In the hours before the All-Star game, Huston Street dressed in the uniform of the San Diego Padres. The Angels are trying to put a halo on him, soon, and Street would be thrilled to join them.
“I would love it,” he said.
Street cited the chance to “play with guys like Albert Pujols and Mike Trout” as well as to play for Manager Mike Scioscia. Street broke into the major leagues with the Oakland Athletics from 2005-08, when the Angels won the American League West three times in four years.
“I was probably too young to realize how good he was at the time,” Street said of Scioscia. “That’s one of the best managers, maybe, of all time. If I went there, I’d have a real chance to win.”
The Angels would love to add a closer, and they would prefer Street to Jonathan Papelbon of the Philadelphia Phillies or Joakim Soria of the Texas Rangers. Street, 30, has a 1.09 earned-run average, with 24 saves in 25 opportunities.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are among the other teams interested in Street. The Angels and Pirates traded demoted closers — Jason Grilli to Anaheim, Ernesto Frieri to Pittsburgh — but remain in search of closing help.
Street said he is happy in San Diego. However, his contract does not include a no-trade clause. The Padres — or any team that might trade for him — can keep him next season for $7 million.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said. “I wish I did.”
He does know this: the Padres are not going to win this year.
“I want to win this year,” Street said. “When you’ve got the Dodgers and Giants in your division — barring a 20-game winning streak — it would obviously be tough to win this year.”
Why must it take three hours to complete the Home Run Derby? On Tuesday, one day after another sluggish derby, Commissioner Bud Selig offered a blunt explanation.
“Television wants a three-hour program,” he said.
ESPN airs the derby, part of a television rights package that pays Major League Baseball an average of $700 million per year. The derby is ESPN’s highest-rated program every summer, except in World Cup years.
An ESPN spokesman declined to comment on whether the network insists upon a three-hour broadcast and whether it would consider a shorter one.
Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies, the captain of the National League derby squad, said he did not believe the derby dragged.
“It doesn’t bother me how long it is,” Tulowitzki said. “I would stay out all night and take batting practice all night if they let me. Hopefully, they make it longer.”
Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who watched the contest but did not participate, would not mind a crisper derby.
“After you see the first round, it’s, ‘All right, we’ve seen everybody,’” McCutchen said. “It’s kind of like, ‘Oh, a home run?’”
Trout doubled, tripled and drove in two runs. The only other player to do that in an All-Star game: Hall of Famer Earl Averill, in 1934. In the first seven All-Star at-bats of his career, Trout has four hits, three for extra bases. . . . The Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig can only improve upon his first All-Star experience. After failing to hit a homer in the Home Run Derby, he struck out in all three at-bats in the All-Star game and misplayed a ball off the wall. . . . The All-Star game will be held in Cincinnati next season. Selig said he hoped to award “two or three” more games before he retires in January and said the Dodgers “are on the strong list of candidates.” Dodger Stadium last played host to the All-Star game in 1980. . . . Major league players honored their late union chief, Michael Weiner, by announcing a $50,000 labor studies scholarship fund in his memory. . . . Selig appointed former Dodgers outfielder Billy Bean as the MLB “ambassador for inclusion.” Bean, 50, came out as gay in 1999, four years after he last played in the majors. Selig directed Bean to provide “guidance and training . . . to support the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community throughout Major League Baseball.”