Dodgers rained out
A tarp covering the diamond at Dodger Stadium. Photo courtesy of the L.A. Dodgers

Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game will be played at Dodger Stadium Tuesday for the first time since 1980, and two years later than planned.

MLB awarded the 2020 game to Los Angeles in 2018 but it was canceled due to the delayed start of the season caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In connection with the cancellation, the next available All-Star Game, which was for 2022, was awarded to Los Angeles.

Since the last time the All-Star Game was played at Dodger Stadium, the game has been played in 37 stadiums, including three stadiums that have hosted two times — what is now Angel Stadium, Cleveland’s Progressive Field and Coors Field in Denver.

Since the mid-1960s, MLB has had an inclination to award All-Star Games to recently constructed stadiums where the game had never been played before. Every All-Star Game from 2000 through 2007 and 2013 through 2018 was played at a first-time venue.

The National League starting lineup includes three Los Angeles Dodgers — outfielder Mookie Betts and shortstop Trea Turner, both elected by fans, and pitcher Clayton Kershaw, selected by Atlanta Braves manger Brian Snitker, who is managing the National League team on the virtue of the Braves winning the 2021 pennant.

Snitker said it was “a tough decision” to choose the starting pitcher because of “the number of guys that are having great years.”

“I think because we are here in Los Angeles, the home of the Dodgers … you toss this around and I’m thinking, Clayton’s name just kept coming to the forefront to start this game,” Snitker said Monday. “I think his reputation, what he’s meant to the game of baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers, I think it’s just perfect that he start this game for us in the National League.”

The All-Star Game start will be the first of Kershaw’s illustrious 15-season major league career.

Kershaw will become just the 13th pitcher in the 92 All-Star Games to start at his home stadium. The most recent one was Max Scherzer, then of the Washington Nationals, in 2018.

Betts will bat second and play center field. Turner will bat fifth.

The National League starting lineup also includes a former Dodger, San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson, who will bat eighth and play left field.

The lone Los Angeles Angel in the game is Shohei Ohtani, voted by the fans as the starting designated hitter for the second consecutive year. He will also lead off for the second consecutive year.

Houston Astros manger Dusty Baker, who is managing the American League team, said “there was consideration” for Ohtani to be the American League’s starting pitcher in the All-Star Game for the second consecutive season, “but from the information that we received from Ohtani’s camp was that … he probably shouldn’t or wouldn’t start, and so then that’s why we chose Shane,” referring to Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Shane McClanahan.

Angels outfielder Mike Trout was also voted in as a starter, but pulled out of the game Saturday due to lingering back spasms. Trout hasn’t played since being pulled from last Tuesday’s 6-5 loss to the Astros before the start of the fifth inning.

Trout is among four players selected as starters who will miss the game because of injuries, along with Houston Astros second baseman José Altuve, Miami Marlins second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Bryce Harper.

Sunday’s addition of first baseman Freddie Freeman to the National League roster to replace injured New York Mets outfielder Starling Marte gave the Dodgers a game-high-equaling six players. Pitchers Tony Gonsolin and Tyler Anderson are also part of the 33-player National League roster.

The New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and Braves also have six All-Star selections.

The American League has won eight consecutive All-Star Games, its longest winning streak, and leads the series, 46-43. There have been two ties.

If the score is tied after nine innings, the winner will be decided by a home run hitting contest under term’s of MLB’s new collective bargaining agreement.

Each player will get three swings, and the team with the highest combined homer total after those three rounds will be declared the winner of the game. In the event of a tie, each manager shall select one of the participating players to take three swings to break the tie. This head-to-head format will continue until the tie is broken.

Snitker has selected New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, Atlanta outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Kyle Schwarber. Baker has chosen Seattle Mariners first baseman Ty France, Mariners outfielder Julio Rodríguez and Houston outfielder Kyle Tucker.

The game will be broadcast by Fox with Dodgers announcer Joe Davis calling the game for the first time. The pregame show will begin at 4 p.m. and the game telecast at 5 p.m.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.