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Maybe we need to lay off the Omar Infante All-Star selection

Jul 5, 2010, 6:14 PM EDT

Jayson Stark tweets that both of the All-Star managers were told by Major League Baseball that they needed to pick a “multi-position” player in order to take advantage of the new rule allowing managers to return one player to the game after he comes out. It was for that reason, Stark says, Charlie Manuel chose Omar Infante and Joe Girardi chose Ty Wigginton, each of whom are capable of playing multiple positions.

Stark’s take: if fans had known that beforehand, and if there had been a position for, say, “designated utilityman” or something, no one would have had a problem with the Infante pick. He’s probably right about that.

Of course that still doesn’t make perfect sense because, to take advantage of the re-substitution rule, the managers would have to play Infante and Wigginton someplace else first, remove them and then return them to the game, which means more play from undeserving players than from legitimate All-Stars, and that would be silly.  Better to have no re-substitution rule at all and instead have an extra roster spot for utility guy who is not intended to play unless the game goes into extra innings, the team gets desperate or whatever.

But I get what Stark’s saying.  And it makes it pretty clear that Charlie Manuel didn’t think that Omar Infante was somehow a more deserving All-Star selection than Joey Votto or someone.  The bosses told him to take a utility guy, and as far as utility guys go, Infante is as good a choice as any in the National League.

He still needs to explain that Ryan Howard pick, though, because he’s just got no business there this year.

  1. Old Gator - Jul 5, 2010 at 6:38 PM

    Next thing you know, the batters will be allowed to use hockey sticks. What an idiotic rule. It’s just part of a long parade of fixing what ain’t broke rules that began with the desecration of the game called the designated hitter. If I assess the depths of Bud Light’s imbecility correctly, he’s probably “trying out” this dumbass resubstitution rule for the big show. Can’t he go play stickball in traffic or something?

  2. nps6724 - Jul 5, 2010 at 6:54 PM

    I like the idea of having a designated utilityman who only plays due to injury or extra innings. It doesn’t take away a roster spot from a more deserving player and it gives a guaranteed All-Star spot to an oft-overlooked part of the game.

  3. mission - Jul 5, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    Infante might not have crazy numbers, but he has came up huge for the Braves in clutch times on more than a couple occasions.
    He’s asked to do a lot of things and play Bobbyball … most guys wouldn’t like it, Infante does it consistently well.

  4. belicheck's cheat codes - Jul 5, 2010 at 7:23 PM

    the only problem with your quasi-defense of the Infante pick (a guy who isn’t even eligible for stuff like, oh i don’t know, the batting title) is that there is another multi-positioned guy on the NL team, one who deserves to be an all-star. oh yeah, that guy ALSO plays for the Braves. his name is Martin Prado, in case you’ve never heard of him. and anyone familiar to a Yahoo league knows he’s 1B/2B/3B eligible. blogger fail

  5. Craig Calcaterra - Jul 5, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    Martin Prado is starting at 2B for the NL.
    Reader fail.

  6. EG - Jul 5, 2010 at 7:45 PM

    Which makes Prado a PERFECT candidate to be “re-entered” into the game at a different position. Like you already mentioned in your post, it’s not like Infante will play…get removed…& then get inserted back into the lineup.
    Craig fail.

  7. walk - Jul 5, 2010 at 7:48 PM

    Hmm i like the take on this one from the league office. They think “utilityman” is important enough for recognition for a spot. Not every team has one you have heard of or are familiar with but an average one that can play 3-4 positions commands a roster spot and 5-8 million seemingly, think mark “man without a position” derosa. Signed to play third swapped to left now playing the dreaded position of disabled list. Anyone recall if there is a hof that was primarily a utility guy? I know quite a lot of players started 3b swapped to 1b and outfield to 1b and catcher to infield is popular but i cant recall a basic utility guy for majority of career being in but regardless i feel this type of selection may increase their chances of selection for hof in the future.

  8. Craig Calcaterra - Jul 5, 2010 at 8:02 PM

    I offer my apologies then for misunderstanding. I took you to be saying that Prado could be the “designated utilityman” described above, not that a team with Prado could do without one.

