I kept tuning in and out of last night’s All-Star Game while waiting for Ty Wigginton to bat. I spotted him in the AL dugout a few times, leaning on the railing. But when would he actually play?
I glanced up from my plate of sushi and saw Wigginton at third base. I saw his name listed as leading off the next inning.
So what happened?
Wigginton must have done his best Nick Swisher impression. And to think I had no idea that he could bat from the left side.
AL manager Joe Girardi actually pinch-hit for Wigginton after that token appearance in the field. Not nearly as bad as Cito Gaston leaving Mike Mussina in the Camden Yards bullpen, but still a bit irritating.
I’m sure Wigginton thoroughly enjoyed his All-Star experience, never imagining that he’d get the opportunity, especially entering this season as the backup at first and third base. But there must be at least a sliver of disappointment that he didn’t get to the plate.
A half-inning as Evan Longoria’s replacement at third isn’t exactly what he had in mind, but again, he’ll take it over the alternative.
I’m stealing a line from Ray in Nashville: If back in March someone had told us that Michael Gonzalez would be pitching on All-Star night, we would have been very happy.
Too bad Gonzalez was in Aberdeen.
A small technicality.
Gonzalez gave up another home run as an IronBird, but he was extended to 1 2/3 innings and retired the first four batters he faced. Take the good with the bad.
There’s a possibility that Gonzalez could be activated this weekend, but John Stockstill, director of minor league operations, suggested a few days ago that the lefty might report to Triple-A Norfolk. I’ll check on it later today.
The race is on between Gonzalez and Brian Roberts. Who gets activated first?
The smart money’s on Gonzo, of course, because his rehab stint began much sooner, but I’ll be convinced once I see him in an Orioles uniform and not giving up home runs to NY-Penn League hitters.