NEW YORK -- While the 10th annual XM Satellite Radio All-Star Futures Game at Yankee Stadium was created to showcase Major League Baseball's stars of tomorrow, that doesn't mean the coaches can't enjoy themselves. Davey Johnson and Tino Martinez provide glimpses into their expectations for Sunday's game and a look at the starters for both squads.
Yankee Davey Dandy: He won two World Series rings. He made the All-Star Game four times at second base. He won three Gold Gloves. He played 13 seasons in the Majors (1965-1978 with Atlanta, Baltimore, the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia). He competed against Roger Maris and Whitey Ford at Yankee Stadium. And that was just as a player.
Davey Johnson, the manager of the U.S. Team, led the New York Mets from 1984-1990, was named American League Manager of the Year in 1997 (Baltimore) and has been coaching USA Baseball since 2005.
But his journey began when he made the Texas All-Star team 50 years ago. Playing for an under-18 team in his home state, Johnson was among a select group of youngsters chosen to travel to New York to battle the New York City All-Stars at Yankee Stadium. Backbreaking work has kept him involved in baseball ever since.
"In the hotel room, Jerry Grote made me sit on his shoulders while he did push-ups and I said, 'This guy's crazy,'" Johnson said. "And from that we both made it to play here in New York.
"I'm back wearing the USA uniform and back in Yankee Stadium, so it's kind of gone full circle."
Johnson, who seems a perfect fit for the U.S. coaching job, also will manage the Olympic squad in Beijing. Johnson said up to half the players on the 24-man U.S. roster will play for their country in the Olympic Games, so he's excited for the opportunity to watch them play in person before competition begins in August.
"By and large, a lot of those decisions have already been made, so they're really not auditioning for me, but it's nice to be able to look at a player's numbers," Johnson said.
Speaking of lineups.
"I asked [Tino Martinez] if he had his lineup, and he said, 'Nope, I don't.' So I asked if I needed a lineup and they said, 'No, I didn't,'" Johnson said. "So I automatically went and made a lineup up, because I knew somebody would want it."
Though, mainly because he's seen so little of the players, Johnson's style of determining specific starters is fairly unorthodox.
"I had a choice at second between Chris Getz and Cliff Pennington," Johnson said. "Pennington went to [Texas] A&M and because I went to A&M, Pennington's going to start over Getz. That's how you do these things."
Same with perhaps the most noteworthy name in the game -- given his involvement in Monday's trade for CC Sabathia -- Matt LaPorta.
"LaPorta went to Florida, I almost went to Florida, I live in Florida, so he's the first baseman," Johnson said.
Regardless of who's starting, Johnson expects to relish the experience of being back in a big league dugout.
"I love baseball and I love managing," Johnson said. "I like what I'm doing, there's enough water to float my boat and representing the United States is a big responsibility. I'm proud to be chosen to handle that responsibility."
Manager Martinez? For World manager Tino Martinez, Sunday's Futures Game will serve as both a final homecoming and a debut.
The former Yankee first baseman, who spent seven of his 16 Major League seasons in pinstripes, doesn't have much managerial experience. The only coaching he's done has been working with hitters at the University of South Florida.
"I've really enjoyed teaching the players," Martinez said of his abbreviated managerial experience. "I always thought it'd be boring, to coach the game I wanted to play so much. But since I've been sitting there watching games as a coach, I love it."
Martinez fueled his newly discovered desire to instruct by sticking close to Yankees manager Joe Girardi during Spring Training. He also realizes his experiences as a player could potentially help pave his path to a coaching career.
"My last year here, I sat on the bench a lot and you sit by the coaches and manage the game as you go along," Martinez said. "Even when you're playing in them, you're always thinking ahead.
"It's easy on TV to make decisions, but when you're in the dugout and everything rides on your decision, it's a lot tougher than it looks."
Sunday's game, however, isn't a chance for managers to flex their intellectual muscles. Don't expect Martinez to orchestrate any earth-shattering moves unless the game is close late.
"This game is all about the players," he said. "I talked to my coaching staff and for the first six or seven innings, I'm not going to ask anybody to lay down a bunt. It's their time to shine and show the world what they can do. I don't want to take the bat out of anybody's hands."
As for making one of his last appearances in the dugout before the stadium closes its doors for good at the end of the Yankees' season...
"It's going to be sad when they tear this one down," Martinez said. "But when you look across at the other one, it's a beautiful place. Hopefully they can just start a whole new championship tradition there and get it going as well.
"I loved playing here and I love watching games here."
Get Your Pencils Ready: Here are the starting lineups and pitchers for the 12:30 p.m. contest, which will be expanded this year to nine innings from seven.
Starting for the U.S. squad will be Clayton Richard (CWS). The red-hot 6-foot-5 left-hander has won each of his six starts (2.37 ERA) since being called up to Triple-A Charlotte and boasts a 29:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The former quarterback at the University of Michigan has allowed 25 hits in 38 innings at the Triple-A level while giving up just 66 base knocks in 83 2/3 innings at Double-A Birmingham.
Getting the nod for the World Team will be three-time Futures Game selection Carlos Carrasco (PHI). The right-hander -- one of four Phillies represented in the game -- is 5-7 with a 4.09 ERA in Double-A Reading and has 91 strikeouts in 99 innings pitched. Carrasco, the top prospect in the organization, has one of the most electric fastballs in the Minor Leagues, as well as a devastating changeup that leads scouts to believe he projects as a solid 1 or 2 pitcher when he reaches the Major Leagues.
Nick Cammarota is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.