Wainwright Named Starter

Adam Wainwright recently described the possibility of being able to start for the National League in the All-Star game as an honor and “notch on the belt” that he would be able to look back upon with pride if it happened.

On Monday, the possibility became reality as Wainwright was introduced by Mike Matheny as the NL starter.

“Aside from having the ability to win two World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals, I think this has got to be one of the highlights of my baseball career,” began Wainwright at the press conference. “To this point, just one of the coolest things I could say I ever did was to start a big league All-Star game. I’m just incredibly happy and fortunate to be placed in this situation. I can’t wait to go out and hopefully lead our National League squad to a victory.”

“Tough decision, there’s no question about it,” answered Matheny about choosing Wainwright over the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw. “To the degree of what we are able to see on a consistent basis from the leadership right down to the execution and the day in, day out performance of what Adam’s been able to do–really is kind of an unfair advantage to the others. The numbers line up and it’s obvious that this is a high-caliber pitcher who I believe in some degree has never even been given the amount of respect he is due. So I’m honored to be able to put this title on him and watch what he does, not just with this but the remainder of our season.”

Asked by the LA Times if Wainwright had the same numbers for another team would he still be starting for the National League, Matheny paused with an understanding smile.

“I believe if the manager wasn’t a Dodger, yeah,” replied Matheny. “I think there’s a great opportunity. And once again, never to slight what these guys have been able to do. There’s been some conversations that I’ve had with other players that are deserving just to be on this team and they’re never fun conversations. You think making these decisions is just pretty cut and dry and black and white–but it never is because you’re impacting people as well as impacting the game. It’s something we don’t take lightly, but something we have to be very honest with ourselves. I believe you trust your heart and trust your heart and you can’t go wrong.”

Both Matheny and American League manager John Farrell also announced the starting lineups:

National League

Andrew McCutchen, CF

Yasiel Puig, RF

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B

Giancarlo Stanton, DH

Aramis Ramirez, 3B

Chase Utley 2B

Jonathan Lucroy, C

Carlos Gomez, LF

(Adam Wainwright, P)

American League

Derek Jeter, SS

Mike Trout, LF

Robinson Cano, 2B

Miguel Cabrera, 1B

Jose Bautista, RF

Nelson Cruz, DH

Adam Jones, CF

Josh Donaldson, 3B

Salvador Perez, C

(Felix Hernandez, P)

photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

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