La Russa looking beyond stats with Dickey, ASG

La Russa looking beyond stats with Dickey, ASG

NEW YORK -- R.A. Dickey's statistics may give him an advantage when it comes to starting next week's All-Star Game in Kansas City. But such credentials are not all that National League manager Tony La Russa is considering.

"I've given that a lot of thought, but there is an issue about catching him and what spot to use him," La Russa said on a conference call Thursday. "His season has gotten everyone's attention, including our staff's, and we're talking about the best way to win the game with our personnel, and how we use Dickey will be a part of that."

As La Russa intimated, the main issue could be a hesitancy to pair Dickey with the NL's 25-year-old starting catcher, Buster Posey. But pairing Dickey with Yadier Molina, widely considered one of the best defensive catchers in baseball, would mean waiting to use him until the middle innings.

"Dickey could certainly start the game," La Russa said. "But I look at the ... guys that were selected, and each of those guys could make a claim. So as a manager, you have to keep your heart pure and do the best you can for the team over one individual."

Mets manager Terry Collins disagreed to an extent, though Collins -- a member of the NL's coaching staff in Kansas City -- said he would not call La Russa to lobby for his pitcher.

"You walk that thin line," Collins said. "The game means something now. [But] I'm certainly not going to talk to Tony La Russa about strategy. He's one of the best in the game, if not the best in the game. I'm sure he'll have a plan and it will work its way into however he wants to use R.A."