Though we can’t claim to have experience with this, we imagine it’s a thrilling moment for a major league player to find out he’s been picked for the All-Star game. Finding out your selection was actually a mistake? Probably less of a thrill.
But that’s exactly what happened to the Texas Rangers’ Michael Young, who was briefly an American League All-Star, replacing injured Adrian Beltre of the Red Sox – until it came out that Beltre never withdrew from the game.
So what made AL manager Joe Girardi think Beltre was definitely a no go? According to Phyllis Merhige, an MLB spokesperson:
I don’t know where Joe got it from.
…Okay then. So the real question is: how did this happen? It seems like announcing an All-Star Game replacement is something one would only do if one were really sure a replacement was, you know, necessary.
Merhige said she might have “miscommunicated,” but again, it’s hard to imagine signals getting that crossed to that extent – Major League Baseball is a gigantic organization with all the resources in the world, and it’s jarring that a small mistake – a simple “miscommunication” – could blow up like this.
The good news: it seems Young doesn’t care, really – he’s just glad to get some rest. It’s rare for him, since he’s been named to the All-Star team the past six years (woe is he, going to all those All-Star games) – although, as Kevin Kaduk at Yahoo! pointed out (article linked above), Young will have to forgo a $50,000 bonus. But when you’re making $13 million/year, you can live with that sort of thing.
And as for how Girardi got so mixed up, we’ve got a theory now. Girardi = Yankees manager. Beltre = Red Sox player. RIVALRY SUBTERFUGE, ANYONE???