PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly says that the difficulty of selecting the pitchers and reserves for the National League and the criticism that followed has soured his first experience as an All-Star manager.
"I challenge anybody out there who thinks this is easy to try to do it, and then face the criticism afterward," Brenly said before Arizona opened a three-game series against Los Angeles on Monday night. "This is one of the worst things I've ever had to do."
Brenly chose six players from his defending World Series champion Diamondbacks and left off such names as Andruw Jones of Atlanta and Paul Lo Duca of the Dodgers.
Lo Duca obviously was upset. He wouldn't talk about the subject before Monday's game.
"If it's about the All-Star game, I've got nothing to say about that," he said as he brushed past reporters.
Brenly said there's no way to please everyone.
"This is a no-win proposition for whoever has to pick this ball club," Brenly said, "and you're going to get criticism from a million different directions, no matter who you pick. I think that's really kind of taken some of the luster off what I was hoping would be a really enjoyable experience."
With no Arizona players voted onto the starting lineup by fans, Brenly chose as reserves pitchers Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling and Byung-Hyun Kim, along with outfielder Luis Gonzalez and second baseman Junior Spivey. As reserve catchers, Brenly chose Arizona's Damian Miller and San Francisco's Benito Santiago, and left off Lo Duca.
"Up until a couple of weeks ago, Craig Counsell was going to be the seventh Diamondback on the All-Star roster," Brenly said, "then he went into a tailspin on that East Coast trip. He has started to recover. Unfortunately, it's just a little too late."
Brenly said that with the possible exception of Florida's Mike Lowell, Counsell's numbers hold up against any third baseman in the league.
As for his critics, Brenly was blunt.
"Last time I checked, I was the only guy in America who was asked to pick the National League All-Star team," Brenly said, "and I did it and there it is. If you don't like it, too bad."
Schilling criticized the system that has the fans vote for the eight starting position players, then leave the manager of the previous season's league champions fill out the roster, having to pick at least one player from every team. Schilling said the players and managers should pick the team, and that only the host team should be guaranteed a player.
He also said the rosters should be expanded.
"Unfortunately, the teams are picked under an archaic system," Schilling said.
Dodgers manager Jim Tracy would not criticize Brenly's selections, even though 11-game winner Kazuhisi Ishii and Lo Duca were left off his team, which leads the NL West.
The Dodgers have three players on the team -- pitchers Odalis Perez and Eric Gagne, and outfielder Shawn Green.
"It's a very difficult thing to do and it's a no-win situation," said Tracy, who will be one of the coaches for the National League. "I admire Bob Brenly for the fact that the three guys that we are taking without question deserve to be on that team. You could make a strong case for Ishii. You can make, I think, an even stronger case for Paul Lo Duca.
"But I'm not going to sit here and clamor over a no-win type situation."
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