One team, four All-Stars.
For two of them, it’s business as usual. This is Zack Greinke’s second All-Star game, so he sat at his locker after the Dodgers’ 1-0 win over the San Diego Padres eating, not in a rush to get anywhere.
Clayton Kershaw is an All-Star for the fourth year in a row. He packed his bag like he was going on just another road trip, and exited the clubhouse without a fuss.
For the other two, though, it was a different story. Yasiel Puig got a big hug from Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly, who told him to have fun. It’s Puig’s first selection, and the energetic outfielder will also be participating in the Home Run Derby on Monday.
His 12 home runs are tied for the 28th-most in the National League, but it might be a different story on Monday.
“He better do something, or people are going to talk trash,” said second baseman Dee Gordon, the other All-Star on the team. “I think he’s going to do good, though. He likes the light, he likes the spotlight on him and all that, so with the world watching him I think he’s going to do pretty good.”
On the other side of the locker room from Puig, all Gordon could do was smile. He’s bringing 10 friends and family to his first All-Star appearance, and he’ll be videotaping the whole thing.
And after Sunday’s win, he can finally start thinking about the trip.
“I’m excited now, because today is the day I get to go,” Gordon said. “I wanted to make sure that I stayed focused for the last few games of the first half, so I was really trying not to think about it.”
The quartet will all be on the same flight to Minneapolis on Sunday.
“I get to share it with three superstars, and that’s awesome,” Gordon said. “Hopefully there’s more to come.”
As for the guys who aren’t playing in the game, the break means something completely different. It’s a welcome four days of spending time with family and not having to think about baseball.
“Physically, I feel fine, but mentally, you just want to turn it off for a few days and enjoy your time off, and come back Friday and start a tough stretch,” said closer Kenley Jansen.
Added Mattingly: “Guys are kind of all over, so you don’t want guys to come back sunburnt to the point they can’t move their arms or something like that. So you like guys to use a little bit of sense over the break and be careful, but I think on your flight back to St. Louis, you’ve mentally got to be ready to play baseball, and I think that’s what we talk about more than anything.”
While his four players are in Minnesota and others spread across the country, Mattingly is going to be gardening. He hasn’t been home in awhile and he has a list of chores to complete.
Follow Everett Cook on Twitter @everettcookCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times