It was a night that belonged to future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera, so it was only natural that he wound up being the All-Star game’s MVP.
In a game that featured little offense, the American League downed the National League 3-0 Tuesday to lock up home field advantage in the World Series. The AL scored the first two runs of the game on a sacrifice fly and an RBI groundout before Jason Kipnis padded the lead with a ground rule RBI-double in the eighth. The NL mustered just three hits on the night, with Paul Goldschmidt’s two-out double in the ninth representing the Senior Circuit’s only extra-base knock.
Rivera came into the game in the eighth inning rather than the ninth, as AL manager Jim Leyland wanted to make sure No. 42 made an appearance in his final All-Star game. As “Enter Sandman” blared from the speakers at Citi Field, Mo jogged in from the bullpen with no one else on the field. Only after Rivera had begun his warm-up tosses did his defense join him. Naturally, he retired the NL 1-2-3 before giving way to Joe Nathan in the ninth. Mo became the first reliever ever to net All-Star game MVP honors.
Mo’s moment was undoubtedly the highlight of the night. But, we also got to see a Prince Fielder triple and Tim McCarver recite Metallica lyrics.
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Biogenesis Suspensions Unlikely to be Served This Season
Those in redraft leagues that have Ryan Braun on their roster can breathe easy. It appears, at least according to Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Michael Weiner, that those connected to the Biogenesis clinic are unlikely to serve a suspension during the 2013 season.
Weiner said Tuesday that he expects MLB to present its findings to the MLBPA "within the next month." However, he doesn’t expect appeals hearings to begin, at the earliest, until September, making it likely that things will be delayed until the offseason.
One important thing that Weiner also noted, though, is that because the players didn’t fail tests and are being investigated for "non-analytical" reasons, MLB isn’t bound by the terms of the joint drug prevention and treatment program. That means they can be suspended an amount that MLB deems fit rather than the standard 50- and 100-game bans that we’re used to seeing.
"In theory, [the players] could be suspended for five games or 500 games, and we could then choose to challenge that," Weiner said. "The commissioner's office is not bound by the scale we have in the basic agreement."
While most, if not all, players are expected to appeal, they could decide to drop the appeal if MLB offers them a reduced suspension. How often that will happen remains to be seen.
Mixed League Quick Hits: Robinson Cano left Tuesday’s All-Star game with a right quad contusion but is expected to be fine by Friday ... Freddie Freeman is able to bend his left thumb with little discomfort and should be ready for the start of the second half ... The Rangers will not call up Manny Ramirez at the start of the second half ... Dewayne Wise is out indefinitely after aggravating his right hamstring strain during his rehab assignment ... The Royals claimed Pedro Ciriaco off waivers from the Padres ... Barry Zito could be moved to the bullpen when Ryan Vogelsong returns from the disabled list ... The Rangers, Cardinals, Pirates, Indians, Blue Jays, and Dodgers are reportedly in the hottest pursuit of Matt Garza. The Rangers aren’t expected to be willing to part with Martin Perez in a deal ... Max Scherzer's agent, Scott Boras, said he will not discuss a contract extension with the Tigers for his client until the offseason ... The Red Sox and Yankees are reportedly among many teams who have checked in with the Phillies about the availability of Michael Young ... Ross Detwiler (back) isn’t expected to make a rehab start this week as originally hoped ...