At least Jim Leyland has one easy decision with his American League All-Star pitching staff: Mariano Rivera -- leading the league with 23 saves in the final year of his historic career -- is as close to a no-brainer pick as one could imagine.
Leyland won't have Rivera start the game as a tribute, as has been suggested by some. He would, however, like Rivera to get the ball with a ninth-inning lead July 16 at Citi Field in the MLB All-Star Game on FOX. Given the success of that strategy over the past 17 years -- including four All-Star saves -- it's hard to argue with him.
Anyhow, Leyland is lucky to have one stress-free selection. He's certain to face a number of pitching predicaments, with less than one month before the July 7 roster announcement.
One obvious dilemma: Leyland's Detroit Tigers have four of the league's top eight starters, according to the pitching WAR rankings on FanGraphs.com. Will Leyland have room for each of Detroit's (new) Four Tops, given that each AL team ...