Commish rips Ramirez

BOB ELLIOTT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:45 AM ET

PITTSBURGH -- Manny was just being Manny.

He just wasn't being Manny at last night's all-star game at scenic PNC Park.

Commissioner Bud Selig levelled a broadside at no-show Manny Ramirez yesterday.

The Boston Red Sox slugger cited his injured right knee as the reason for missing the game. Selig pointed out that other players unable to perform, such as Tom Glavine and Jose Reyes, both of the Mets, made the trip to Pittsburgh.

Selig referenced the 1950 all-star game, a 4-3 National League victory that took 14 innings, pointing out how Red Sox outfielder Ted Williams suffered a broken elbow that required surgery and kept him out of the Boston lineup for more than six weeks.

"If Ted Williams can bang his damned elbow in the first inning and play for 14 innings because he had to be there, well that's the way the game is to be played. It is the mid-summer classic," Selig said.

"For all the talk of being a social institution, we do have responsibility. If we have a voting process and people bust their rear ends to vote, you bet, I think it's the greatest honour you can get. Your fans and your peers select you."

Selig pointed out Ramirez is the only player who bailed on the game.

"Do you know how many people in life would run through a brick wall to have this kind of honour?"

Streaking

The AL was seeking to go 9-0-1 in the previous 10 all-star games. The AL still has some catching up to do, as the NL owns a 40-34-2 advantage, thanks to an 11-game win streak that began in 1972 and an eight-game streak that started in 1963.

The NL has won all four games played in Pittsburgh, winning 7-1 in 1944 as Philadelphia's Ken Raffensberger picked up the win; 5-4 in 1959 as Willie Mays of the Giants hit an eighth-inning triple. Both games were played at Forbes Field.

Steve Garvey of the Dodgers was named MVP as the NL won 7-2 in 1974; Moises Alou of the Montreal Expos doubled home Tony Gywnn of the Padres with the game-winning run in an 8-7 NL win in 10 innings in the '94 event. Each game was played at Three Rivers Stadium.

The nominees are ...

Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Nick Peters of the Sacramento Bee and Moe Sigel of the Washington Post were nominated for the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, which recognizes baseball coverage. Voting takes place at the winter meetings.

First pitch

Former Pirates manager Chuck Tanner, who guided the We Are Family Pirates to the 1979 World Series win over the Baltimore Orioles, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Carrie Underwood sang the U.S. anthem.


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