The Detroit Tigers had a disappointing first half of the season.  They played below expectations, but head into the All-Star break on a five-game winning streak.  A nice finish before getting a few days off.

Now, more good news for Tigers fans.  Justin Verlander will start the All-Star game for the American League on Tuesday night.

There are many factors which go into being named the starting pitcher at the All-Star game.  Of course, you have to be having a great season.  It helps if you haven't pitched for a while, and there's often a little bit of politics involved.

The two starting pitchers are chosen by the managers of each All-Star team.  This year's American League team is managed by Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington.

Washington and his Rangers knocked the Tigers out of the playoffs last year.  Maybe Washington is hoping that the Tigers and their fans have forgotten and is trying to get on Verlander's good side before the Tigers return the favor this October. explains Ron Washington's decision to choose Verlander as the starting pitcher:

Statistically, AL manager Ron Washington could have justified any one of several choices for starting Tuesday's All-Star Game, from Major League ERA leader and 2011 All-Star starter Jered Weaver to AL wins co-leader David Price to White Sox sensation Chris Sale. In the end, Washington turned to the man many recognize as the nastiest pitcher in baseball.

"He is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, not just the American League," Washington said at a Monday press conference at Arrowhead Stadium. "The joy that I have of giving him the ball tomorrow; he's well-rested. I expect a lot out of him, and I know he expects a lot out of himself."

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