DENVER -- Manager Fredi Gonzalez is looking forward to the opportunity to be surrounded by baseball's top players at this year's All-Star Game, as he and Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle have accepted an invitation from Cardinals manager Mike Matheny to be part of this year's National League coaching staff. The All-Star Game will be played on July 15 at Minneapolis' Target Field.
"You never turn these things down, because you don't know when you're going to get asked again," Gonzalez said. "The only way you [go] for sure is if you get in the World Series. When I got asked, it took me about five seconds to respond."
Matheny based his decisions on conversations he had with former All-Star managers at the most recent Winter Meetings.
"They basically said [to take] guys you have a rapport with and who you respect in the business," Matheny said. "I feel that [these two] could add some value into helping us win this thing, because it's not just a badge of honor anymore. It has purpose. And I think both of those guys are going to be extremely motivated to try and put the best product out there and help me through that game."
Julio Teheran, Craig Kimbrel, Evan Gattis and Justin Upton are the likely Braves candidates to join Gonzalez at this year's event. Gonzalez will take his son, Alex, and his parents to Minneapolis to enjoy the festivities.
"For me it's still the big classic, or the Midsummer Classic," he said. "You see all of those great players at a great venue. I don't think you could ever get ho-hum about it. I don't think I could ever turn it down. If they keep asking me, I'll keep going."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.