Orel Hershiser says it's a "slap in the face" that he was the only Los Angeles Dodger chosen for the All-Star Game "because we've been in first place more than any team in the division."
Herhiser's selection was announced Thursday when pitchers and reserves were announced. They were chosen by St. Louis Cardinals Manager Whitey Herzog, who will manage the National League All-Stars next Tuesday in Cincinnati.Hershiser noted that Herzog's has four All-Stars from his own team, which is fifth place in the National League East, while the Chicago Cubs, third in the division, have six players.
"A fourth (actually fifth) place team has four players?" Hershiser remarked of the Cardinals. "And where are the Cubs, third?"
The Dodgers could have had a second All-Star, outfielder Kirk Gibson, whose name was among those submitted to the league office by Herzog. But Dodgers Manager Tom Lasorda said Gibson asked not to play in order to rest a sore leg.
"Kirk told me that his leg has been bothering him. He's been running, but not 100 percent. He said he wanted the time off to get treatment. I talked to Whitey. I think he would have been selected if his leg was 100 percent," Lasorda said.
It would have been the first All-Star appearance for Gibson, who also turned down a chance to play in 1985 when he was with Detroit in the American League. In his first Dodger season, he leads the club in home runs with 15 and has 46 RBI, 59 runs scored and 15 stolen bases.
Still, Hershiser said there was a bright side to having only one All-Star selection.
"But it is also a compliment to the team because there is a team concept," said the right-handed pitcher, who has a 13-3 record to lead the Dodgers to its 48-33 record and a 51/2-game lead over San Francisco going into a Friday night meeting with Pittsburgh.
"There are a lot of (Dodger) players having good years, but it's our coming together as a unit that has made us successful," Hershiser said.
Asked if he was upset that only one Dodger was picked, Lasorda said center fielder John Shelby, second baseman Steve Sax and right fielder Mike Marshall were worthy of consideration in addition to Gibson. But Lasorda added that it is a no-win situation for All-Star managers who must pick at least one player from each team.
"I've managed three of those things and I know how tough it is," said Lasorda. He wondered whether the best idea might be to have the fans pick the entire team.
Hershiser is unlikely to see much All-Star action in his second selection because he is scheduled to pitch for the Dodgers Sunday against Pittsburgh in the final game before the All-Star break.
"It depends on how I come out of the start," Hershiser said. "That's the day I usually throw on the side or volunteeer to relieve for the Dodgers. If everything's OK, I could see myself going an inning.
"I would be overlooking my responsibilities to the Dodgers if I went more than one inning. That way I could come back and pitch Friday."
Hershiser's 13-3 record is built on a 2.46 earned run average with six complete games. He has allowed only 108 hits in 135 1-3 innings while walking 41 and striking out 86.