I knew that would grab your attention.

Obviously, I haven’t gotten the call as a replacement player. But, if we were another day or two out, it just might come down to lottery tickets.

As the countdown clock winds down to the red carpet pre-game festivities, it seems that the “honor” of playing in the game has dissipated. Players are citing minor injuries, desire for time off (vacations) and myriad other reasons for waving off entry into the game. Chipper Jones and Alex Rodriguez are off to the disabled list because of knee issues. Derek Jeter is counting the dollars he didn’t shell out for his 3,000th hit ball and will be pimping his DJ/3K merchandise (OK, he’s hanging with Minka Kelly.).

I am happy to report that Andrew McCutchen finally got the nod and will represent the surprising Pirates squad. It was long overdue in this ridiculous process, but he finally got the call and the rousing ovation from his home crowd that he deserved. Enough pitchers bowed out of the mix that 11-game winner and McCutchen teammate, Kevin Correia, also made the squad. Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier, who was second in the NL fan vote to Shane Victorino (out with a thumb injury), edged out McCutchen in Bruce Bochy’s mind, but Ryan Braun’s withdrawal opened another door.

How McCutchen was left out of the fan vote for the extra slot is beyond me …

All in all, a total of 16 players have vacated their spots on the roster. Pitchers who started Sunday’s first-half finales are unable to participate in the game, so that accounts for a number of withdrawals.

It still counts, right?

The MLB All-Star Game is still the champion among these games. I don’t know that there’s any debating the fact. Unfortunately, the parade of “elected/selected/voted in players who are unable to participate” requires as long an introduction as those actually playing.

War, Joel Hanrahan and Michael Pineda!