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Dickerson, Not Archer, Plays in All-Star Game

Photo by Tampa Bay Rays

How did the Tampa Bay Rays fare in tonight’s All-Star Game?

In 2014, as a member of the Colorado Rockies, Corey Dickerson finished the first-half of the season with 11 home runs and a .324 batting average. As impressive a season he was having, he was left off the NL All-Star roster.

Fast forward to 2017 – after a trade to Tampa Bay.

While it wasn’t a given that Dickerson would start this year’s mid-summer classic, he was sure to make the team. On May 31, he sat in fourth place among DH’s in the American League. He celebrated Independence Day this year by earning the starting job for the AL.

Chris Archer was a member of the 2015 AL squad. His first-half numbers this year (7-5; 3.95) are solid, not great, but Archer welcomes the invitation to take part in the game. When the World Baseball Classic gold-medalist was asked about his second selection in three years he was appreciative.

“It’s pretty special. It’s up there…as far as individual achievements go, there’s not many that top it,” he explained after learning that he would make the trip to Miami.

So How’d They Do

In his first all-star at-bat, facing Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Pat Neshek, Dickerson flied out to Miami Marlins left fielder Marcell Ozuna in the second inning.

In the fourth inning, Dickerson stepped in to face the St Louis Cardinals’ two-time all-star, Carlos Martinez. He got behind in the count early 0-and-2. He’d fight off three straight fastballs at 99 mph, 100 mph, and then 101 mph before ultimately falling victim to an 89 mph slider for out number three.

Chris Archer didn’t appear in the game. After starting for the Rays on Sunday, his availability for this exhibition game was unknown.

“I was in the bullpen for the last five innings…I was ready to go if the phone rang,” Archer said when asked about not getting into the game.

In years past, pitchers that started on the Sunday before the All-Star Game were ineligible to play in the game. However, according to reports, per the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, players now have discretion as to whether they want to participate after a Sunday start.

Ultimately, Archer, Dickerson and the rest of the American League leave Miami with an extra $20,000 in their bank account. With home-field advantage no longer on-the-line, bragging rights, and prize money are the biggest motivating factors.

The losers will not be receiving any prize money. Why, you ask?

Because sprinkles are for winners.

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