July 18, 2022
Los Angeles, California, USA
LAUREN GARDNER: Hello, everyone and welcome to beautiful Los Angeles, California for the 92nd Midsummer Classic. My name is Lauren Gardner, the "Ginger" on MLB Network, and it is an absolute honor to be here in this beautiful city to kick off the festivities for this week.
Amazing to think that this is the fourth time that the Dodgers have hosted this event, the second time at this historic venue.
Our players arrived last night, they look fresh, they look ready to go for this event, and as per tradition, we are going to kick things off by introducing our managers, our starting pitchers for tomorrow night's game, and, of course, we will announce the starting lineup.
So let's start with the NL and we shall introduce Brian Snitker of the World Series champion Atlanta Braves. Take it away.
BRIAN SNITKER: First of all, you know, this is a great honor to be here, very excited. I'm very excited, also, to announce the gentleman to my right to start the game for the National League, Clayton Kershaw. It's a tough decision. There are very many guys in the National League, the number of guys that are having great years.
I think because we are here in Los Angeles, the home of the Dodgers and I kind of, you know, you toss this around and I'm thinking, Clayton's name just kept coming to the forefront to start this game. 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.
And my lineup will be leading off and playing right field is Ronald AcuĂ±a, Jr. of the Atlanta Braves.
Second is Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Manny Machado will hit third and play third base of the Padres.
Paul Goldschmidt from the St. Louis Cardinals hits fourth and plays first base.
Trea Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers will hit fifth and play shortstop.
Willson Contreras of the Chicago Cubs will hit sixth and catch.
William Contreras of the Atlanta Braves, Willson's brother, will be the DH and hit seventh.
Joc Pederson, San Francisco Giants, will play left field and hit eighth.
And Jeff McNeil from the New York Mets will play second base and hit ninth.
LAUREN GARDNER: You just announced Clayton Kershaw as your starting pitcher. We were chatting a little earlier, we heard your comments earlier, a couple weeks ago about how special it would be to start here in your ninth appearance in an All-Star Game. How special is it for you to be starting in this game tomorrow night?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: First of all, I want to say thank you to Snit and everybody, well, really just Snit, thanks for letting me start this thing. It's hard, because obviously Sandy Alcantara, Tony Gonsolin, Max Fried, all these guys have better numbers than I do and they should be starting this game and I get that.
But all that to say, I am just so excited I get to do it here at Dodger Stadium. I really didn't think anything of it at the time. I was like, well, yeah, it would be fun to do it or whatever, but now that it's finally here and I get to start that game tomorrow night, it just means a lot, and it means a lot to my family and we're excited.
Charley is excited, my kiddos are excited, and so we're going to have a good time tomorrow and hopefully I don't screw it up too bad.
LAUREN GARDNER: I don't think that's going to happen. Also, you will become the 13th pitcher to start in the All-Star Game in your home ballpark, first since mad Max Scherzer did it in 2018.
Now we turn things over to the AL, Dusty Baker, All-Star himself, take it away.
DUSTY BAKER: Nice to be here. Nice to be back in L.A. where I played and was born not far from here and seeing so many people that I recognize. I'm just glad that I still recognize you after all these years.
But it's an honor to be here. I remember the last All-Star Game here, 1980, and I was a little hurt because I wasn't chosen because we had about half the team that went to the All-Star Game, so it's come full circle for me and I'm glad I'm here.
I just want to announce my team's starter tomorrow, for the American League. It's Shane McClanahan, and you know, he's deserving. Tell you the truth, I've never seen him pitch (laughter) and we didn't play him at all this year but everybody that I've talked to told me that he is nasty, and so you know, he is my choice through talking to, you know, to others and I'm excited to see him pitch except when he's pitching against us in September.
But the rest of my lineup: Shohei Ohtani is going to be our DH, and he's going to start off DH'ing.
Aaron Judge with the New York Yankees, he's second.
Rafael Devers from Boston Red Sox, he's third.
Vlad Guerrero, Jr. from Toronto is fourth.
Giancarlo Stanton from the New York Yankees is fifth.
Byron Buxton from Minnesota is sixth.
