PHOENIX -- How many All-Stars are there?
So many that. ...
Sounds like the beginning of a joke, right?
Well, it sort of is.
Sam Mellinger, the terrific (and underrated) columnist for the Kansas City Star, did a little math and came up with an intriguing -- and laughable -- number.
He simply used these standard parameters:
He counted all players in the game who have had enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title. Then he counted all pitchers who have thrown enough innings to qualify for the ERA title. Lastly, he counted all relievers who have thrown at least 33 innings (because that's the lightest workload of any All-Star here, that of Cleveland closer Chris Perez).
Add all of those players together, divide them into the total number of players in the bigs and...
Ladies and gentlemen, 23 percent of all major-league players are All-Stars in 2011.