The New York Yankees and New York Mets will both send a small posse to the All-Star Game in San Francisco tonight, although only the boys from Queens deserve to be celebrated. Outfielder Carlos Beltran, shortstop Jose Reyes, third baseman David Wright and pitcher Billy Wagner will represent the Mets at the 78th Mid-Summer Classic, and all three position players will start for the National League. The speedy Reyes will leadoff for the NL, but the Mets hope Wagner will close the game, potentially locking up homefield advantage for them in the World Series.
The Yankees on the other hand, who will be represented by shortstop/captain Derek Jeter, third baseman Alex Rodriguez and catcher Jorge Posada, don’t even have the words ‘World Series’ in their vocabulary at this juncture. Sitting 10 games behind the first-place Red Sox in the AL East and 8.5 games behind the Wild Card-leading Cleveland Indians, the Yankees need a miraculous second-half surge just to think about even competing for a playoff spot. But with Giambi still MIA, veterans like Damon and Abreu struggling and even Mr. Rock-of-Gibraltar Andy Pettite faltering as of late, it seems more likely Barry Bonds will be cheered as a national hero than the Bronx Bombers will nab a postseason spot.