Blog Entry

All-Star questions, snubs and thoughts

Posted on: July 4, 2010 4:49 pm

-- Stephen Strasburg, discuss.

-- OK, here's my part of the discussion: I think the right thing was done not only in leaving him off of the All-Star ballot, but also in not listing him among the final five men for whom fans can vote. You know he would have won that in a landslide. As I blogged the other day, the guy's career has barely achieved liftoff -- there are others in line in front of him for the All-Star Game. Besides, the Nationals are so worried about his innings-pitched count that they're probably going to shut him down by early September. So why shouldn't he wait a year or two before making his All-Star debut? That said, it's one hell of an argument, and colleague Gregg Doyel makes the contrary argument (big surprise there, huh?) here and, as usual, does it very well. He's wrong, but he's good.

-- Biggest snub? Colorado catcher Miguel Olivo not being on the NL team. Forget a simple roster spot. He should be starting.

-- How can the San Diego Padres have by far the best pitching staff in the game one-through-12 this season and not have one pitcher on the NL team? Closer Heath Bell is one of the five players up for the fan vote for the last spot on the team. But starter Mat Latos (9-4, 2.62 ERA) should be on the team, and starter Clayton Richard (6-4, 2.74) merits consideration. But the real snub is that set-up man Luke Gregerson didn't make it despite a strikeout-walk ratio that is sick: 51 K's against six walks over 40 1/3 innings. What, the NL team has a death wish by not inviting San Diego pitchers?

-- Best All-Star story: Cincinnati reliever Arthur Rhodes, who, as a 40-year-old first-time All-Star, is the third-oldest All-Star "rookie" in history. Rhodes from April 13-June 26 made 33 appearances for the Reds without allowing a run, equaling a single-season record he now shares with Mark Guthrie (2002, Mets) and Mike Myers (2000, Rockies).

-- Nicest All-Star story: Arizona outfielder Chris Young, who got himself so twisted up at the plate last season that the Diamondbacks shipped him back to Triple-A to fix his mechanics (and for his own sanity) last summer, bounces back to earn his way onto the NL team. Young has 16 homers, 57 RBI and 14 steals and is one of the few bright spots in Arizona this summer.

-- With the 5 p.m. start time to the Tuesday, July 13 game in Anaheim, you'll be hearing so much about "twilight" you'll think vampires (or Kristen Stewart) will be playing. No question, in the Year of the Pitcher, pitching should dominate for at least the first half of the game. Hitters will not be too crazy facing Ubaldo Jimenez, Roy Halladay, Josh Johnson, David Price, Jon Lester, Cliff Lee and the rest in the twilight.

-- Quick reference guide: The American League has won seven consecutive All-Star Games since the tie in Milwaukee in 2002, and 12 of the past 13 (including the tie). The NL has not won since 1996 in Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium.

-- The new rule this year by which each manager can designate a position player to re-enter that game in the late (or extra innings) if the last available position player at any position is injured) is cheesy. I know Commissioner Bud Selig's special on-field committee is a crack staff, but it won't be long until we'll have Little League everybody on the roster gets to bat rules in place. Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio used to play seven, eight, nine innings. Today's "everybody gets a chance to play" mentality is weak.

-- As the sole representative from the host Angels, one of Torii Hunter's duties, no doubt, will be to introduce all of his AL teammates to the Rally Monkey.

-- You'll also be seeing endless replays of the big Bo Jackson 448-foot homer to dead center field against Rick Reuschel in the 1989 game.

-- Vladimir Guerrero returning to Angel Stadium as an All-Star with Texas will be intriguing to everyone but Angels fans.

-- Rookie Jason Heyward's announced plan to participate in batting practice with the NL All-Stars, because he was voted in by fans, but to sit out the game, because he's on the disabled list, is classy.

-- Final man votes: I'd go Paul Konerko of the White Sox in the AL, and Cincinnati's Joey Votto in the NL.

-- The painted Mickey Mouses (most featuring All-Star designs on Mickey) they're placing around Anaheim look very cool. And this from a cranky guy who doesn't give two hoots for Mickey, and a guy who generally avoids Disneyland (and Disneyworld) at all costs (I just despise crowded places where you stand in line forever).

