GLENDALE — When New York Yankees star closer Mariano Rivera induced a popout by Houston Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada, the American League clinched the Major League Baseball All-Star Game with a 4-3 win over the National League and Freddy Sanchez ended the game where he began it — on the bench.
Amid trade talks and injury problems, the Burbank High graduate and former Glendale Community College standout also found himself snubbed from any playing time for the NL squad, which saw the American League improve to 12-0-1 in the last 13 Midsummer Classics with its win in St. Louis on the strength of Detroit Tigers outfielder Curtis Granderson’s game-winning run in the eighth inning.
“You never want anything to be your last,” said Sanchez during a Monday All-Star press conference about the possibility of this being his last All-Star appearance as a Pirate. “That doesn’t get in the back of my head at all. I consider Pittsburgh my home. Although I got drafted by Boston, I never really got to play up there much. I got traded over early enough to where I consider this my home. To be able to represent the fans of Pittsburgh and the organization, that means a lot to me. That’s real special to me.”