Tim Anderson from the Chicago White Sox is seventh.
AndrĂ©s GimĂ©nez from Cleveland Indians is eighth.
And Alejandro Kirk from Toronto is catching and he's batting ninth.
LAUREN GARDNER: That's a heck of a lineup both sides.
Shane, first and foremost, congratulations on getting the nod. How are you feeling?
SHANE McCLANAHAN: I'm honored. There are so many deserving guys in the AL who had a heck of a year so far, and giving me consideration for this was truly just an honor for me to take the ball and have Dusty see me pitch for the first time.
DUSTY BAKER: (Laughs).
LAUREN GARDNER: We learn something new every day. Appreciate you sharing that, Skip.
Q. How much of Ohtani do you get to watch, and what do you attribute your success so far?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Shohei is pretty incredible. I think I just try to pitch, let alone try to hit every once in a while back in the day. What he's able to do is incredible. It's really great for the game of baseball. Having somebody like that to be able to excel at both of those the way he does is incredible.
It's fun to watch, too, as a fan of the game, it's really fun to watch, and I think there's a second part of your question.
Q. What do you attribute the success?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Success of what now?
Q. Your success against him.
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Oh, I don't know, honestly. I don't know how I got him out. I guess I'll try to get him out again tomorrow and see what happens.
Q. I guess for Dusty and Clayton, 5:00 start, and you get the shadows here, and you've hit in the shadows. What do you see as the effect on hitters, facing really great pitchers coming out of the shadows at this ballpark?
DUSTY BAKER: Clayton may not agree with me but I think the pitcher has the advantage at 5:00 here because every World Series, playoff game that I've played for the Dodgers on the West Coast was played at 5:00. And so it does help if you have -- I think you have overcast, so if we have overcast tomorrow, things kind of even out. But I doubt it.
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Yeah, I agree for sure.
DUSTY BAKER: Thanks, Clayton.
Q. Was there consideration about starting Ohtani and what went into the thinking to start Shane?
DUSTY BAKER: Well, I mean, there was consideration. But from the information that we received from Ohtani's camp was that, you know, he probably shouldn't or wouldn't start, and so then that's why we chose Shane.
Q. How emotional is it for you to be back in this stadium where you once starred started?
DUSTY BAKER: It's not emotional yet. I know my son asked me, he said, "Dad, aren't you excited?"
I usually don't get excited or emotional until right at the National Anthem but tomorrow, probably during batting practice, I'll get a little emotional. I'll probably walk out to left field where I used to play and just think about my past and think about my son playing in the futures game here just the other day. So life's come full circle for me.
Q. I just wanted to clarify on Ohtani, did they tell you he didn't want to pitch or he didn't want to start?
DUSTY BAKER: They didn't say either. They just said they preferred that, you know, he doesn't pitch.
Q. At all or just to start?
DUSTY BAKER: What's that?
Q. At all in the game or not to start?
DUSTY BAKER: Well, I think this guy -- you've got to ask them some of these questions. (Laughter).
Q. How much had starting an All-Star Game been something you wanted to do your whole career, and what does it mean to be able to do it here?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: You know, I think honestly in the All-Star Games I've been a part of in the past just being a part of them has been so great. Because it's at Dodger Stadium, I think there's a little bit more of like, man, I think it would be really cool to get to do and be a part of it.
Just being around the guys in general is so fun in an All-Star Game. It's really about that more than anything. But this time for me specifically, to be here at home and things like that, it meant a lot more at this time for sure.
Q. Shane, growing up, do you have any memories specifically of watching the All-Star Game on TV and were you the type of kid who pictured yourself watching on TV and one day being on the mound?
SHANE McCLANAHAN: Yeah, of course. I think growing up, I've always been a baseball lover and always had great respect for the game, and I would be lying if I told you I didn't ever envision myself being on that mound and competing against the best players in the world and so you know for it to come true is truly an exciting opportunity for me.
Q. Do you feel you will be cheered or booed tomorrow because of the Astros, and also, how do you think the other Astros players will be received here by the Dodger faithful?
