It will be Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants, not New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey, who will be starting for the National League at Tuesday's All-Star game -- in what many perceive to be a snub of Dickey, a dominant knuckleballer who was arguably the best pitcher in the first half of the season.
San Francisco Giants hurler Matt Cain, who posted a 9-3 record and 2.62 ERA and threw a perfect game, will get the All-Star start over Dickey, who led the majors with 12 wins, posted a 2.40 ERA and threw back-to-back one-hitters last month.
The New York Post pointed out Dickey has more wins, a lower ERA and more strikeouts than Cain.
NL All-Star manager Tony LaRussa indicated that the difficulty in catching Dickey's knuckleball would be a factor in who he chose to start the 2012 All-Star Game tomorrow at Kaufmann Stadium in Kansas City.
"There is an issue about catching [Dickey] and what spot to use him," La Russa said on a conference call last week. "His season has gotten everybody's attention, including our staff's, and we're talking about the best way to just win the game with the personnel - and how we use Dickey will be a part of that. That's been addressed and (pitching coach) Dave (Duncan) and I especially have talked quite a bit about it and we have a plan that we hope to implement."
Mets fans and some sportswriters believe Dickey was snubbed.
"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," wrote Michael Baron of Mets Blog. "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."
New York Daily News baseball columnist John Harper, who broke the story that R.A. Dickey would not be starting the 2012 All-Star Game, also believes LaRussa made the wrong decision in choosing Cain over Dickey.
"LaRussa can explain this any way he wants, but Dickey should be starting. Best pitcher this season and best story," Harper tweeted.
"Hope no NY reporters throw a shoe at Tony La Russa during afternoon press conference, a la what happened in Baghdad to Pres. Bush," tweeted Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.
"Matt Cain will start for the National League over R.A. Dickey. La Russa missed that one. Or Buster Posey refused to catch knuckleball," tweeted Steve Layman, a sports anchor in Nashville, where Dickey makes his home.
"It's a pitty [sic] #R.A Dickey will not pitch for the NL in the ALLSTAR game... He deserves it..," tweeted TV journalist Ben Mittleman.
Brooklyn native Brian Kecskemety called it "really disappointing for baseball that R.A. Dickey won't start the All-Star Game. [T]hat was a no-brainer and La Russa blew it..."
The Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander will take the mound opposite Matt Cain, having been announced as the starter for the American League by AL All-Star Manager Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers.