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July 12, 2010
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, we welcome you to beautiful sunny, southern California and Anaheim specifically and all of the viewers on MLB Network. You will be hearing from both the National League skipper, Charlie Manuel and American League manager, Joe Girardi. They have made their starting lineups and pitching selections and we will get to that in a bit. We will also be honoring the 30 PEOPLE's All-Stars Among Us, a tradition started last year in St. Louis, obviously coming together, a community in baseball, they are here today. We will honor them as well with a job well done.
We will hear from the acting league presidents, as well, but I do want to get this it going today with the commissioner of baseball, Mr. Bud Selig.
BUD SELIG: Good morning. It's my pleasure for the second consecutive year to welcome everybody here to this wonderful event, to the 81st Major league Baseball All-Star Game.
Last year's All-Star Game in St. Louis was memorable for many reasons, but perhaps my favorite moment was the pregame ceremony where we honored the PEOPLE All-Stars Among Us, 30 people who were recognized for their outstanding community service.
President Obama threw the first pitch and all of the living presidents paid tribute to the All-Stars Among Us. Although they have different political beliefs, these leaders all agreed that recognizing people for selfless acts of goodwill was an important message for this country.
And the program made a difference. Last year, Christina represented the Angels for her organization called Locks of Love, which provides homemade caps for cancer patients.
Somebody had 102 volunteers, knitting 1800 caps per month for 140 cancer treatment centers. After being recognized, we are proud to say that Locks of Love has more than 500 volunteers knitting for than 3,000 caps per month for 253 treatment centers in all 50 states, plus Canada, M√É¬©xico, and Ireland.
With this kind of success, we decided to, again, recognize 30 outstanding people who are making extraordinary contributions to their community, and this year, we again have a group of people who deserve to be admired. Their stories are truly inspiring.
Representing the Royals, is Marcia Merrick, who spends 60 hours per week preparing and distributing sack lunches for the hungry and homeless in Kansas City includes not only food, but notes of encouragement.
Representing the Reds, is Mindy Atwood, who helps clinically ill children and their families during emergencies pay for utility bills, hospital charges and other expenses.
Representing the Rangers is John Hoover who repairs homes and refurbishes rooms of children with life-threatening diseases.
These are just three examples of the All-Stars Among Us, all of whom are with us here today. Please stand, all of you, so that we can thank you for your tremendous work. (Applause).
Since we are so close to Hollywood, we called on some celebrities to participate in our pregame ceremony this year, the way the Presidents all did last year. You'll be seeing Ben Affleck, Sheryl Crow, Harrison Ford, Salma Hayek, Matthew McConaughey, Julia Roberts and Charlize Theron paying tribute to the All-Stars Among Us.
Hopefully this well-deserved recognition on our All-Stars Among Us, that they will receive from this event will make a significant impact on all of these organizations and their efforts to help other human beings. I want to thank PEOPLE Magazine for their partnership in this effort, but most importantly, I want to thank all of the All-Stars Among Us for all that you've done. I'm really very proud on behalf of Major League Baseball to meet all of you and to celebrate your absolutely remarkable achievements.
Your participation here means that we'll have 30 additional All-Stars on the field tomorrow night. Thank you all very much. Pleasure to be with you.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Mr. Commissioner. For more on this program that we will have unveiled on the FOX pregame show tomorrow night, I want to welcome the president of PEOPLE Magazine, Paul Caine.
PAUL CAINE: Thank you, Chris. I'd like to also thank Commissioner Selig, Tim Brosnan and the rest of the Major League Baseball organization for being such incredible partner us throughout the entire program. The All-Stars Among Us is an important initiative to people magazine and we are proud 20 present this to you here today. We are here today to celebrate All-Stars, but not just those playing in the game tomorrow; a different kind of All-Star, a person that despite commitments to family and work they devote time to helping others, the kind of person that steps in to make some changes in the world at a time when we really need change; the kind of person that 45 million people read about every single week in our magazine.
For the second year in a row PEOPLE Magazine and Major League Baseball are telling stories of these 30 amazing individuals. We are so proud to work here with Major League Baseball to honor you and to recognize people like Michael Young from Arizona; he raises over 250,00 people through a program to help animal assisted therapy programs at Phoenix Children's Hospital and he did that when he was just 12 years old.
Lisa established Love Twice, a non-profit that collects gently-used baseball clothes and donated them to newborns.
You truly are the heros. The two iconic organizations like PEOPLE Magazine and Major League Baseball, whenever we come together, we anticipate significant results but never the kind of response we got this year. We had over 7,500 nominations to become these All-Stars, and we had over 1.7 million votes. That's really an incredible response, especially after the outreach that we had, and this was featured every week in the magazine and on people.com and every Major League broadcast leading into the break.
On behalf of PEOPLE Magazine and everybody here at Major League Baseball, we are really proud of you, and I'm here and proud to say I present to you, again, PEOPLE Magazine, Major League Baseball's 2010 All-Stars Among Us. (Applause).
THE MODERATOR: Thank you and thank you on behalf of everybody in this room, thank you for everything we do and we can't wait to see the video tomorrow night and that will be something special.
By the way, Joe and Charlie have told me that any of you if you can pitch if this thing goes longer than 12 innings, let us know. (Laughter.)
We are here to celebrate baseball's All-Star, and this is the when the game went 15 innings and slugger Tony Perez won it with a home run and 22 years later I watched it and Bo Jackson's ball just landed Saturday which he hit more than 48 feet off Rick Reuschel.
Anaheim has been a great host city, and we are getting ready to name the starting pitchers and with that I want to sends it over to the honorary president of the American League, Jackie Autry.
JACKIE AUTRY: Thank you. I'd like to welcome you all to Anaheim, given the fact that I just came out of 106-degree temperature down in Palm Springs, this is totally refreshing.
Joe is managing the American League team, All-Star Team, for the first time. He was a member of Terry Francona's staff for the 2008 Midsummer Classic at the old Yankee Stadium where the American League won, of course, where the American League won an historic 15-inning game. When Joe was manager of the Florida Marlins he was named 2006 Manager of the Year by Baseball Writers Association of America and the sporting news. He was a member of three World Championship teams in New York in 1996, 1998 and 1999 as a player, and now as a manager.
Joe played 15 seasons as a catcher in the Major Leagues and while with the Chicago Cubs earned his only trip to the All-Star Game as a replacement for Mike Piazza as a replacement. Our American League manager is a wonderful family man and has established his own charity called Catch 25 which is dedicated to helping those with ALS, Alzheimer's, cancer and fertility issues. He is the only manager in baseball to have allowed family members to call the dugout to straighten out their kids when they can't approach hitting correctly.
I give you the American League manager for 2010, Joe Girardi.
JOE GIRARDI: The lineup for the American League will go like this: Ichiro Suzuki will play right field; Derek Jeter will play short; Miguel Cabrera is our first baseman; Josh Hamilton will play center; Vlad Guerrero will be our DH; Evan Longoria will be our third baseman; Joe Mauer will catch; Robinson Cano will play second base; and Carl Crawford will be our left fielder.
You know, it's a hard lineup to make when you have two guys at the bottom like Carl Crawford and Robinson Cano. There's not one through threes in this lineup, but we have a great lineup and I think the American League has a bright, young star on our hands in our starting pitcher, David Price, who is still only 24 years old. He will start tomorrow night.
DAVID PRICE: It's definitely an honor and has not set in yet and looking at this lineup, it's getting there already, when you have Joe Mauer in the seven hole and C.C. in the nine hole you know you have a pretty good team. It's a huge honor to be here and an even bigger honor to be one of the two starters. So I'm very, very happy to be here, thank you.
THE MODERATOR: Turning to the National League side, honorary president, Bill Giles, sounds to me a few moments ago like Jackie was talking a little trash.
BILL GILES: She's been doing that for a number of years, too many years (Laughter.)
It's my honor to introduce the National League manager. Being in baseball and working in it as long as I have, over 60 years, one of the great rewards is being associated with wonderful people, and Charlie Manuel is one of the most wonderful baseball persons I've ever met and worked with, so it's my honor to introduce him here.
This will be Charlie's second straight year to try to beat that stupid American League team. (Laughter.) He has managed nine seasons in the Major Leagues and in his eight full seasons, has taken his team to the World Series three times and this is his sixth season with the Phillies and the winning percentage during his tenure is over, and he has never had a losing season. So, be Charlie, your job is on the line, man, we have to win.
CHARLIE MANUEL: Thank you, Bill. Our starting lineup is Ramirez leading off, playing shortstop; Martin Prado playing second base, Albert Pujols hitting third playing first base, Ryan Howard the DH hitting fourth, David Wright hitting fifth and playing third base, Ryan Braun hitting sixth and playing left field, Andre Ethier hitting 7th and playing center field, Corey Hart hitting eight and playing right field, Yadier Molina is hitting ninth and catching, and our pitcher is Ubaldo Jimenez, one of the great talents in baseball, and he's a treat to watch pitch. Delighted to be sitting beside him here today.
UBALDO JIMENEZ: Hi to everyone. I just want to say it's a huge honor for me just to be out here and having a chance to share this moment tomorrow and be an All-Star, I have the honor just to be in the clubhouse with the All-Stars.
Hopefully we put everything together and we break the losing streak. I'm just really happy and I want to say thanks to Charlie Manuel for picking me. I know he has a lot of choices, a lot of talent on our team, but I'm really happy and I can't wait to be out there tomorrow for my team representing the National League, representing my team, the Colorado Rockies and representing my family and my country, too. I'm really happy and I can't wait.
THE MODERATOR: It's customary that every day after you pitch, you go on those long runs, like you did after the no-hitter in Atlanta, you went for a six-mile run at 6:30 in the morning, so if you win tomorrow night, where can we meet you so we can all run Wednesday?
UBALDO JIMENEZ: I'm probably going to be running with all of the guys. (Laughter.)
Q. Ubaldo, was there any doubt in your mind that you would start, and Charlie, what went into the decision, were you considering anybody else, possibly a Josh Johnson and what makes you a special pitcher in your mind this year?
UBALDO JIMENEZ: To tell you the truth, I didn't even think about starting the game. I'm just happy with the opportunity just to be here, but like I say with all of the guys, so I didn't have time to even think about starting the game. I'm really happy just to be here.
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think that one of the biggest things that went into my decision was the fact that this guy right here, not only Josh Johnson, he's a very talented guy and we have some real talented pitchers on the National League squad, but this guy is 15-1, his record speaks for itself, he threw a no-hitter and he's completed three ballgames; he's what I call a horse, and so is Josh Johnson. It was a tough pick, but he's the guy I choose, because, you know, ever since he to the big leagues, he's been pitching -- in the series we play the Rockies, he's always stood out, and he's definitely -- he was my favorite pick.
Q. You probably had the most talented team in baseball with respect to other teams around the league; when you got the opportunity to coach the American League again and you have the vast arsenal of talent throughout the league, what do you take into consideration to put your starting lineup together?
JOE GIRARDI: You look at numbers, and how guys have performed during the course of the year. We have some big RBI guys in the middle of our lineup, and we have speed at the top and the bottom. You look at who is starting against you and you have an idea who is starting against you and who Charlie has in his back pocket that he can bring in in the game, and you put your lineup together.
Q. Some of the older All-Star Games, you see starters going two innings apiece and maybe only using four or five pitchers; with the amount of talent that you have at the top of the National League staff, can you do that or --
CHARLIE MANUEL: Basically when I get to the ballpark I'll sit down with Bruce Bochy and Bud Black and Rich and discuss some things that we want to do for pitchers and go from there. Starters in the All-Star Games, I think it's been a while since a guy went three innings, but they mostly go one to two innings. That's kind of been how they have been working. We will sit down and decide what we are going to do.
Q. You've become the third Rays starter; is that a big step forward for the Rays?
DAVID PRICE: That's awesome, I'm here representing the Rays, they have done nothing but good things for me and I continue to -- I don't know, I really don't know what to say. It's a great honor. Feels good. (Smiling).
Q. People talk a lot about the maturation process of a pitcher, and I'm wondering if you could get into that a little bit and what has allowed you to emerge this year?
DAVID PRICE: I would say probably just being comfortable. It takes a while to get your feet wet at the big league level. You have to have some success and you have to have some failure and you have to be able to learn from both of them, and that's what I feel like I did last year and that's you how I feel like this year, no matter who I take the mound against or who is in the box, it's me against them and that's the attitude I've taken this year and I feel like I've been consistent for the most part and I feel like that's the definition of a good pitcher, being able to be consistent.
Q. Charlie, you have two middle relievers on your team which is probably some kind of All-Star record, does that allow you to manage more situational than a normal All-Star Game?
CHARLIE MANUEL: When we picked the relievers, one of them is leading the league in saves but at the same time the two lefties, we need some left hands pitching in there because I looked at the American League and they have some really good left-hands hitters, and in the space of the game moving along, one part of the ballgame, we might want to put some lefties on a couple of them.
Q. Can you tell us why you picked Howard as your designated hitter? You had a lot of choices I'm guessing probably because he's your guy?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Not only he's my guy, but he's got 119 at-bats and left-handed pitchers and six homers and 20 RBIs. He can hit them. He's hit the most home runs in the National League in the last three or four years, hitting .294. He is very capable of hitting fourth in the All-Star lineup.
Q. Is there any word on Adrian Beltre. Are you expecting him to be in the game or will you replace him?
JOE GIRARDI: He was replaced by Michael Young from the Texas Rangers.
Q. With Rivera out, have you made a decision on who will get the ball, in like a ninth-inning safe situation?
JOE GIRARDI: Similar to what Charlie talked about, when we get to the ballpark and have all of the coaches together, we will talk about it.
I think there are some very good choices in Valverde, Soriano, Soria, guys that are used to closing, but we will make that decision as we talk about it today.
Q. For both managers, we saw with the World Cup how important that was to build the American audience, 50 percent increase in ratings. As managers, how important is this, this is part of America's fabric, but we have controversy about where the game will be next year and we had the tie game a few years ago; but what does this game do to bring the American audience to baseball? It's been America's pastime, but arguments about competing with the NFL about being America's No. 1 sports. What can you do as managers, do you talk to the players and does that weigh into your mind tomorrow night?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Go ahead, Joe. (Laughter.)
JOE GIRARDI: Yes, it does. I think this afternoon, we have one of the most exciting things in sports in the home run hitting contest, and I think that brings a lot of different type of viewers, people from all ages enjoy that.
My son will be there and he's going to love it and looks forward to it every year, and we ends up going home and practicing the Home Run Derby at the house. So I think this brings a lot of different people to the ballpark and viewers to the television.
As far as the importance of the game, I think it's extremely important. We were the recipients of home-field advantage last year, and I know it only matters for the World Series, but in our home games during the playoffs, we were 7-1, so we understand that that home-field advantage is very important to one American League club this year.
THE MODERATOR: Charlie, want a shot at that one?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think the first priority of the National League is to win the game. But at the same time, and that's exactly what we are going to try to do, but what makes the game is the talent that both sides have.
We have the greatest players in the game, and it gives the audience a chance to see us, and I think the importance of it is of course to win, but at the same time, it can be very exciting to all of the people who follow baseball and I think it's one of the greatest things that contribute to Major League Baseball. But like I said, the priority is to win the ballgame and that's why we are here, and the home-field advantage Joe is talking about definitely comes into play.
My team has been to the World Series the last couple of years and we definitely know the importance of that. That's exactly what we are going to try to do.
Q. You have mentioned, and I would like to ask this of both of the managers, you mentioned David's age, what is your take on the emergence of the great young pitchers this year in baseball.
JOE GIRARDI: I think it's incredible. You see so many young kids that are pitching at such a high level. It seems that we have a ton of them in our division, and it doesn't just stop with David Price. You look at Buchholz, who was here, the whole staff in Tampa, Ricky Romero; it just seems to be one after another in our division. I think it's the time of the pitcher right now. It seemed like 15 years ago, it was a time of young shortstops, and other times, it seems there's an influx of great, young talent in outfielders.
But right now the influx of young pitching in baseball is incredible, and not just guys with stuff; guys that know how to pitch in tough division series at a young age.
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think young pitching is where Major League Baseball is at today, and I think the stuff plays bigger than some of the veteran pitchers that have had success. But like you, said the command and how to pitch, these guys, they are definitely taught more and they can handle situations better, and I think that you're going to see that in the near future, too, just keep getting better.
I think the numbers are down, and that kind of proves out, but earlier in the year, we got Josh Johnson and we have got other guys who are definitely stand-out young pitchers.
Q. Wondering how the stature of the players in this game affects your managing, specifically, in terms of guys that you might not ask to bunt in a normal game, but in this setting would that be different or would you ask guys to take a pitch; does that influence you at all?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think we play loose at the start of the game. I think everybody here knows how to play baseball and that's what we'll talk about when I get to the ballpark today.
Everybody guy that is in the All-Star Team, he should know how to play baseball and I will trust that. At the start of the game, we will do things, if a guy is fast and he wants to run, more than likely we will turn him loose, we will go over all that; or the latter part of the game, might drop some signs in and start doing situation things that we consider is going to win the game.
Like I said, our priority is to win the game.
JOE GIRARDI: I would echo his sentiments. We are going to play the game hard and we expect the guys to play the game right. We will do what it takes to win. A lot of the guys that you have in your lineup may not be accustomed to bunting and we will take that into consideration but whatever it takes, we will do and we are going to try to win this game.
Q. How is it that you came to settle on your outfielder, particularly with your decision to start Andre Ethier in center field ?
CHARLIE MANUEL: As I understand it, the reason he's playing in center field, we did according to fan voting and the players voting, Hart, he was ahead of the other outfielders and was supposed to start the game and Ethier is the one I chose to play center fielder because we do not have a true center fielder right now. We have some on our roster but at the same time, that's the reason why he's starting in center field.
Q. You said a minute ago that the Home Run Derby was a great event; do you look forward to seeing it? And are you discouraging Robinson Cano from participating and does it hamper hitters after the break?
JOE GIRARDI: I think it's a great event and very exciting event, and we have a player in, Nick Swisher.
Robinson Cano has been fighting some slow back issues, and that's why we have been talking to him about that and ultimately he had to make the decision. From a health standpoint, our feelings were we didn't think it would be beneficial to play in that. He sat in the game last week because I thought his back needed a rest.
Nick Swisher will be in the game and I hope he wins it.
THE MODERATOR: So after the game will you invite him into the backyard to practice the Home Run Derby with your son?
JOE GIRARDI: Dante can if he wants, but I won't. (Laughing).
Q. Can you talk a little about Martin Prado in the two-hole and what you like from him there, and the difference since he moved into the leadoff spot for the Braves?
CHARLIE MANUEL: He's a tremendous hitter, he's a contact hitter, and puts the fat part of the bat on the ball and usually makes solid contact. He can handle the bat, and I like him in the lead-off hole but I like him in second, because he knows how to play the game and he can move the runners and he can hit behind the runners; he's hitting .325 and he's got a little power for a second baseman, too. He fits that.
Q. Why did you pick Pujols and not Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies is not here.
CHARLIE MANUEL: He's got a good season going and he's hitting .300. I know exactly what he's hitting. And at the same time, the way things worked out, I just felt like that there was no way that we could put him on there. And every year, somebody is going to get left off, and that's not because they are not a good player or All-Star candidate or that aren't considered as an All-Star player. But all of the players that you pick, it seems like there's always hard decisions and that's just kind of what happened.
Q. Charlie talked about the decision he made; was that a difficult decision for and you why did David get the start?
JOE GIRARDI: David's numbers speak for themselves. He's the league leader in wins tied with C.C. I believe he's first in ERA, or second, and his numbers speak for themselves. He was top amongst the player voting, his starting pitchers, and I thought he deserved to pitch. He's really right on schedule. He threw last Wednesday and I think he's very deserving of the honor.
Q. Joe, when you construct your lineup how much do you balance their 2010 performances against their career-long accomplishments, and looking specifically at Jeter second and Crawford ninth.
JOE GIRARDI: I look at their careers, and I also look at this year, as well. The thing about Carl Crawford with him at the bottom, you have basically two lead-off hitters. And the lineup is probably the toughest thing to make out. We spend time talking about it, there were changes, there were additions, subtractions, and it's the hardest thing.
But Derek Jeter has been to this All-Star Game many, many years in a row, and we just thought he deserved to be second.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much for attending.
End of FastScripts