  9. bigtrav425 - Jul 5, 2010 at 8:10 PM

    I didnt know anyone was upset about Infante being picked…he has had a solid yr being a utility man and a big piece to the Braves run so far

  10. G2 - Jul 5, 2010 at 10:33 PM

    Bud has a lot of super secret rules that he doesn’t like the public to know. Most of the time the public would support the moron’s ideas.
    1. A world series game can’t be ended early due to rain. It must be played to a full nine innings. Who would argue with that? Probably should have just said that before the Phils and Rays were playing in a !@#$ing cranberry bog.
    2. The all-star team must have a multi-positional player because there might be an occasion where at least two players get hurt (the guy playing the position and the guy he replaced at that position). Maybe he’s planning on Dusty Baker making the infielders throw 3000 balls to first base in infield practice. This one makes no sense. The managers can set their rosters, and a shortstop can play effing rightfield if it’s necessary. Other than having a third catcher and a re-entry rule at catcher, none of this is necessary. I speak for all the fans of all-times of all evers to say that this is stupid.
    3. If a ball hits the camera that’s in the field of play, then it'[s a homer. (Orangeman vs the Phillies 2009 world series). I think all fans came up with the obvious answer within seconds: “ummmm…..maybe move the cameras back a foot or so?” really, you saw this as a possibility and didn’t just move the cameras back?
    I guess I was wrong, maybe Bud’s been sitting on a sack of awful ideas that were luckily never made relevant and he should keep that shit to himself.
    But I can agree that world series games should be played all the way through. and maybe someday we’ll find out if LDS and LCS games fall under the same rule.

  11. Wings - Jul 6, 2010 at 12:18 AM

    If they needed a utility-type guy and wanted to take someone else from Atlanta, why not consider Eric Hinske? Think about it, so far Infante has played 2B, 3B, SS, LF and RF and committed seven errors. Hinske has seen time at 1B, 3B and LF and only has one error.
    Omar has the better average at .309 compared to Eric’s .280, five more hits in one more AB and three steals (caught twice) to Hinske’s zero attempts. However, in just about every other offensive category, the 2002 Rookie of the Year has it all over the former Tiger:
    Runs- 24-23 Hinske
    Doubles-16-8 Hinske
    Triples-1-0 Hinske
    Home Runs- 5-1 Hinske
    RBI-32-22 Hinske
    Walks-17-9 Hinske
    OBP-.342-.341 Hinske
    SLG-.482-.376 Hinske
    So, yeah, even if that’s what Manuel was going for with the Infante pick, it still doesn’t look like the right choice to me.
    That being said, congratulations Omar!

  12. sooner75 - Jul 6, 2010 at 3:28 AM

    I do not remember an All-Star game being played that everyone agreed or was happy with all of the player chosen to play. I am a big Braves fan and was surprised to hear that a utility player was included, but I am very happy for him. It is not fair for a lot of you self-proclaimed baseball experts to keep piling on Infante like he personally did something wrong and insulting to you.
    To me, he appears to go out out on the field and give maximum effort everytime Bobby pencils his name in the lineup. He may not stack up to your idea of an All-Star, but if you had listened closely to what the guy on the TBS All-Star team announcement show said about a conversation that Bobby Cox had with Charlie Manual on Saturday, he pretty much explained that he was supposed to name one of the team members a Utiltity player and that he thought that Infante was one of the best utility guys in the National League.
    Omar does not deserve all the ranting and raving a lot of writers has been posting. He shouldn’t be made out to be an un-deserving inferior player just because your guy wasn’t named.

  13. sooner75 - Jul 6, 2010 at 3:29 AM

    I do not remember an All-Star game being played that everyone agreed or was happy with all of the player chosen to play. I am a big Braves fan and was surprised to hear that a utility player was included, but I am very happy for him. It is not fair for a lot of you self-proclaimed baseball experts to keep piling on Infante like he personally did something wrong and insulting to you.
    To me, he appears to go out out on the field and give maximum effort everytime Bobby pencils his name in the lineup. He may not stack up to your idea of an All-Star, but if you had listened closely to what the guy on the TBS All-Star team announcement show said about a conversation that Bobby Cox had with Charlie Manual on Saturday, he pretty much explained that he was supposed to name one of the team members a Utiltity player and that he thought that Infante was one of the best utility guys in the National League.
    Omar does not deserve all the ranting and raving a lot of writers has been posting. He shouldn’t be made out to be an un-deserving inferior player just because your guy wasn’t named.

  14. The Rabbit - Jul 6, 2010 at 7:23 AM

    Agree with you completely regarding Hinske and also think Uribe would have been a better choice.

  15. Jonny5 - Jul 6, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    HE did explain the Howard pick quite well already Craig. “Howards my guy, it’s my pick, he’s my guy.” That explains it.

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