PHILADELPHIA -- A reluctant Terry Mulholland finally decided to accept his nomination to the National League All-Star team yesterday.
That was just one twist to a bizarre day that saw Lenny Dykstra, perhaps the driving force behind the Philadelphia Phillies' scintillating start, get snubbed while third baseman Dave Hollins was added to a Philadelphia contingent that also includes starting catcher Darren Daulton and first baseman John Kruk for Tuesday's game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Mulholland actually went on TV with Tug McGraw at 6:20 p.m. and said he wasn't going to go.
"I apologize to Tug," Mulholland said before explaining his reasons for wanting to skip the event.
"About a month ago I made a promise to my 4 1/2 -year-old son Tyler that I would spend the All-Star break with him," Mulholland said. "We were going to go to Arizona for some fishing and other things. I was prepared to do that, whether I was named to the All-Star team or not."
Mulholland (9-6, 2.72 ERA) didn't even know he had been selected to the NL staff until the visiting clubhouse boy told him at 5:55 p.m. when he arrived at the park.
"I figured if he had the information, it must be official," Mulholland said.
L Mulholland's disinterest in the honor stunned his teammates.
"I realized I'd be letting them down," Mulholland said. "My teammates were very proud of me and very congratulatory. When they caught wind that I wasn't going, they became very concerned."
Mulholland also sought the council of his father.
"I talked to my dad. He was all for it. It's a chance for him to see me in a situation that might never happen the rest of my life," Mulholland said.
"The more thought I gave to it, I also realized my son would be proud to see his dad in an All-Star Game."
Mulholland's stance is not out of character.
"I'm very uncomfortable in the limelight. I don't like to go, 'Here I am, Terry Mulholland.' I'm not one who really gets a big kick out of individual awards. . . . I've always thought of the All-Star Game as just an exhibition. But I realized it would be a disservice to my teammates if I turned the honor down.
"The fact that my peers think that Terry Mulholland is an All-Star impresses me and I feel good about that," he added. "But I never played to be an All-Star. My dream is to play in the World Series."
Dykstra refused to comment on his status, fearing he'd say something he'd regret.
Dykstra leads the majors with 82 runs scored, the most by a Phillie after 85 games since Chuck Klein had 91 in 84 games in 1932.
Dykstra also paces the NL in doubles and is among the tops in walks, on-base percentage and stolen bases while hitting .341 the past 53 games to raise his average from .189 to .296.
"Lenny not making it makes this tough for me to enjoy," Hollins said. "I'm disappointed the way it worked out because he's a big reason why we're where we are."