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Let’s not get too worked up about All-Star snubs

Jul 7, 2014, 2:00 PM EST

Chris Sale Getty Getty Images

If I had carte blanche to make an All-Star team I probably wouldn’t have done it like John Farrell, Mike Matheney, voting players and voting fans did. I think everyone would make different choices if they had their say, and of course any committee of decision makers is subject to the weird things that committees do.

I’d like to think I’d find room for Garrett Richards or Huston Street. That Kyle Seager or Ian Kinsler could make the team. That maybe Josh Harrison wouldn’t be on it and, instead, I’d find room for Anthony Rendon. That is, if I wanted to maintain that utility player role Harrison is apparently filling. If I just wanted to go for star power and narrative, I’d go for the finally-rebounding Justin Morneau and let him return to Minnesota with his head up. I’d probably replace 85% of the relief pitchers picked with starters, all of whom could easily go an inning next week. Most starters are more famous. They’re bigger stars, and that’s what the All-Star Game is about. It’s also why I will giggle at anyone who says Derek Jeter doesn’t belong. He’s the biggest star of them all.

But while I’ll gladly argue with anyone on a surface level about this choice or that choice (arguing is fun for me if you haven’t noticed), it’s really, really hard for me to get genuinely worked up about “snubs.”

Partially because, between now and next Tuesday, a lot of players on the All-Star team will beg out with injuries, real or imaginary. Many pitchers will be ruled ineligible by their teams due to work loads and the like. Just about everyone who is “snubbed” as of this morning will be in Minneapolis next week. That is, if they want to be. Many of these guys are probably secretly happy that they were snubbed so that they can get three or four days off in the middle of a long season to go fishing or to the beach or to spend time with their kids, wives or girlfriends. Regardless of how it all shakes out, no one is likely to give quotes to the press in which they honestly and passionately express their feelings of being slighted.

I’m a blogger and bloggers have the reputation of shooting first and aiming later, substituting immediacy for consideration and reaction for reflection. We can argue about how fair of a stereotype that is for a given web-based writer, but I totally see where that’s coming from.

But in the “biggest All-Star snubs!” game, I’m inclined to wait it out for a few days. If we do so, most of all of this will be taken care of.

  1. bfunk1978 - Jul 7, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    But so many people had articles to write for today that we needed to get this all-star snub stuff into the public conscience.

  2. fifthstarter - Jul 7, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    I sure as heck hope Posey remains being snubbed. He could use a few days off.

    Off-topic: when did thumbs disappear? I like it.

    • raysfan1 - Jul 7, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      Must be your device. The thumbs are, sadly, still present.

      • fifthstarter - Jul 7, 2014 at 2:29 PM

        Odd. I’m on my work computer, which has never failed to show me the thumbs before.

      • paperlions - Jul 7, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        I don’t see them today either.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jul 7, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        I’d argue it’s showing you the finger right now.

      • uwsptke - Jul 7, 2014 at 3:32 PM

        Click the actual article title. If you use the “slider” on top to navigate between articles, the thumbs disappear.

        This has been the case for me for as long as I remember. Odd that other people are just seeing this issue today.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 7, 2014 at 3:32 PM

        On my computer, if I call up 3 or 4 HBT stories in a row, the thumbs usually disappear. If I simply refresh that story, the thumbs return. It’s been this way for a year or more. Just weird.

      • natstowngreg - Jul 7, 2014 at 4:57 PM

        That’s the way it has worked (or, not worked) since I started visiting here in 2009.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 7, 2014 at 6:18 PM

        today if first time in almost two yrs I’ve experience the thumbs going away…

        have always been there before today for me at all times…

    • ewyorksockexchange - Jul 7, 2014 at 2:51 PM

      I don’t have the thumbs on either my computer or my phone. They disappeared around 10 this morning, and aren’t visible on any of the NBC sports sites (PFT, PBT, PHT, PST, etc). My guess is that they either removed them because of the influx of trolls in PFT (trolling isn’t as fun if you can’t see how much people hate what you’re saying), or that there was an issue with bots voting or something (which would be weird, because comments here aren’t ranked like they are on a site like reddit).

      • fifthstarter - Jul 7, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        To be honest, the thumbs inspired my inner troll, and I am not by nature a very trolly person. Seeing people thumb down my sincere comments inspired me to piss those people off. It wasn’t good. Conversation is better off without thumbs.

    • geoknows - Jul 7, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      I see thumbs; and this browser is ancient and often malfunctions.

    • fifthstarter - Jul 7, 2014 at 6:41 PM

      The thumbs are back.

      Ha ha ha everyone.

  3. nysportsrule - Jul 7, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    David wright

    • sdelmonte - Jul 7, 2014 at 2:27 PM

      Not worthy this season, and needs the time off to heal.

  4. phillysports1 - Jul 7, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    Melky Cabrera , Alfredo Simon, Casey Mcgehee, Henderson Alvarez etc etc

  5. phillysports1 - Jul 7, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    Mcgehee leads the NL in Hits for crying out loud !!!!!

  6. Gamera the Brave - Jul 7, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    Craig,
    Your posting appears to be a reasonable and measured response to the situation.
    Please re-think that, and try again.

  7. phillysports1 - Jul 7, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    Todd Frazier .291 17 HR 47 RBIS
    David Wright .274 6 HR 41 RBIS

    • Detroit Michael - Jul 7, 2014 at 3:17 PM

      You forgot to compare their 2013 or 2012 or 2011 production. There is a reasonable argument that all-star selection be based on more than 3 months’ worth of production.

  8. asox - Jul 7, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    “They’re bigger stars, and that’s what the All-Star Game is about. It’s also why I will giggle at anyone who says Derek Jeter doesn’t belong. He’s the biggest star of them all.”

