All-Star games were daytime affairs back then, and with school out, I watched the whole thing, waiting for Leppert to appear.
I'm still waiting. In a 5-3 NL win, Leppert spent the game as the bullpen catcher. He got some nice gifts for being on the team, but for those of us hoping to see him in the box score, nada, zip, zilch.
The same thing happened to Senators' catcher Paul Casanova in the 1967 game at Anaheim, and that one went 15 innings. Skunked again.
Matt Capps' All-Star experience will hopefully include a stint on the mound. If not, I'm betting the parting gifts are much nicer these days.