Monday, July 7, 2008
Ok, so they're not all stars...
The All "Star" selections have been announced! I can't wait for the game; I'm obviously a huge fan of baseball, and add the mid-summer classic to the world's most famous stadium (one of them, anyways) and you've got a surefire hit.
Some of the selections were no-brainers that the fans couldn't have gotten wrong: Alex Rodriguez, Chase Utley, Lance Berkman and Chipper Jones, to name a few.
And as always, plenty of guys were left off their league's rosters who were arguably deserving of a trip to The Bronx: Jose Reyes (.299 avg, 9 HR, 32 SB) and John Lackey (6-2, 1.93 ERA) come immediately to mind.
But my favorites are they guys voted in (by either fans or players) who have no business being there. Let's take a look at some of this season's more dubious selections:
The Tampa Bay Rays. This is more a case of lack of any selections. They sit atop the vaunted American League East and have the best record in all of baseball, yet not a single player was elected to start? OK. Pitcher Scott Kazmir and catcher Dioner Navarro will represent the organization, who are both deserving of the trip. The Rays spin on the snub is that they stand out as a team, not as individuals. Sure, whatever. Because you know what? For the first time in the history of their organization they deserve to feel snubbed. Someone from the breakout team of 2008 - perhaps the decade - should be starting. Why not rookie 3B Evan Longoria? I'm not saying he should start at third over the completely deserving A-Rod, but perhaps at DH.
Speaking of DH, what is David Ortiz doing anywhere near the starting lineup? He's been on the freakin' disabled list since May 31st and will likely be out until at least the end of July, if not longer. Come on, fans, give the spot to someone more deserving, or at least someone who'll be able to play.
Jason Varitek. I'll give the fans some credit here; Varitek got in by player selection. However, Varitek is batting a pathetic .218 to date, and probably shouldn't be catching on his own team, let alone for the AL All Stars. At least he's not starting, but the players swung and missed here.
Giants closer Brian Wilson. If only because his 4.37 ERA makes his 24 saves look completely meaningless. And it's not like he's here because someone had to represent the Giants; starter Tim Lincecum (10-1, 2.49 ERA, 122 strike outs in 115.2 innings pitched) is already making the trip.
The last selection I'll pick on is Miguel Tejada. Overall his numbers are fine: 9 homers, .282 average. But the previously mentioned Jose Reyes has far more star power right now, not to mention significantly better numbers.
So the fans got some wrong, nothing new there. And no matter who plays, a ton of people will tune in to watch (some of) baseball's best slug it out against each other.
I'll tune in to watch some of baseball's most overrated.
In other Bad Baseball news from Monday night...
The Royals beat the Rays when they lit up Dan Wheeler in the 10th inning. Wheeler was knocked around for two hits (both home runs) and three runs . . . Phillies starter Adam Eaton struggled against the Mets; he allowed six runs on 10 hits over 2.2 innings. The Mets bullpen nearly gave the game back when they allowed seven runs over the final three innings of play, no doubt just to set up the save for Billy Wagner . . . Rough night for both starters as the Astros took on the Pirates. Runelvys Hernandez allowed 10 runs on 13 hits over four innings for Houston while Phil Dumatrait gave up seven runs on nine hits in 3.1 innings of work for Pittsburgh . . . The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Southern California of the United States jumped all over the Texas Rangers and starter Luis Mendoza, who allowed eight runs on nine hits in an inning and a third.