    But once they stupidly made the game count – it should now be about each league putting its best possible team on the field. If the fans want to vote Jetes in, fine, but fan voted players shouldn’t be auto-starters anymore.

    • ptfu - Jul 7, 2014 at 10:25 PM

      Just because he starts, doesn’t mean he has to play more than an inning or two. One at-bat and hello substitute.

  9. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 7, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    Ok, I won’t get worked up.

    I’ll just ask in what universe does a 1.35 ERA not make you an All-Star (name rhymes with Snaple-Bohn)

    • uwsptke - Jul 7, 2014 at 3:44 PM

      Typically for closers, it’s all about the saves and even more important to play for a winner. He’s only got 19, while K-Rod & Kimbrel have 27. K-Rod also got out a phenominal start which always helps in the eyes of the voters. Chapman has the same number of saves, but he plays for a winner and who doesn’t want to see someone throwing 100 mph in the All-Star Game?

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 7, 2014 at 4:29 PM

        I would agree with you if he was on the margins – but 1.35?? 0.56 since April 5th? That is flat out dominant.

        Also, you very often see pitchers from losing teams in the All-Star game. Jose Fernandez last year was 5-5 at the break and his team was 23 games under .500, yet he made the All-Star team

      • uwsptke - Jul 7, 2014 at 5:00 PM

        Fernandez is a poor example to draw from in this particular situation. He was the Marlins’ lone All-Star selection in 2013. They had to pick somebody.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 7, 2014 at 6:35 PM

        Okay…then how about 2012. When the Phillies were 13 games under .500. And despite Carols Ruiz and Cole Hamels being on the squad….3.03 ERA Jonathan Papelbon was too (one more save than he has this year)

        Pitchers from losing teams make it all the time. Now to the other points about guys more deserving – ok. But a 1.35 ERA certainly qualifies you, and it is very much the exception that that does not make it

    • Francisco (FC) - Jul 7, 2014 at 4:36 PM

      And besides, Huston Street and Rafael Soriano have better ERAs and they’re not in. If ERA is the litmus test, Paps needs to get in line behind those two.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 7, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        True but Paps has the highest WAR of any reliever (I can’t believe I just said that) ;)

      • Francisco (FC) - Jul 7, 2014 at 4:52 PM

        Well man, then start the argument with the WAR stat. That way the nerds will be on the warpath! :-)

        I believe that when it comes to the all-star game, aside from popularity, the mighty Save is the shiny stat that usually gets a closer admittance.

    • natstowngreg - Jul 7, 2014 at 5:00 PM

      Or, (name rhymes with Soriano). Sorry, couldn’t come up with anything on a moment’s notice.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM

        You can always default to – “Begins with an S, ends with an O, and has ‘orian’ in the middle”

      • natstowngreg - Jul 7, 2014 at 7:31 PM

        OK, though that leaves the reader wondering what an “orian” is. [It’s a company in South Carolina that makes rugs.]

  10. Detroit Michael - Jul 7, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    It’s also not worth worrying about all-star snubs because the rosters are so large. It is very rare for one of the best 14 players in the league — starting 8, 5 starting pitchers and best reliever — to not be on the roster. Arguing about whether someone is slightly more deserving than someone else down in the pack just isn’t that engaging, especially when one suspects many of the affected players might secretly prefer a four-day break at home anyway.

  11. nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 7, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    OK, we let 12-year-olds have hundreds of votes apiece while their favorite teams are urging one and all to vote for only their players, and then we act surprised that the results are imperfect? OK.

  12. uwsptke - Jul 7, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    “All-Star” means different things to different people. To some, it’s the “Most Popular” team while others think it should be the “Most Productive” team so far that year. The end result is a mixture of both which ends up pissing everyobody off.

    • ptfu - Jul 7, 2014 at 10:27 PM

      Off-topic–but the same argument works for MVP & Hall of Fame voting as well.

  13. chip56 - Jul 7, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Fans voted in Nelson Cruz. Players chose not to vote in Melky Cabrera or Ryan Braun.

  14. mbellwoar - Jul 7, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    I like the way that this year worked out, generally. Without the inclusion of one player from each team, I would definitely replace Altuve with Kinsler. I also think that Garrett Richards is a sure thing, not a vote-in candidate.

    • crackersnap - Jul 7, 2014 at 8:33 PM

      As an LAA fan, I know how strong Richards has been. But in a season with a lot of very strong AL pitching performances to date, his numbers are slightly below a sure thing. Blame a really, really bad half inning against Oakland back on May 30th. The sure thing that was the miss this year is not Richards, but Sale. Sale should be the sure thing, and Richards a leading vote-in candidate.

      Meanwhile, all the “Derek Jeter belongs there!” posts are really little more than a “Who cares about Erick Aybar?” post. Yeah. The 20th worst productive player at the shortstop position in all of Major League Baseball, out of only 24 qualifying players at that position, is getting the honor because he used to be great. Aybar loses out on the honor, AND a $50,000 bonus, despite being arguably the finest all-around performer at that position not named Troy Tulowitzki this season (you know,the one that this year’s ASG is named after). One might note that Aybar is not even mentioned in Craig’s dismissal. This is, actually, a symptom of the problem itself. Despite Aybar having an incredible year, those at the wheels of the information outlets cannot be bothered to carry the narrative.

  15. covertman - Jul 7, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    I’m sorry, but I simply can’t bring myself to get excited about this ASG. And that’s not just sour grapes because my team only has one guy in the game.

    It’s because, as the currently-airing promos make abundantly clear, this will be nothing but a three hour “Isn’t Derek Jeter awesome?”-fest. I swear, if the AL wins he’ll get the game MVP even if he contributed little or nothing to the victory.

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