Leyland’s Tigers All-Star pick: Justin Verlander
You knew it was going to somebody.
The All-Star manager usually picks one of his own, and at least one of them is usually a questionable pick. As it turned out, the player vote put enough Tigers onto the AL All-Star roster that Leyland used only one of his picks on one of his players. He went with Justin Verlander.
Nobody would’ve figured going into the season that it would come to that for Verlander to get onto the All-Star team. By the time the roster was due, he was very much on the fence.
“First of all, I think he’s one of the great pitchers in baseball,” Leyland said. “I think that’s obvious. I think take a little bit of history into consideration. I think you also take into consideration that he’s won nine games, he’s got a lot of strikeouts, and I think that he’s one of the faces of baseball, and I think he deserves to go. I think when you put all those combinations together, I think it’s a no-brainer.
“Sometimes there are guys probably voted that maybe had good careers and were voted in because of that and there’s some sentiment there, but I don’t think anybody can say that about Justin Verlander. This guy’s been Cy Young, MVP. He’s got nine wins. He just pitched seven shutout innings the other day. He’s up there in strikeouts. I mean, I don’t think anybody can argue that one. They can, but I don’t think there’s anything to make of that myself. People have their opinions.”