NEW YORK -- The little kid in the candy store has nothing on Jesse Crain.
The White Sox reliever would love to be healthy in order to participate in Tuesday’s All-Star Game. But Crain, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain, can also see a silver lining in not being able to participate.
Crain, a first-time All-Star, doesn’t intend to throw for the next few days. He started three days of taking it easy on Sunday when he and his family and fellow Sox All-Star Chris Sale took a party bus from Philadelphia to New York.
Now that he’s here, Crain plans to meet everyone he can and enjoy the atmosphere of the Midsummer Classic.
“It’s almost like a vacation,” Crain said. “I get to come in here and technically I could stay up for three straight days and don’t have to worry about coming in and pitching. I can soak everything in. I’m not going to have any down time. I’m going to try and meet everybody and have fun.”
Tops on Crain’s wish list of people to meet is New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera, who is participating in his 13 th and final All-Star Game. Even though Crain has been in the majors since 2004 he and Rivera have never crossed paths.
“To be here and be on the same team as (Rivera) in what’s likely his last year is pretty cool,” Crain said.
As for the first 24 hours, Crain was satisfied with his vacation.
“Crazy,” Crain said. “So many people. I guess if you’re ever going to make an All-Star Game, this is probably the place to do it. New York, it doesn’t get any bigger than this. Unfortunately it’s going to go by really fast.
No third for Ventura
White Sox manager Robin Ventura reduced his potential responsibilities when both he and Toronto manager John Gibbons declined American League manager Jim Leyland’s invitation to coach third base.
A former New York Mets star, Ventura was enjoying the atmosphere at Citi Field on Monday before the Home Run Derby.
“I’m not afraid to (coach third), but for the guys who have been doing it all year, it’s important, the game means something, and so the guys who are used to being out there, Gibby and I are just going to let them do it,” Ventura said. “My job’s not too hard today, it’s been fun.”
Youth movement in effect
Two-time All-Stars Mike Trout, Aroldis Chapman, Bryce Harper and Sale are more experienced than the majority of their competition. This season’s All-Star Game features 39 first-time participants. Both starting pitchers, the New York Mets’ Matt Harvey and Detroit’s Max Scherzer, are also first-timers as well.
Veteran reliever Joe Nathan believes the infusion of young talent bodes well for the future of Major League Baseball.
“It kind of lets you know that baseball’s going to fun to watch for a long time seeing the Mike Trouts, the Yu Darvishes, Glen Perkins, the list goes on and on with all the young guys that are out here,” Nathan said. “It lets you know that this game is going to be special to watch, a lot of superstars in the game that are going to be around for a long time.”
Sale hasn’t heard whether or not he would pitch on Tuesday but the likelihood is high given that he’s well rested. On being a two-time All-Star, Sale said: “You’re a little more comfortable doing all this, meeting people and getting acquainted. This is just as much fun.”
Philadelphia Phillies starter Cliff Lee brought his young son to his All-Star media session. Asked if he wanted to be a major leaguer, Lee’s son said ‘Yes’ but noted it would be difficult.