Cubs pitcher Travis Wood fine with lack of attention at All-Star Game
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org July 15, 2013 10:26PM
St Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
Updated: August 17, 2013 6:48AM
NEW YORK — Travis Wood was a little overwhelmed by the whole All-Star experience, and a bit underwhelmed by the attention he received Monday.
Each player sat at a table, available for interviews from a media throng, and the Cubs left-hander probably received the least attention of any player.
That was good with Wood.
“Oh, yeah, for sure,’’ he said. “And I prefer it this way. I’m a low-maintenance, low-key guy, so I accept it.’’
Wood, who has been good and steady with a 2.79 ERA and 17 quality starts, was trying to get his head around it all. After pitching Sunday night, he arrived at his hotel around noon Monday.
“So far, it’s been amazing,’’ Wood said. “With all of this, and all these great baseball players together to play . . . it’s going to be a great week.
“I haven’t been able to take it all in yet, but it’s getting there. It’s pretty overwhelming. It’s going to be an outstanding experience.’’
Wood will be available to pitch. Tuesday is his normal side day.
“It will always be a bonus to say you pitched in the game,’’ he said. “But I won’t be let down if I don’t. If they need me, I’ll be here.’’
When Wood is announced, you might not recognize him. He shaved his facial hair but plans to grow it out again.
Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes outslugged Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper in an entertaining final round to win his first Home Run Derby. Cespedes took the final round 9-8 with five outs to spare.
Treating a sellout crowd at Citi Field to an impressive display of tape-measure blasts, Cespedes launched 32 homers in all and capped his final-round victory with a 455-foot blast.
One of his homers smashed the windshield of a new truck parked beyond the center-field wall.
His clinching homer carried over the second truck parked there.
“I felt I was getting into a good rhythm in the first round,’’ Cespedes said.
“After that, I was getting good pitches to hit over the plate, and that was the key.’’
Cespedes, 27, advanced to the finals by hitting 17 home runs in the opening round and six in the second round. Harper hit eight in the first, second and final round.
American League manager Jim Leyland of the Tigers said Mariano Rivera, 43, will pitch no matter what.But Leyland is
hoping it plays out that the all-time saves leader closes out an AL victory.
“You can rest assured he will be on the mound at some point and you will see him pitch,” Leyland said.
Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw felt slighted that National League manager Bruce Bochy of the Giants named right-hander Matt Harvey of the host Mets to start.
“It hurts,’’ said Kershaw, who’s 8-6 with a 1.98 ERA.
“I just think we’ve got the perfect guy, with the year he’s had, and he plays for the Mets,” Bochy said of Harvey, who’s 7-2 with a 2.35 ERA.