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Wrong hole, Buster!

Jul 10, 2011, 8:37 PM EDT

Derek Jeter Reuters

ESPN’s Buster Olney just proposed the following on Twitter:

Idea in Monday column:Ask players in March if they will attend ASG if asked and participate if not on DL. If they decline,no name on ballot.

Obviously, this is in response to the fact that 16 players have been replaced since the All-Star Game rosters were officially announced a week ago.

But it’s such a ridiculous idea that does no one any good.

Of the 16 players replaced:

– Nine were pitchers, who aren’t listed on the ballot anyway (and six of those were scratched only because they pitched Sunday, with another getting scratched because he is on the DL).

– Six were position players nursing legitimate injuries that left them unable to play this weekend.

There were only two players actually chosen for the All-Star Game who opted out despite being able to play: Derek Jeter, who is a week removed from a DL stint caused by a strained calf, and Mariano Rivera, who was unavailable for two days last week because of a triceps strain.

In addition, there’s Aramis Ramirez, who almost certainly would have taken part in the All-Star Game if asked initially, but declined when offered a last-minute invite because he had already planned his vacation.  Technically, he was never on the team anyway.

Look, I think it’s as ridiculous as anyone that there are going to be 84 players able to call themselves All-Stars this year.  But it’s not a case of players choosing not to participate; it’s a function of MLB’s decision to bloat the rosters in a completely ridiculous fashion.

And, really, does Olney expect Jeter, one of the game’s most media-conscious players, to decide in March to rule himself out for the All-Star Game? Seriously?

Take this one back to the drawing board, buddy.

  1. mrfloydpink - Jul 10, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    ESPN’s baseball columnists are, with one or two exceptions, a pretty unimpressive bunch. And Olney is the least impressive of the group.

  2. largebill - Jul 10, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    A lot happens between March and July. Everybody feels great in spring training. However, when the season starts and you’re playing all nine innings 6 or 7 games a week and you tweak this or that . . . all of a sudden your March answer isn’t your July answer. Bottom line, the first concern for every player should be being ready to play the games than count when the break ends. I’m no Yankee fan, but fully agree that Jeter should get rest and treatment during the break. Two more cross country flights not as good for lower leg muscles as rest and whirlpool time.

  3. drmonkeyarmy - Jul 10, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    You tell him Matt. I was scoffing when I heard Bobby Valentine and John Kruk discussing the idea railing on the players who will not attend. They were making it sound like the players were lazy, good for nothing chumps.

    • jimbo1949 - Jul 10, 2011 at 9:49 PM

      I was watching the game tonight when the 3 stooges in the booth started ragging on players not wanting to go to the all star game. STFU! I don’t think an exhibition game is more important than the pennant race. I muted those morons and turned on the Giants radio feed.

    • ditto65 - Jul 10, 2011 at 10:01 PM

      Kruk also quit baseball mid-game. Is his opinion about playing in an exhibition game valid?

  4. royalsfaninfargo - Jul 10, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    That has got to be the best headline ever on HBT!
    This is just more of the same from ESPN. They make up a stupid idea and then debate it like it is actually a story or news. The dumbest thing about this story is that almost all of the players have an All-Star clause in their contract giving them more money if they make the team. Why would someone choose not to participate if they stand to gain financially from the prospect of it?

    • macjacmccoy - Jul 10, 2011 at 11:22 PM

      U actually expect them to think before they talk? Considering that it would cost these players money to decline to be on the ballot is to sensical.

    • jwbiii - Jul 11, 2011 at 3:25 PM

      “That has got to be the best headline ever on HBT!”

      A google search will give you the background on that. . .

  5. Glenn - Jul 10, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    ESPN is such a joke that the Onion’s sport show spoof about ESPN is indistinguishable from the real thing. I think ESPN may be a satire of the Onion.

  6. shawon0meter - Jul 10, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    and after all this it still beats the hell out of any other all-star game.

    • gammagammahey - Jul 11, 2011 at 2:21 AM

      It’s the closest thing to a real game in so far as pitchers and batters are using the same tactics that they might in a competitive game but for my money my favorite is the NHL all-star game, particularly with the draft format they used this past season. There’s no defense being played so you lose most of the physical aspect of hockey but it’s fun to watch the finesse players just take over and score non-stop.

  7. Eric Solomon - Jul 11, 2011 at 7:44 AM

    I think it may be time to drop the all-star game entirely. And I say that as a 35+ year fan with sadface 😦

  8. hank10 - Jul 11, 2011 at 8:07 AM

    The All-Star “Game” (in all pro sport leagues) should be abolished. Deserving players can be named to the squad, get their bonus, etc. and take a 3-day holiday mid-season for all players. The games in no way resemble what is played in the regular schedule. To make the outcome of an All-Star game influence the World Series is just ludicrous. How many All-Star players on teams who are out of the hunt really care if their league gets home field? I’d rather have the ‘star’ players rested and healed for the second half campaign.

  9. phukyouk - Jul 11, 2011 at 9:12 AM

  10. savocabol1 - Jul 11, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    It isn’t an all-star game when you have people like Jeter nominated. This may not be a popular opinion to the readers on this site but it is crazy to think that his name should have even been on the ballot. His piss poor performance this year was hardly all-star worthly. Letting the fans vote is a terrible idea.

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