Masterson has a clue
A TV crew from MLB UK was going around and presenting players with a cricket ball, then asking if they knew what to do with it.
Cleveland ace Justin Masterson, who was born in Jamaica, pantomimed a respectable overhand bowling motion.
But Toronto’s Brett Cecil tried to grip the seams and pronounced them uncomfortable. He noted that, “Actually, Adam Lind is a big fan of it. I don’t know why.”
Cabrera numbers stand out
Miguel Cabrera has the kind of numbers that draw attention from fans.
It’s the same reaction from his peers, too.
“That’s just like, video game, and let’s just go out and have some fun and smile and laugh when we strike out,” Washington slugger Bryce Harper said. “It’s just, Miggy is going up there and ... going ‘Hey, if I don’t hit a homer, I shouldn’t be playing today.’ ”
Cabrera hit .330 with 44 homers and 139 RBI last season, winning the AL Triple Crown. The third baseman is hitting .365 with 30 homers and 95 RBI at the All-Star break this year. That’s an impressive full season for almost any player.
Let alone a first half.
Not that he’s all that impressed with any of it.
“There isn’t a lot of time to see that,” he said. “Maybe if I see it in the game, you know how they put it on the scoreboard?
‘‘So I think that’s the only chance we got time to see it.
‘‘Because you got to worry about other stuff, why are you going to worry about the stats?”
New world for Harper
Harper had his name misstated in a pregame news conference — Bochy called him “Bryan” before correcting himself immediately — and was slotted in the ninth spot in the order.
Welcome to the All-Star Game, kid.
The second-year Washington Nationals outfielder said he’s never batted ninth before in his life.
“That’s usually for the pitcher. I don’t think I’m pitching tomorrow,” Harper said. “You know, we’ve got a great lineup one through nine.
‘‘It’s pretty tough to get in that lineup, so I’m just very excited and blessed to be able to start and I’m so thankful for it.”
Wainwright taking it easy
Adam Wainwright pitched on Sunday, so he’s unavailable for today’s All-Star Game.
The St. Louis starter is set to make the most of his time off, anyway.
“It’s going to be amazing for me. I would love to pitch in the game, obviously, but also right now this break is perfect timing for me,” Wainwright said. “I brought my tennis shoes, my shagging glove, and if I had a hammock, you know, that’d be the thing that would put it over the top.”
Rivera to get moment in sun
There will be no more special moment at the All-Star Game than when the door to the American League bullpen opens and baseball’s greatest closer emerges for another public celebration of his greatness. Mariano Rivera has earned that moment.
“It would be probably be the most beautiful thing in the world if we could somehow get a lead on the National League and play the ninth inning with the greatest closer of all time coming out of the bullpen,” Leyland said. “I assure you that would happen, but we need to get that lead first.”
Because the American League is the visiting team at Citi Field, there would be no ninth inning for Rivera to pitch if the National League is ahead. Leyland said, in that instance, Rivera would pitch the eighth.
“You can rest assured,” Leyland said, “he will be on the mound at some point and you will see him pitch, whether it’s to be a hitter or an inning, depending on how the game goes.
‘‘But you will see No. 42 pitch.”
Rivera, 43, will retire at the end of the season.
This is his 13th All-Star Game; only Warren Spahn (17) was named to more as a pitcher.
Record for new faces
There are 39 first-time All-Stars on the 2013 rosters, which is a record. The game is prioritizing youth more than ever.
“We are seeing a rash or influx of tremendous young talent that really is changing our game,” Bochy said. “I think they are just getting better, faster, bigger, stronger still, and it’s impressive to watch these guys.
“You play a game now, and I see more pitchers throwing in the mid-90s than I’ve ever seen, so I do think we are getting some great talent coming up from all over the world to play baseball.”
Cespedes wins Home Run Derby
Yoenis Cespedes won baseball’s Home Run Derby, becoming the first player left out of the All-Star Game to take home the crown.
The Oakland Athletics slugger beat Bryce Harper 9-8 in the final round Monday night at reconfigured Citi Field, hitting the decisive drive with five swings to spare.
In only his second major-league season, the outfielder from Cuba dropped his bat and raised his arm when he sent his 32nd homer of the night some 455 feet to deep center field, where it caromed off the back wall of the black batter’s eye.
He was swarmed by the American League All-Stars near the third-base line.
The final addition to the field, Cespedes was the fourth player not selected for the All-Star Game to compete in the event.