Pedro Martinez is dominating the All-Star game, and he won't even be pitching it.
On a day baseball announced five Atlanta Braves would be at the game - one-sixth of the National League roster - Martinez was left off the American League team Wednesday, apparently at the request of the Boston Red Sox.
Martinez, the MVP of last year's game at Fenway Park after striking out five in the opening two innings, is on the disabled list with a strained muscle on his left side but is ready to be activated after the All-Star break.
He has said he was ready to pitch in Tuesday's All-Star game at Atlanta's Turner Field, but he was omitted from the AL roster after Red Sox manager Jimy Williams spoke with Joe Torre of the Yankees, the manager of the AL team.
"The way this has shaken out is this is the right way to do things," Williams said cryptically.
Martinez is not on the AL's 31-man roster, but he will be introduced as if he were an All-Star and will sit on the AL bench during the game.
Baltimore's Cal Ripken, elected for what would be his 17th straight start and 18th appearance, will try to play third base despite a sore back, which has him on the disabled list. Torre said a decision will be made this weekend.
Cleveland's Manny Ramirez, elected by fans to start in the outfield, is on the disabled list with a strained hamstring and will miss the game.
Under baseball's rules, you can be on the disabled list and appear in the All-Star game.
Andres Galarraga, who missed all of 1999 while undergoing treatment for cancer, heads the list of Braves ready to shine before the hometown fans.
"I want to say thank you to all the fans that gave me great support last year and this year," the Big Cat said. "I thank God for giving me my health and all the beautiful and happy things that have happened to me this year. It's a gift."
Joining Mark McGwire of the Cardinals, elected to start at first base, were right-hander Darryl Kile and outfielder Jim Edmonds. McGwire had threatened not to play unless Edmonds was picked for next Tuesday's game, the first at Atlanta since 1972.
"It amazes me," said McGwire, who leads the major leagues with 30 homers. "Every word I say, the media writes it down. One time, would you guys please put, `in humor?' I'm very happy for him, he deserves it. He's the big reason why we're in the position we are today."
With Martinez out, Toronto's David Wells is the leading contender to start for the AL team.
"If it happens fine. If not, it's no big deal," Wells said. "I'm just going to go out there and take my turn. I'm sure this will mean more to me when I'm retired and an old guy."
The Yankees and Indians have four players each on the AL team and the Chicago White Sox, who have the best record in baseball, have three along with Boston and Oakland.
"There was no one player who was most difficult to leave out," Torre said. "Charles Johnson, Frank Thomas, Tony Batista all got a lot of consideration. You can go up and down the league. Joe Randa is having a hell of a year. First base was probably the toughest position. There are so many good numbers there. Jim Thome was second in the voting (at first base) but his numbers just didn't add up."
Also left off the AL team was White Sox reliever Keith Foulke. Omitted from the NL team were Florida second baseman Luis Castillo, Cincinnati reliever Danny Graves and Arizona outfielder Steve Finley.
Castillo was bypassed in favor of Montreal's Jose Vidro.
"I was shocked," Vidro said. "I just didn't know what to expect because there are so many second basemen having great seasons."