by PuckStopsHere on 07/16/09 at 03:16 AM ET
The baseball All Star break is ending. It happened without the current American League MVP, Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia was voted by the fans to be the starter at second base. He skipped the All Star Game because his wife is having complications in her pregnancy. Though he missed a couple games earlier in the season to be with his wife, he did not miss the game directly prior to the All Star break and he will not miss the game directly after it. He was not at the All Star Game to mingle with the press. This would not have been tolerated in the Gary Bettman NHL. In the NHL when Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk missed the All Star Game to rehab injuries, they were effectively suspended for the game following the break. Sidney Crosby was also planning to miss the game due to injury, but chose at the last minute to attend in a non-playing role and this was considered to be OK.
Nicklas Lidstrom had been playing with tendonitis in his elbow and used the weekend off to try to recover for the rest of the season. Datsyuk hurt his hip in the final game before All Star break and did not complete that game. Crosby had a knee injury that kept him out of the game, though he still travelled to it.
The NHL suspensions were a rather stupid over-reaction to players missing the All Star Game. They all had legitimate reasons. There were legitimate injuries to keep them out of an exhibition game. Dustin Pedroia has a legitimate reason to miss the All Star Game as well. He is not injured and he will not be suspended for it. Clearly in this case, baseball is doing things much better than hockey. That is because hockey took a Draconian step that reflects badly upon it.
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