AL notes: Weary Liriano arrives
Twins left-hander spends 11 hours traveling to Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH -- A sleepy Francisco Liriano ambled into the American League clubhouse a few minutes before 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon and was immediately greeted by AL manager Ozzie Guillen of the Chicago White Sox.
"Liriano!" Guillen exclaimed as he welcomed the Minnesota left-hander with a handshake. "You're pitching nine innings."
The rookie smiled. It had been already been a very long day, and with the All-Star Game only four hours away, the kid didn't wasting any energy laughing.
Liriano had already returned home to the Dominican Republic when he was summoned on Monday to replace Jose Contreras when the White Sox right-hander came down with a sore arm.
"I was surprised," Liriano said. "David Ortiz called my brother [Domingo] and told him. Then I got a call from [Minnesota general manager] Terry Ryan."
Liriano, 10-1 with a Major League-leading 1.83 ERA, couldn't believe he was an All-Star. He also couldn't believe he'd made the journey to the Dominican only to turn around and head back to the United States.
"I was surprised," he said. "I had already gone home."
Then there was the matter of getting the newest All-Star to the party.
Getting to Pittsburgh turned out to be an 11-hour odyssey. Liriano got up at 3 a.m. ET to catch a flight from the Dominican Republic to Miami. From Miami, Liriano rode to Fort Lauderdale, where he made connections with a flight bound for Pittsburgh. By the time Liriano made the final leg of the journey from the Pittsburgh International Airport to PNC Park, most of his AL teammates were just arriving.
"All right, you made it!" Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer said as he greeted Liriano, a little worn but admittedly ready to pitch if necessary.
"Two-thirds or an inning," Liriano said. "Maybe I can go two innings."
The hard part for Liriano might be staying awake. By the time the game starts he will have been up more than 18 hours following a short rest the night before.
But this is the All-Star Game. Sleep can wait.
"I will take a nap after the game," he said. "And [there's] a day off tomorrow."
Don't leave home without it: Mark Buehrle arrived at Monday's All-Star festivities about the time that Jermaine Dye was finishing his effort in the CENTURY 21 Home Run Derby. But Buehrle almost didn't get on the field to support Dye.
In fact, Buehrle almost didn't make it into PNC Park. The White Sox left-hander came straight from the airport to the field, running the last three or four blocks to the entrance gate, when his car couldn't get him any closer. But Buehrle didn't have any official All-Star identification and the security guard didn't recognize him.
Buehrle was temporarily stonewalled until he flashed his World Series ring, apparently a universal pass at any ballpark.
"I don't usually use it to get into places, but I didn't have anything else," said Buehrle with a laugh. Buehrle stayed back in Chicago on Monday to be with his wife, Jamie, who had a minor surgical procedure. "I could have showed them my license, I guess. But the ring was the next best thing."
There was no problem getting into PNC Park for Buehrle on Tuesday, as he walked in with the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez.
"They thought I was [Rodriguez's] little helper guy," Buehrle said.
Select company: Guillen and NL manager Phil Garner of the Houston Astros joined a select group by becoming only the 20th and 21st men to both play in an All-Star Game and a World Series during their player careers and then manage an All-Star team and a World Series team.
Tuesday night's game was only the fourth time two members of this exclusive club have faced each other as managers in the Midsummer Classic. Mike Scioscia and Dusty Baker in 2003, Bill Terry and Joe Cronin (1934) and Mickey Cochrane and Frankie Frisch (1935) were the other pairings.
The other members of the All-Star/World Series players and managers group are Hank Bauer, Yogi Berra, Lou Boudreau, Alvin Dark, Leo Durocher, Gil Hodges, Fred Hutchinson, Davey Johnson, Harvey Kuenn, Bob Lemon, Billy Martin, Lou Piniella and Red Schoendienst.
Berra, Boudreau, Cochrane, Cronin, Durocher, Frisch, Lemon and Terry are in the Hall of Fame.
Burning intensity: During the 2004 season, Magglio Ordonez played for a laid-back but direct Guillen, who never held back from saying what was on his mind. But Ordonez said that even Guillen wasn't as intense as Jim Leyland, who currently has the Tigers sitting at the All-Star break with the best record in baseball.
"Ozzie give you maybe one chance," Ordonez said. "Leyland, he goes really quickly. He's really intense. If you don't do what you are supposed to do, he's going to come to you and let you know. He's into the game from the first inning until the last out. He sees everything that happens. He's watching everything."
Pierzynski's college credit: White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski rode a wave of online ballots in the AL Final Vote to reach the All-Star team, a surprising turn of events considering Pierzynski was not exactly the most beloved candidate on the ballot.
When broadcaster Rick Sutcliffe saw Pierzynski in the AL clubhouse, he asked, "Hey, A.J., how did you ever get all those votes?"
Said Pierzynski: "My brothers in college called up all their frat brothers to vote for me."
Extra bases: Four years ago, Scott Kazmir was a high school pitcher in Houston. On Tuesday, the 22-year-old Devil Rays left-hander was an All-Star in the AL clubhouse lockering between Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox and Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees. "This has been an unbelievable experience," Kazmir said. "This is something I won't forget." ... Mark Loretta is the first Boston Red Sox second baseman to start an All-Star Game since Felix Mantilla in 1965. Loretta and first baseman Ortiz gives Boston the first starting right side of an All-Star infield since first baseman Walt Dropo and second baseman Bobby Doerr in 1950. ... On Tuesday night, for the first time in 14 years, the Texas Rangers did not have at least one player starting the All-Star Game in a streak that began in 1992. ... According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 26 saves by Boston's Jonathan Papelbon are the most ever by a rookie at the All-Star break, breaking the previous record of 24 set by Kansas City's Mike MacDougal in 2003.
Jim Molony is a writer for MLB.com. MLB.com reporters contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.