All Star bogacity

So the Major League Baseball All-Star game was this week.  A lot of thoughts, then some picks:

*The fact that “it means something”.  Ridiculous.  Knee Jerk reaction to the tie in 2002.  I actually had to look that up.  11 years ago?  Seems shorter.  Guess I am getting old and time is flying by ridiculously fast.  The tie seemed like a few years ago.  But still a stupid concept where an exhibition game determines home field advantage in the World Series.  What about best record?  The excuse is scheduling.  Mostly.  But the NBA and NHL schedule other events in their buildings during the playoffs months in advance (perhaps showing their confidence, or lack thereof, in the home team making a run, but that’s a different story) and it all seems to work out.  Why not in baseball?  Maybe I missed all the other problems.  But there has to be a better solution.

*34 man rosters…that turn into over 40 maybe, with the previous Sunday pitchers getting scratched, injuries, bogus injuries, vacation plans, whatever.  Too many guys make the team that shouldn’t.  Period.  And then we get to call them “All-Stars”.  Silly.

*I actually like that every team has to be represented.  There ends up being 100 guys on each team, so why can’t one guy make it from each team in the league?  No reason to exclude in this sport.  Doesn’t mean he has to play in the actual game.  Ask Jason Castro about that one from this year.  Football should do the same, since that is about the most meaningless All-Star game ever played every year, including your local Little League.

*There is a groundswell of support for All Star games being about the best players, not the guys with the best half seasons so far.  I hear some of that argument, but not completely.  Assuming Derek Jeter didn’t rip his quad open the weekend before the game, this theory would then have put him as the starting SS in the game (actually, surprised he didn’t get voted in anyway, cuz you know, he’s Jetes!).  But then again, the object is to win the game for home field advantage in the World Series.  So if Ichiro can play D, steal a base and maybe throw out a runner, then maybe he adds value to the game?  I don’t know.  Delicate balance there.  All Star games going back to when we were kids seem to reward the best performers up until that specific point.  As has MLB.  And the NBA.  And the NHL.  (Of course the NFL is after the season).  Plus, maybe the guys that are hot right now, but not true stars, may help you win the game anyway.  So there is that.  Can see both sides.  And it will be reflected below to some degree.

*Middle relievers seem to be vogue picks lately.  And I loved that Okajima got in back in 2007.  And I rooted for Uehara this year to get voted in.  But that’s the Boston fan in me, I apologize.  I don’t think they should ever be selected, unless the dominance is unparalleled.  And Alex Torres from Tampa came close this year.  1 run allowed in 26.1 innings.  Nice.  But let’s face it, first, middle relievers are failed closers or starters.  They are middle relievers for a reason.  Second, how high pressure are the situations they are in?  We’d have to break down every game.  If Torres throws 2 hitless innings in every 8-1 TB game, how great is that?  As for lefty specialists, they have value.  But All-Stars?  Then Mike Myers would have been a 10 time All-Star.  And there is something inherently wrong with that.  I am glad that Brett Cecil and Steve Delabar got one guy out apiece in the game this year.  I root for guys like that.  Especially after hearing Delabar’s story and seeing the scar on his elbow.  Good for them.  But they ain’t All-Stars folks.  Especially from a last place team.

*Yasiel Puig an All-Star?  Please.  Hot start yes, but 150 AB’s.  60% of his outs by K.  5-8 on steals.  8 HR’s, but only 19 RBI’s.  Etc.  Great talent, but let’s hold off on him being in the game.  If so, where was the outcry for Jose Iglesias in the game?  About the same average, but have to think infinitely better defensively.  No way he makes it either.  Stupid talk on Puig.

OK enough.  Here is my American League team.  Based on the 34 man rosters (21 position players, 13 pitchers).  Every team represented.  Note that I have taken some liberties.  Simply cuz I can.  (S-starter…probably quite obvious…)

C:  Mauer (S), Santana, Castro

Notes:  I would never include 3 C’s normally, but Castro has to represent the Astros.  Especially when Altuve would be the other choice, but there would 4 2B ahead of him.