Likes: The long piece on Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in Sunday's New York Times magazine. ... Seeing clips of Lou Gehrig's "Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth" each July 4 -- it was delivered 71 years ago Sunday -- never fails to produce chills. ... I'm not much for reality shows -- sports or otherwise -- but The Club, centered on the crazy Chicago White Sox, on MLB Network later this month looks too dramatic to pass up. ... George Steinbrenner's birthday being on July 4. How perfect is that? ... Man, does the Padres' Tony Gwynn Jr. have wheels.

Dislikes: We can all argue All-Star snubs, but there are too many players on each roster already. The 34-man rosters are ridiculous.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Driving in to Darlington County
"Me and Wayne on the Fourth of July
"Driving in to Darlington County
"Looking for some work on the county line
"We drove down from New York City
"Where the girls are pretty
"But they just wanna know your name
"Driving in to Darlington city
"Got a union connection with an uncle of Wayne's
"We drove 800 miles without seeing a cop
"We got rock and roll music blasting out the T-top"

-- Bruce Springsteen, Darlington County


Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: July 7, 2010 6:29 pm

All-Star questions, snubs and thoughts

OK, I'll admit up front I'm a long suffering Padres fan.
But it's absolutely insane that the best pitching staff in the Majors hasn't a SINGLE player in
the midsummer classic (ok, it's hardly a classic anymore)
Its all too obvious the Pads aren't in 1st place and sporting the NL's best record because of
their torrid hitting..... the pitching staff has been phenomenal, and I just wish at least ONE of these
guys got some All-Star recognition.


Since: May 22, 2007
Posted on: July 6, 2010 11:37 am

All-Star questions, snubs and thoughts

Scott...good point about the Padres pitching staff, and not naming Heath Bell really sucks. Still, you didn't mention one thing which I still find amazing, and that is the winning league gets the home field advantage in the world series come October. This is such a sham, and it is a miracle the American league hasn't totally dominated the fall classic during this Century. So, let me see, if the AL wins again, the Yankees or whatever team, gets to have 4 games to the NL participants 3. It's the dumbest thing Bud Selig has ever done.

Reds Joey Votto should be in regardless of the vote. Nobody knows Rockies Miguel Olivo because he plays in Colorado...plain and simple. However, Phillies Charlie Manual could have named him, but didn't. That's just life in the all star game...

I don't watch the All star game because it takes forever, and there's way too many players. And I hate home run derby because we glorify the long ball, and not the complete player. Also, you have 34 players on a team and if the game goes into extra innings, you get to bring a guy back? It's like when we were kids, you could use an invisible man if you ran out of players.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: July 5, 2010 1:19 pm

All-Star questions, snubs and thoughts

Votto Is pretty much fifth in every offensive NL category, not first. Konerko is leading the american league in homeruns, still not in.  Not every deserving player gets it, especially the young players who haven't built a name yet.  Votto will be an All Star at some point, just needs to get more of a rep around the league.

Since: Jul 4, 2008
Posted on: July 5, 2010 11:10 am

All-Star questions, snubs and thoughts

Don't worry Votto will be voted in as the NL to make the squad, my beef is that Mike Pelfrey wasn't selected by Manuel-10-2 and ERA under 3.00. I realize Halliday had the perfect game but he is 9-7.

Since: Mar 13, 2010
Posted on: July 5, 2010 12:37 am

All-Star questions, snubs and thoughts

How can Joey Votto not be on the NL team. I understand you got Pujols and Howard and even Gonzalez, but the guy is leading the league in just about all offensive categories including hits, rbi, and hr's. Plus he had a 41 game on-base-safely streak only to be broken b/c of being ejected in the first inning in todays game Not to mention he's a pretty good defensive player also. I'll be the first to admit I'm a big Reds fan and probably a little prejudice (or offended) towards the snub, but I'm also a bigger BASEBALL fan and I tend to vote for the better players and not just their name or team. It's all a popularity vote, I know, but come on. I get tired of seeing 40% Yankees, 40% Red Sox and 20% everyone else on the AL side. If Votto doesnt get voted in on the final ballot spot, I hope it just makes him an even better hitter and the Reds win the pennant. But for the moment, I just want the NL to win the game.

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