Update: LaRussa explains choosing Cain over Dickey

Giants RHP Matt Cain will be the starting pitcher for the National League All-Star team on Tuesday night, John Harper of the Daily News was first to report this morning.

[line]

July 9, 2:05 pm: National League manager Tony LaRussa told media today that Dickey will pitch during tomorrow night’s game, but he will not be the starting pitcher.

“I’m very aware of the first half that he’s had,” LaRussa said, adding that he prefered to pair Cain with his teammate, Giants C Buster Posey, who was voted by fans to be the team’s starting catcher.

La Russa said he’ll likely have Phillies C Carlos Ruiz catch Dickey, since Ruiz has at least faced Dickey, even though he hasn’t actually caught him.

[line]

Matthew Cerrone: I don’t really care, from a ‘this game counts,’ point of view. I just feel bad for RA, and I feel bad for baseball and baseball fans. First off, Dickey is 37. He’s had an amazing story and he’s the best pitcher in the game right now. Who knows when this ride will end for him? This is his shot. He deserves it and he’d probably really appreciate it. Plus, for the game, not just the actual game on field, but for the game as a business trying to attract fans, Dickey and his story on the mound to start the game would be good for baseball. But, LaRussa apparently disagrees… so, that’s that.

[line]

July 9, 9:30 am: “He’s excited to be here, and he’s really looking forward to pitch in the game,” a Mets source told the New York Post, in regards to RA Dickey, who will not be the game’s starting pitcher. “I think he’ll definitely get in the game.”

Cain, who last pitched July 5, is 9-2 with a 2.62 ERA; while Dickey, who also last pitched July 5, is 12-1 with a 2.40 ERA.

[line]

[line]

Michael Baron: Sorry – if this is the case, then it’s a poor decision on Tony La Russa’s part. As great as Cain has been and as much as he should be considered for the start, Dickey should be given the honor. Dickey has been the best pitcher in baseball all year long, despite his most recent bumps in the road. His performance this year alone calls for him to start, but he has also been an unbelievable story in the game this season, and has become “must watch TV” every five days.

This really is disappointing. As a fan, I really wanted to see Dickey get the nod. I expect he will soon follow Cain, but there would have been a special meaning to hear Dickey be announced as the starting pitcher. I was really looking forward to seeing him warming up in the bullpen as the teams are announced, watch him throw that first pitch with all eyes on him, and see the flash bulbs in the stadium going off as he begins the game.