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All-Star selections: Everyone was snubbed!

Jul 4, 2011, 11:31 AM EDT

life if not fair rabbits

Every year the baseball world goes nuts arguing about who was “snubbed” by the All-Star selection process and every year within 24 hours of the All-Star game ending no one cares or remembers.

This year Andrew McCutchen, Paul Konerko, and CC Sabathia seem to be the highest-profile cause de celebre, with tons of real and virtual ink spilled over their absence from the All-Star rosters–which already include 34 players instead of the usual 25–but the teeth gnashing hardly ends there.

Here’s just a small sampling of mainstream articles noting/touting a player who was snubbed (seriously, I couldn’t take it any more, so I stopped looking after a few minutes):

Andrew McCutchen

CC Sabathia

Aramis Ramirez

Paul Konerko

Anibal Sanchez

Tommy Hanson

Francisco Cordero

Andre Ethier

Ian Kennedy

Jon Lester

Philip Humber

Mark Teixeira

Alexi Ogando

Alex Gordon

Justin Masterson

Sean Marshall

Michael Pineda

Dustin Pedroia

Chase Headley

Kevin Youkilis

Mike Adams

Ben Zobrist

Todd Helton

Jonathan Papelbon

Danny Espinosa

Jhonny Peralta

Carlos Carrasco

Segio Santos

Victor Martinez

Daniel Bard

Adam Jones

Shane Victorino

Michael Morse

Josh Tomlin

David Robertson

  1. APBA Guy - Jul 4, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    The A’s announcers were joking that with the All-Star roster sizes already at 34, and with the added injury substitutes and replacements for pitchers who throw on the prior Sunday, pretty soon every league starter will be named to the All Star squad.

  2. FC - Jul 4, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    You know why not make a statistics system since we love numbers so much? Rank you fielders by poistion and assign points based on their .avg, .obp, .ops, HRs, ERA, WHIP, etc. At least then the selections would be based on actual performance… This whole each-team-needs-a-representative is so much BS. People sometimes, some teams, suck, as a team, all the time…

    • Roger Moore - Jul 4, 2011 at 2:07 PM

      Two problems:
      1) Nobody will agree on the formula. We can’t get any kind of unanimity on what statistics matter right now, even in the abstract. It gets even worse when the statistics are part of a concrete argument about who should get some honor, as current MVP, ROY, and CYA arguments should show. Using a formula to pick the All-Stars will just result in the same kind of thinly veiled advocacy.
      2) This assumes that the point of the All-Star game is to showcase the players who did the best in the first half of this season. It isn’t and never has been. From the very beginning, the game as been at least as much about giving popular but fading players one more shot in the limelight as it has been about showcasing the absolute best in the game.

      • FC - Jul 4, 2011 at 3:56 PM

        1) How is that any different from what we have now? At least with numbers we have a scientific basis for choosing.
        2) I would like to read a reference to your assertion. You give that as a self-evident truth, but if it is it’s a rather poor one. Since the All-star game NOW decides who gets home field advantage in the WS does it make sense to give “popular but fading stars” the responsibility of acquiring home-field advantage for your league? More than ever this is a big reason to overhaul the system and put in a a new one to at least try and select this year’s best performing players, since the result of the game will affect this year’s World Series, don’t you think?

      • Senor Cardgage - Jul 4, 2011 at 5:03 PM

        2) Derek Jeter. Cal Ripken Jr. in 2001. The fact that the Yankees and Red Sox dominate the fan vote year in and year out.

        No, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to assign home-field advantage based on an exhibition game. I’ve gotten used to it, though, and going back to alternating between the AL and NL seems kind of boring.

      • Roger Moore - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:15 AM

        @FC:
        1) My point is that it won’t be that different from what we have now. A statistical system won’t eliminate arguments. It will just ensure that the arguments are primarily about numbers and only secondarily about players, rather than putting the players front and center. When talking about an exhibition game that’s supposed to be about giving the fans what they want, I don’t see that as an improvement.

        I also mildly disagree with the idea that using stats will be a “scientific basis” for choosing the players. It will be a formulaic system, but it will only be as scientific as the system you use. I doubt that any system you could actually convince people to use will be that sophisticated. Furthermore, even a very sophisticated system will have some margin of error, so there will be real uncertainty about who the best players really are even if you use some kind of advanced performance metric.

        2) Read the official rules of All Star voting. The only criteria it gives for what kind of player you’re supposed to vote for is that you are supposed to vote for your favorite players. That’s MLB saying that All-Star voting is a straight popularity contest. A look at the rosters for early All-Star teams should clear up any notion that the players were selected purely based on performance and not on popularity or a desire to see every team represented.

  3. sdelmonte - Jul 4, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    Also snubbed were LeBron, Captain Hammer, Barack Obama, JJ Abrams and that guy you buy coffee from in the morning.

    • Ari Collins - Jul 4, 2011 at 12:59 PM

      The hammer is my _____.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 4, 2011 at 6:07 PM

        They forgot Adam Lind. He has been terrific when healthy. Unfortunately he missed too much time due to a bad back. As far as short stop is concerned, I would never trade the one we have in Toronto for the over the hill guy in NY. Escobar has been much better than Jeter this season..

  4. drmonkeyarmy - Jul 4, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    They should cancel the All-Star game and all subsequent all-star games. Make an end of the year 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. all “MLB Team” or “AL Team” and “NL Team” or whatever. Anything would be better than the current format. It is dull and ridiculous. Please, no more home run derby either.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 4, 2011 at 2:47 PM

      In honor of my idea, I have decided to post my 1st Team All-NL team for the first half of the season.
      1st Base – Prince Fielder. A boat load of HR and RBI’s on a contending team. No brainer.
      2nd Base- Brandon Phillips. Good hitter, excellent fielder. If Chase Utley has played the entire first half, I would have picked him. He is still the best second baseman in baseball in my opinion.
      SS – Jose Reyes. No brainer
      3rd Base – Aramis Ramirez. I would have mocked you if that was your preseason all NL first team selection, but he has played well for the Cubs and the other options are poor.
      Catcher – Brian McCann – Best hitting catcher in baseball.
      Left Field – Ryan Braun – One of the best hitters in baseball. Not good defensively, though.
      Right Field- Lance Berkman – Late career revival at the plate. Also, poor defensively.
      Center Field – Shane Victornino – Mock if you want, but he is the best field player on the best team in baseball.
      Extra Man – Matt Kemp
      Starting Pitchers – Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Jair Jurrigens, Cliff Lee, and Brandon Beachy
      Closer and Set-up Man – Joel Hanrahan and Brian Wilson
      Lefty Out of the Pen – Antonio Bastardo

      • mercyflush - Jul 4, 2011 at 4:03 PM

        Brandon Beachy? Are you kidding?

        also, Tony Bastard has been great for the Phillies, but Johnny Venters is the lefty reliever of the year so far.

      • MightyMoonWorm - Jul 4, 2011 at 4:56 PM

        Hard to mock the pick of one of the best defensive center fielders in the game, especially after he got back to hitting .300.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 4, 2011 at 5:33 PM

        Yeah, Beachy was a reach but I didn’t want to go the traditional route and pick Lincecum or whoever. I disagree about Venters, though. Two weeks ago I would have said Venters but he has hit a bit of a rough patch. Venters does pitch more, but Bastardo has the edge in ERA.

  5. 1historian - Jul 4, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    Looking at the picture of Sabathia just reminds me that the Yankees, and I do NOT like the Yankees, have far and away the best looking uniforms in all of pro sports.

    And they always have.

    Happy 4th

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