John Harper, Daily News: R.A. Dickey is not starting Tuesday night's All-Star Game, a source told the Daily News Monday morning. Giants' righthander Matt Cain will start instead, opposing the Tigers' Justin Verlander.
A 12:30 pm (local time) press conference will make it official, where the starting lineups for each team will be announced.
Former Cardinals' manager Tony LaRussa, who came out of retirement to manage the NL All-Star game, had hinted on a conference call last week that he may not start Dickey, the Mets' knuckleballer, explaining that any decision he made would have to fit into an overall game plan to give the NL the best chance to win.
The All-Star game, of course, decides home-field advantage for the World Series.
LaRussa can explain it any way he wants, but there were plenty of good reasons to give Dickey the start.
With a 12-1 record and a 2.40 ERA, not to mention his back-to-back one-hitters a couple of weeks ago, Dickey has been the best pitcher this season, and he has also been the best story, as a 37-year old former journeyman whose conversion as a knuckleball pitcher has brought him unexpected stardom.
Cain, who threw a perfect game earlier this season, is a deserving starter, just without Dickey's compelling back story.
LaRussa's decision could have something to do with the difficulty of catching the knuckleball, though Dickey is still expected to pitch an inning at some point in the game.