Dusty Baker received a text from All-Star game manager Bruce Bochy this morning.
Bochy wanted Baker to tell Jay Bruce, Shin-Soo Choo, Mat Latos and Homer Bailey that they were strongly considered for the All-Star roster but especially Bruce.
Bochy was in Cincinnati earlier this week and was asked the toughest part of choosing the roster.
"This hardest part is leaving guys off. That's by far the hardest thing," Bochy said. "It goes with the territory when you pick a team. There is more written about the snubs than the guys that make it. There some deserving guys, I know that but we will probably leave guys off that are deserving."
Baker had the job once.
"It's a tough job," Baker said. "I got a lot of stuff the year I did it for leaving Dontrelle Willis off from ESPN (Baker later worked at ESPN for one year). They said that MLB was trying to promote baseball in the inner city. What they didn't know was that I got a call from Jim Tracy (then of the Dodgers) that Kevin Brown couldn't pitch and I planned to name Dontrelle to replace him."
Bruce was not even named as one of the five players for the final fan vote. Fans can still choose who they want to see among, Ian Desmond (Nationals), Freddie Freeman (Braves), Adrian Gonzalez (Dodgers), Hunter Pence (Giants) and Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers, who will have around 130 at bats or 39 games by the All-Star game. Bochy was adamant about it wasn't enough time to be considered.
Bruce was named the last two years and arguably is having his best half-season of his career. The Reds' rightfielder coming into Sunday's game is hitting .274. He hit .256 and .252 in his all-star years. He has is sixth in the NL with 18 home runs, sixth with 59 RBI and leads the league with 26 doubles while placing second in the league with 45 extra-base hits.
Yet Bruce handled the "snub" gracefully Sunday morning.
"Things like this happen," Bruce said. "It happened to Brandon (Phillips) last year. When people are chosen for one reason or another. There is no time to feel sorry for myself, or anyone else to feel sorry for me either."
Bruce will definitely watch the game. "It is something I've always loved to watch." He could be named if someone is injured.
"I certainly don't want to wish harm on anyone to play in the game," Bruce said.
Baker wondered aloud if Puig's inclusion in the final vote was marketing related.
"Is this what it's about?" Baker asked. "Has it turned into a marketing thing?"