Some snubs, but MLB seemed to get All-Star rosters right
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
You have to hand it to the Major League Baseball fans. For the most part they got it right with the All-Star voting.
The fan voting has actually gotten better the last couple of years. I guess you have to credit the Internet for that. Players stats are so readily available these days, fans stay away from just voting for their hometown players.
That's not to say there aren't any mistakes, but they seem to have done a good job this year.
Sure Derek Jeter probably does not deserve to be on the American League team, but really, are you going to nitpick about him, MLB's poster child since the day he became a regular player 15 years ago? He's an icon and should he get hit No. 3,000 before next Tuesday's Mid-Summer Classic it will be a terrific celebration for him in Arizona.
The fans came out in droves over the past week to right what would have been a couple of travesties when New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes and Tigers catcher Alex Avila emerged as the top vote-getters at their respective positions.
Even though Reyes has been the best player in either league this season, I probably could have lived with Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki winning out, but had Russell Martin won out over anyone in the AL behind the plate I would have been calling for a change in the entire process.
Andrew McCutchen was left off the roster despite having better numbers than almost all the reserve NL outfielders.
Speaking of Martin, how exactly is he on the American League roster as a reserve?
Martin is hitting .222. Was it the tremendous .185 clip he hit at in June that put him over the top? His selection was clearly the most curious for me on the American League side, especially when you realize that Paul Konerko (,317, 21 HR, 62 RBI) was left off the squad altogether.
Konerko, though, is one of the five AL players vying for the final roster spot and I think he'll probably find a way onto the team. That's more than can be said for New York Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia.
When I made my American League picks earlier in the week I actually contemplated naming Sabathia as my starting pitcher. Texas manager Ron Washington thought otherwise, as did the players, who didn't even have him in their top-five in voting.
Sabathia is in line to pitch next Sunday, meaning he wouldn't have been able to pitch in the game anyway, but he should have been named to the team.
Look at some of the pitchers on the American League side. Gio Gonzalez? Aaron Crow? Jose Valverde? C.J. Wilson? Those were Texas manager Ron Washington's choices ahead of Sabathia?
I know Wilson is Washington's guy, but really?
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy took some liberties with the NL squad too, as he plucked three of his starting pitchers, the most curious of whom being Ryan Vogelsong, a lifelong journeyman who has thrived this season for the defending world champions.
There is nothing wrong with Bochy rewarding Vogelsong. Let's be honest, he may never get this chance again. But if you are going to go that route, maybe you should have left Matt Cain off the roster? Just a thought.
There aren't many undeserving All-Stars in the NL. I thought Ryan Howard would have gotten onto the team, but it is hard to make a case for a guy who is hitting .253. Cincinnati's Jay Bruce was a surprise, and how Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen is not even one of the five finalists for the NL squad is beyond me.
Bruce had a huge May, but has done nothing the rest of the way, whereas McCutchen is the best player on one of the more surprising teams in the league this season. Not to mention he has better numbers than almost all the outfielders chosen as reserves ahead of him.
We probably could have done without three Phillies' starters being chosen, but they have the best team in baseball and are in that spot because of their tremendous starting pitching.
If you can make a case for which one to leave off, go right ahead. I'm all ears.