Tagged: All-Star Game

All-Star Shame

SInce I began watching baseball, I always understood that the All-Star Game was a big deal. That the players that were a part of it were some of the very best that baseball had to offer. As I grew up and started paying attention to stats. I noticed that every single year, tons of deserving players have been snubbed each year. This year, however, had the most unbelievable snubs out of all the years that I can think of.

Joey Votto-The number one snub in my mind is Votto. I guess leading the league in OPS and ranking near the top of every other offensive stat doesn’t get you what it used to! I do understand that he is playing a tough position to get recognition. Albert Pujols is going to get voted in every year, Adrian Gonzalez was the lone representative of the Padres (More on that later), and Manager Charlie Manual picked his first baseman Ryan Howard.
Jeff Weaver– “The Dream Weaver” has been snubbed for what in my count is the third year in a row. The fact that he was a snub before should be enough reason to give him a bid. Weaver is leading the league in strike outs, and is tied in the league for quality starts. He is also among the top ten in both WHIP and ERA. Oh and by the way, this game is being played in his home stadium. Definitely deserved a spot over Fausto Carmona, CC Sabathia, or Phil Hughes.
Miguel Olivo– Olivo is hitting .070 points higher, has 8 more home runs, and has an ops of almost .300 points more than the voted starter at catcher, Yadier Molina. Olivo is leading all National League catchers in batting average, slugging percentage, home runs, and OPS. 
San Diego Padres Pitching Staff– The fact that out of starters Mat Latos, Jon Garland, Clayton Richard, and reliever Heath Bell not one member of the Padres’ pitching staff made it is a joke. I cannot remember the last time a first place team had only one representative.
Other mistakes
Michael Young deserved a spot as reserve third baseman over Alex Rodriguez. But of course with Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi managing the team, who didn’t see this one coming?
David DeJesus is hitting .324 and has an OBP near .440. Where is he?
The lone Orioles’ representative should have been outfielder Nick Markakis not Ty Wiggington.
Brennan Boesch is having the season that everybody expected Jason Heyward to have as a rookie. Boesch is hitting near .350 with an OPS around 1.000. By far the best offensive rookie in the Major Leagues.
I understand the at least one player-per-team rule, but Arizona’s Chris Young and Houston’s Michael Bourn should had been picked over outfielders like Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez, Washington’s Josh WIllingham, Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen, or Philadelphia’s Jayson Werth.
Those are only a few of the many mistakes made while filling out these two teams.

It’s the All-Star Game, not Homecoming.

Fans of Major League Baseball usually treat the “Mid-Summer Classic” as a way of seeing all of their favorite baseball players, whether they deserve to be there or not. This season appears to be no exception. That is at least for fans of the National League.

I am of the school of thought that the All-Star Game is an honor that should go to players whose stats during the first half of the season make them deserving of such an honor. Recently, the fan vote has been making this game a popularity contest (for the most part). I has been apparent that Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies fans have either been more heard or more biased than the rest of baseball.

I won’t get into an argument about this being a game for the fans vs. having the best team regardless of stats with it deciding home field advantage in the World Series. I will however, argue with some of the most recent leaders in positions for both league.

First Base:
American League– Maybe the most talent-filled position in all of baseball. If you were to tell me that The one two spots would have a difference of about only 300,000 I would say that made sense. However, if you told me that second place belonged to Mark Teixeira of the Yankees I would have to shake my head in shame. Justin Morneau of the Twins, Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, Paul Konerko of the White Sox, Billy Butler of the Royals and Kevin Youkilis (to name a few) are all more deversant than Tex to have a spot at the All-Star Game.

Leader- Justin Morneau, Twins.
My pick- Justin Morneau, Twins.

National League– Much like with the American League, this might be the position with the most players deserving on a bid. Albert Pujols of the Cardinals is always going to be the leader because he is the best player in the league. However, one can argue that Adrian Gonzalez (Padres), Joey Votto (Reds), and Ryan Howard (Phillies) all have better numbers than Pujols.

Leader- Albert Pujols, Cardinals.
My pick- Joey Votto, Reds.

Second Base:
American League– This might be the biggest runaway race in any position in the bigs. The Yankee’s Robinson Cano is the only player worth mentioning.

Leader- Robinson Cano, Yankees.
My pick- Robinson Cano, Yankees.

National League– Fan favorite Chase Utley of the Phillies is running away with this race in the polls. However, he is not having a season worth of a trip to Anaheim this summer. Martin Prado of the Braves is leading the league in hitting and Brandon Phillips of the Reds is having  an Utley-like year so far. With Utley on the disabled list, the deserving player should get the nod afterall.

Leader- Chase Utley, Phillies.
My pick- Martin Prado, Braves.

Third Base:
American League– Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays is quickly becoming the best player in baseball. The former Rookie of the Year is opening eyes and becoming the new face of baseball. That being said, Adrian Beltre of the Red Sox (No, he didn’t retire, he just played in Seattle for five seasons) is putting up some ridiculous numbers for a team that has desperately needed a rock in the middle of the line up to help Kevin Youkilis. Alex Rodriguez  of the Yankees and Michael Young of the Rangers are up to their usual ways as well.

Leader- Evan Longoria, Rays.
My pick- Adrian Beltre, Red Sox.

National League– This one of the cases I was talking about earlier. The Phillies’ Placido Polanco is putting up some good number but Scott Rolen (Reds), David Wright (Mets), and Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals) are all more deserving of the honor to start. Polanco is on the dl so that means that a more deserving player will start.

Leader- Placido Polanco, Phillies.
My pick- David Wright, Mets.

American League– As usual, Derek Jeter of the Yankees has a huge lead. As usual, that should not be the case.

Leader- Derek Jeter, Yankees.
My pick- Alex Gonzalez, Blue Jays.

National League– For a while, Jimmy Rollins (Phillies) had been leading at short. The only problem is that he had only played 12 games. The most deserving player is Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies), but he is disabled so it appears that the starter will be Hanley Ramirez (Marlins) once again.

Leader- Hanley Ramirez, Marlins.
My pick- Hanley Ramirez, Marlins.
American League– It is always hard to argue against the reigning MVP. Joe Mauer of the Twins is leading in voting, and deservingly so. The only two catcher’s whose numbers pop out are Victor Martinez (Indians) and Joe Buck (Blue Jays). Martinez is on the dl, so Buck should at least be the back up.
Leader- Joe Mauer, Twins.
My pick- Joe Mauer, Twins.

National League– Last update, the leader was Yadier Molina of the Cardinals. Quite frankly, with a batting average of .240 any other catcher in the league is more deserving than him. Molina shouldn’t be starting for his team, much less the National League. The truth is that Miguel Olivo of the Rockies is by the far the best offensive catcher this season, and no one but him should be starting this game.
Leader- Yadier Molina, Cardinals.
My pick- Miguel Olivo, Rockies.
American League– No arguments here.
Leaders- Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners. Josh Hamilton, Rangers. Carl Crawford, Rays.
My pick- Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners. Josh Hamilton, Rangers. Carl Crawford, Rays.
National League– Jason Heyward (Braves) was a leader, but he stated he won’t play if picked. Ryan Braun (Brewers) has alright numbers, but he is just there because he is a fan favorite.
Leaders- Ryan Braun, Brewers. Jason Heyward, Braves. Andre Ethier, Dodgers.
My picks- Andre Ethier, Dodgers. Marlon Byrd, Cubs. Jayson Werth, Phillies.