For years we’ve all said that the All-Star system is flawed. We’ve said that it needs fine tuning so that the right guys make the team instead of favorites or veterans that aren’t worthy of the honor.
Well for the first time in my life I actually agree with the critics, the All-Star system needs to be fixed and fixed now.
However, not in the way that you think.
You see the criticism from the powers that be are that the All-Star game is a popularity contest and that the fans make the wrong decisions sometimes… um, the All-Star Game is for the fans so of course it’s a popularity contest.
As fans we want to see a combination of the best players in the game as well as our favorites play in our game. Does Derek Jeter deserve to be an All-Star? Probably not from a numbers standpoint, but his image and mark on the game have made him a fan favorite so of course he should be there.
Is José Bautista the game’s best player? No, but the fans love him hence the reason why he was the number one vote getter.
Is Josh Hamilton an All-Star even though he missed half of the season? No, but fans remember the home run derby from years ago so of course they want to see him in the game and as often as possible.
It’s the fans game, let them vote for whoever they want to play the game and enjoy the action. Here’s my problem with the process of selecting the All-Stars; the league rule stating that there has to be an All-Star from each team (if that is a little league, everyone’s a happy camper rule then I don’t know what is), the fact that players and managers select the rest of the team outside of the starting 9, and the fact that they pick the pitchers, not the fans.
So let me get this straight, fans can pick every starter instead of the starting pitcher, or any pitcher for that matter and players pick the rest of the team based on their personal opinions (which is sometimes delegated by picking favorites themselves. Granted that’s what the fans do… BUT THEY’RE THE FANS!)? C’mon Son!
When I look at this All-Star team and the reserves and pitchers for each team It’s beyond silly.
Jose Valverde? A closer with a 3.09 ERA and 19 walks?
Howie Kendrick with 8 home runs and 26 RBI?
Matt Wieters at .261 with 7 home runs?
David Price at 8-6 with a 3.43 ERA?
Tim Lincecum at 6-6? Chipper Jones at .257?
So the players felt that Hunter Pence was a better option on last place Houston than Andrew McCutcheon who is leading a resurgence of baseball in Pittsburgh with the Pirates being only 3 games out of first at the beginning of Sunday.
So Michael Young, a powerless DH, was a better option than Jhonny Peralta who has belted more home runs has a higher slugging percentage and plays every day?
Ryan Vogelsong has had a better “Full Year” than Ian Kennedy (who by the way plays for Arizona, where the All-Star game is.)?
And the biggest one, Felix Hernandez at 8-7 with a 3.35 ERA, Price, Royals reliever Aaron Chow (who honestly has had a great year and relievers that aren’t closers need more pub in this game in my opinion) and C.J. Wilson all are having better years that AL wins leader C.C. Sabathia who is also 6th in strikeouts, 3rd in innings pitched and has been arguably the best pitcher in the AL in the last month not named Justin Verlander?
Yes, I am a Yankees fan so the Sabathia snub hurt more than any of the others. However, anyone… AND I MEAN ANYONE that has watched C.C. understands how important he is to the Yankees and knows his place among baseball’s elite pitchers.
He has only one start this year where he hasn’t gone into the seventh inning, one start with less than 100 pitches, a soon to be sub 3 ERA and a WHIP that borders the 1.1-1.2 range. In other words to the naked eye or on the stat sheet C.C. delivers.
He is one of baseball’s top 5 pitchers and the only pitcher in the league right now that has a chance to eclipse the 300 win plateau (if he doesn’t breakdown from his weight). Every time he goes on the mound he is a sure thing, and he’s not on the All-Star team?
The worst is still this notion that every team needs an All-Star. The Twins are cool, but come on Michael Cuddyer over Paul Konerko? Wieters over Brennan Boesch? Heath Bell over Mike Morse? Those guys are having decent years (not Wieters, uh-uh, sorry) but there are other guys that are deserving of those spots due to their performance on the field not just because their team needs a star.
My advice is let the fans do all of the voting, pitchers included. Let them pick the starters, relievers and bench guys and if a player drops out due to injury or another reason then let the league pick the replacements.
And get rid of this stupid every team gets an All-Star rule (for that matter stop letting this game decide who gets home field advantage in the World Series, highly unnecessary.)
This is the fans game and whoever they want to see we should let them see. It’s worked for this long with the starters so why not go the extra mile and let them pick the whole damn team?
Because after today it’s clear the players or managers aren’t too good at it.