The Washington Times - July 9, 2012, 02:13PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The opening press conference for the All-Star Game just wrapped up. Both managers unveiled their starting lineups (no Nationals among them, though that was to be expected) and announced that Matt Cain would start for the NL squad while Justin Verlander starts for the AL team.

The managers, Ron Washington and Tony La Russa, also took a few questions before the American League players were made available to the media and La Russa was asked about the decision to add Nationals’ outfielder Bryce Harper to the NL team. Harper, who wasn’t added until Saturday evening when Giancarlo Stanton withdrew with a knee injury, was one of the last additions to the team.


La Russa said the outfield was easily the toughest and deepest position for him to choose players from and he felt that both Michael Bourn, who replaced Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond, and Harper were both deserving.

There was one other reason for La Russa’s inclination to add Harper: the phenom factor.

“It’d be nice to put our National League young phenom against our American League phenom because they’ve been exciting our baseball world,” La Russa said, grouping Harper with the Angels’ 20-year-old Mike Trout.

“It’s been really good for our game to see Trout and Harper come into the game.”

Here are the full American League and National League lineups:

National League

Carlos Gonzalez DH
Melky Cabrear CF
Ryan Braun LF
Joey Votto 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Buster Posey C
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Dan Uggla 2B
Rafael Furcal SS
Matt Cain P

American League

Derek Jeter SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Josh Hamilton LF
Jose Bautista RF
Prince Fielder 1B
Adrian Beltre 3B
David Ortiz DH
Mike Napoli C
Curtis Granderson CF
Justin Verlander P