1B:  Davis (S), Fielder

Notes:  Weak 1B class this year, which almost never happens.  Tempted to take 4th 2B (Kendrick) over Fielder cuz he hasn’t been all that great, but couldn’t in the end.

2B:  Cano (S), Kipnis, Pedroia

Notes:  As noted above, Kendrick worthy.  Just no space.

3B:  Cabrera (S), Beltre, Longoria, Donaldson

Notes:  3B is deep this year in the AL.  Seager is another that made waves.  Notice another name missing?  You won’t in a minute.

SS:  Machado (S), Hardy

Notes:  I know Machado has played 3B exclusively this year.  But the AL SS crop is weak , the 3B crop is strong, and Manny is biding his time at 3B until Hardy departs and he goes back to his natural position of SS.  So I am putting him here.  Tough if you don’t like it.

OF:  N Cruz (S), Trout (S), Bautista (S).  Left to Right.  Reserves:  Ibanez, A. Jones.

Notes:  Nellie’s gonna have to play left in my format, but these are the guys.  PED’s or no PED’s.  Biogenesis or no Biogenisis.  Topic for another day,  Ibanez?  Really?  Check the numbers.  2nd in OPS among OF’s.  Who did you want, Daniel Nava?  I hate that Jones doesn’t walk, but he’s good.

DH:  Ortiz (S), Encarnacion

Notes:  Edwin could actually take some reps at 1st too.  But clear cut here.

SP:  King Felix (S), Sale. Scherzer, Verlander, Darvish, D. Holland, Kuroda, Shields, Iwakuma

Notes:  I don’t care if Max is 13-1, Felix is the best.  Sales’ and Shields’ records don’t show how great they have been.  Verlander is Verlander.  I just could not include Colon, sorry.  And Buchholz and Anibal Sanchez have missed time.  Lackey?  Ugh.  I think starters are fairly represented.

MP:  None.

Notes:  Just can’t.  Lot of guys having good years.  The aforementioned Cecil and Delabar.  Uehara.  Crain.  Smyly.  Scheppers.  Benoit.  Christ, even Andrew Miller had a case.  But not in my world.

CP:  Rivera (S), Nathan, Balfour, G. Holland

Notes:  Perkins was a near miss here.  But I feel similar about closers to some degree as I do middle relievers.  There are a handful of Rivera’s, Hoffman’s, Wagner’s, maybe Papelbon’s, etc.  Well, there is only one Rivera, but you know what I mean.  There are only a few guys that can lock down in the 9th consistently.  For years.  Nathan is close.  But there are a lot more Kevin Gregg’s out there (unhittable one year, totally hitable the next…Jason Grilli anyone??), than there are Mariano’s, that is clear.

Wow, this is long.  I am done.  But it all felt good…



About mpdenton

I am a passionate and life long fan of the local teams...and by local I mean New England. I remember the days of Ray Bourque, Larry Bird, Steve Grogan and Wade Boggs...meaning I have lived the highs and lows of the Boston sports scene. With all this pent up Boston sports emotion, I clearly have a lot to say about the local teams and sometimes about sports in general. Maybe even the Revolution... I appreciate you reading my blog and hope you enjoy my rants.

Posted on July 20, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Good points Mr Blowhard. MLB will not “revoke” the winner gets home field, at least as long as Uncle Bud is the commish. I think that this is another example of some of the bs that permeates the MLB. I know that purists and others would argue that baseball is the only true sport where players like Cobb, Young, Wagner, Ruth can all be compared to players of this era. But they seem to hold on to “tradition” a little too tightly. World Series home field alternating is just as silly as winner of the All Star game getting home field. It is the only sport I know where one might argue that the regular season success doesn’t serve any real purpose.

    Bottom line, every single “all star” game is a gigantic waste of time: for players, fans, cities, dogs and cats.

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