Cubs' All-Stars Baez and Contreras provide spark despite off-field challenges

  • Baseball null CHICAGO — The All-Star Game on Tuesday night will be a special night for all the players involved, and especially so for the Cubs’ Javy Baez and Willson Contreras.They will both start for the National League for the second year in a row; the last Cubs player to start consecutive All-Star games was Sammy Sosa close to two decades ago, and they have not had two players in the starting lineup in back-to-back years since Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg in 1990 and 1991. The Cubs have not had a catcher start consecutive times since Gabby Hartnett in 1936 and 1937. Last year, Baez started at second base, and this year he’s the starting shortstop. He is just the fourth player in major league history to start the All-Star game in back-to-back years at different positions.  MORE: Watch 'ChangeUp,' a new live whiparound show on DAZNThere’s a lot that’s unique about what those two have accomplished. And they’re headed to the All-Star stage as two of the more dynamic players in the league. “They’re very charismatic,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “I think Javy’s one of the most watchable guys in the game, and if you’re around Willson enough, you don’t see that kind of performance behind the plate every day.”The All-Star Game is a yearly showcase of baseball’s best and most exciting players, and Baez and Contreras both fi[......]