DUSTY BAKER: Well, whether I'm cheered or booed at this point in my life, my career, doesn't matter. And I've been cheered and booed, all over the country. So just do what you got to do.
And then if they cheer -- if they boo my players, I would prefer that this beautiful town of L.A. don't and kind of forget the past because most of the players that are here weren't even there during the scandal. And I just wonder about the forgiveness of human -- of mankind, and also at the same time, you know, these guys are here because they want to be here.
And so hopefully, I hope that they don't boo them because it doesn't do any good.
Q. How cool is it to have not only you but so many of your Dodger teammates on this All-Star Team with you?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: It's just a testament to our first half. We've had a great first half so far. We should have more, honestly. Will Smith should be here, Gavin Lux; you could go down the list of guys.
So I probably shouldn't even be here honestly. So it's just amazing, the group of players we have so far, and we're excited for the second half to get going.
Q. How did you come to decide Byron Buxton to be added to the starting lineup?
DUSTY BAKER: Well, it wasn't me, exactly. You know, it was a matter of Mike Trout still being hurt. And so Byron Buxton was the next choice after Mike Trout.
Q. Shane, considering where you are in the race, do you think you should be more high in the All-Star?
SHANE McCLANAHAN: I feel very honored but I feel like there was a lot of very deserving players on our team who maybe didn't get selected. Yandy DĂaz, hitting .300 is second in the League in on base percentage; Ramirez; guys batting like .330; Jason Adam is having a heck of a year. I feel like those guys are very deserving and I feel like they should be here and obviously it didn't work out. Those guys are fantastic players and I'm very lucky to call them my teammates.
Q. You often speak of your kids and having these experiences. Can you speak about the timing of this and having an opportunity to have something to remember you starting?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Yeah, I was just trying to hang on a little longer for them to see it. I think my daughter is seven and my oldest son is five, and I've got a two-year-old and seven-month-old that probably won't remember this.
But the seven- and five-year-old, it's just fun to see it through their eyes, and hopefully I get them down here to watch the Home Run Derby and just kind of see it. I think they are starting to understand baseball a little more.
Charley, my son, is here with Charlie Freeman a lot, and they are playing baseball together.
It's fun, as you get older, everything gets put into perspective a little more with this game and how special it is. Definitely doesn't last forever. I'm just trying to enjoy it. I'm just going to enjoy tomorrow, and I think they will, too.
Q. What does it mean to you to have Albert Pujols back on the All-Star Team for the final time?
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Albert will be cool. I can't wait to get a hug; best hug in baseball. Him and Freddie are up there. He was such a great addition last year and I've gotten to know him over the couple years through a few things. It's great to have him in the clubhouse and should be fun for all of us.
Q. What is your impression of the Mariners after winning 14 straight and 19 of 22?
DUSTY BAKER: I thought the Mariners had a good team from the very beginning, and I told everybody that then at the time, they finished extremely strong last year, and you know, you have to beat them. They are not going to beat themselves.
You know, the thing about the Mariners is that they had probably the toughest travel in baseball in the first month or so going back and forth across the country four or five times. A lot of their games at home were extremely tough.
They are going to be tough down the stretch.
Q. Talk about how you brought a tailor in to suit up your coaching staff.
DUSTY BAKER: How do you know that?
Q. Your general manager mentioned it.
LAUREN GARDNER: Apparently Dusty brought in a tailor to supply suits for his coaching staff. Give us the scoop.
DUSTY BAKER: I wanted my coaching staff to be clean. Most of them probably had never had enough money to have a tailor-made suit. I got them suits and matching ties, whatever they wanted to pick. I didn't do anything for the players because I'm not making that kind of money (laughter).
Q. What did it mean to you to be able to do that for your coaching staff?
DUSTY BAKER: Well, I mean, you know, I was always raised in kind of the church of he who waters gets watered himself. So you know, if you're generous to others, then you know, the Lord and people tend to be generous to you.
LAUREN GARDNER: Snit, any suits for your staff?
BRIAN SNITKER: I'm not in the same pay grade as Dusty (laughter).
LAUREN GARDNER: No pressure there. Any further questions? Well, that concludes our press conference for today.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports