All-Star nods could become habit for Posey, MadBum
MVP catcher at second Midsummer Classic; first time for Giants lefty
NEW YORK -- In between questions about his first All-Star Game experience, Madison Bumgarner glanced over at Buster Posey and wondered how many more Midsummer Classics await the reigning National League MVP.
"I'm sure Buster will be here every year for the rest of his career," Bumgarner deadpanned.
Couldn't Posey say the same thing about Bumgarner?
But Posey, 26, and Bumgarner, 23, have already made it look almost easy since they became part of the Giants' core in 2010. The Giants' batterymates' remarkable talent and seemingly limitless potential helped them both land on this year's National League All-Star team alongside Marco Scutaro and Sergio Romo.
"Those guys, they are important pieces of the puzzle that is our team back home. I definitely expect to see them make more," Romo said. "They definitely have that ability, and they do have that star power about them.
"Those guys are faces of the franchise. If you look at our team, you could honestly say, 'Who are the guys that are untouchable in any right?' You would say Bumgarner or Posey first, but they would both be in the same sentence."
Posey's list of accomplishments is already running long after 398 games in the Majors: two World Series titles, a Rookie of the Year Award, a Comeback Player of the Year Award, a batting title, last year's MVP honor and a number of other accolades. He's putting together a strong follow-up to his 2012 campaign, batting .325/.395/.536 with 13 home runs and 56 RBIs.
Posey is the only Giants representative in New York to have gone through the All-Star Game experience before, as he was elected by fans to start last year's Midsummer Classic. Posey didn't seem overwhelmed by the scene at Citi Field on Monday, as is seemingly always the case with the stoic catcher, but that didn't mean this year's selection meant any less to him.
"It's a great honor," Posey said. "It's about [the most] unique, special American tradition that we have. It's something that, as a child, you grow up -- I watched every single one of them. I watched the Home Run Derby. I'm humbled to be a part of it."
Even though he won't take the field until Tuesday, Bumgarner said his first All-Star Game has already been a unique experience. He made his first flight on a private plane to New York. He was eager to meet a few pitchers he's grown to admire and joked that he wanted to talk to some hitters he's come to loathe facing -- in a good way, of course.
"I'm definitely excited. I'm extremely blessed to be here and be a part of it," Bumgarner said. "It's been fun so far, from the time we left San Diego."
When Bumgarner will pitch remains to be seen. Manager Bruce Bochy has said he'd like to get Bumgarner in the game at some point, but Bumgarner will most likely be held back as a long reliever. He hasn't pitched out of the bullpen since the 2010 NL Championship Series against the Phillies, but he said he will be ready if called upon.
Even if he's left sitting in the bullpen all night Tuesday, Bumgarner said he'll still remember his first Midsummer Classic.
"I'm just excited to be here and to get to watch everything," he added.
Bumgarner has earned his time in the spotlight this year, further evolving as the dependable frontline starter the Giants have expected since they drafted him in 2007. Over 19 starts, he's gone 10-5 with a 3.02 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 125 innings. Amid uncharacteristic struggles by Matt Cain and the rest of San Francisco's rotation, Bumgarner has been the Giants' rock.
"He's definitely been our horse this year," Romo said. "He's a guy that, for his age, carries himself like a veteran, like a been-there-done-that kind of attitude. It's impressive to watch him pitch. He has no fear. He fears nobody, no hitter. He respects, but no fear. ... He's definitely earning that respect that everyone gives him."
But, Posey noted, Bumgarner doesn't appear to be content with anything he's accomplished so far, not even his first trip to the All-Star Game. The quiet left-hander is constantly changing his routine in the weight room, tweaking his between-starts throwing regimen and looking for any adjustment that might give him an edge.
Perhaps, then, they should both get used to keeping their calendars clear around the All-Star break.
"I hope so," Bumgarner said. "It'd be nice."
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.