MLB All-Star Game snubs upset first-place Braves; change voting process?


 

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Meme showing how arbitrary the MLB All-Star Game voting process is for fans.
This is how 90 percent of all voters make their picks.

I love baseball and breathe it in every day. But I intentionally missed the MLB All-Star Game selection progam. I already knew who the All-Stars were going to be.

Every year, the players selected are players you see promoted every day on ESPN, MLB, FOX Sports, etc., and stats don’t really matter. The players who get in aren’t always the most deserving players, but not every deserving player can make the team because there aren’t enough spots. What upsets me every single year, without fail, is when a few players are voted in over more deserving players.

In my opinion, the MLB All-Star Game voting process is broken, and Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson echoes my opinion on the snubbed Braves players:

“A lot of times, the better players are even left off the All-Star ballot altogether. And as players, we might have the opportunity to play in the World Series, I think we should determine which starting nine we put out there (in the All-Star game). Our livelihood and our season and our chances to win a World Championship (are affected by) that game.”

More on that later.

First and foremost, I’m a Braves fan. Many of you will move on to another article and discredit everything I’m saying here, but the Braves were hit hard this year with MLB All-Star Game snubs.

Not much has been made of the Braves this year — not much press, not much of anything. A quiet, first-place team. Yes, first place. If the Braves end up losing the lead this year, most would not even believe the Braves held a lead because, as mentioned, no one is really covering them.

Still, the Braves are a first-place team, and they have been the whole year. The MLB All-Star Game is a representation of a great first half by the players representing it. The Braves have had a great first half. So, why do they have only one All-Star selection? And it’s Craig Kimbrel, who just earned his third straight All-Star selection. Kimbrel is deserving and has 23 saves with a 1.72 ERA, but only one player from Atlanta? How can a team only have one selection and be in first place for the whole season so far? Only one player worthy? Perhaps they have a balanced team that is just well-rounded. … Yeah.

So, let’s run through the team.

Catcher – Brian McCann – .293 batting average, .378 OBP, .535 SLG, 10 home runs, 28 RBI.

First BaseFreddie Freeman – .307/.384/.466, nine home runs, 56 RBI.

Second Base – Dan Uggla – .204/.323/.420, 16 home runs, 39 RBI.

Third Base Chris Johnson – .333/.376/.477, five home runs, 28 RBI.

Shortstop – Andrelton Simmons – .251/.287/.357, seven home runs, 29 RBI.

Outfield – Justin Upton – .247/.352/.444, 15 home runs, 39 RBI.

Outfield – B.J. Upton – .176/.271/.307, eight home runs, 19 RBI.

Outfield – Jason Heyward – .228/.325/.375, seven home runs, 20 RBI.

Starting Pitcher – Tim Hudson, 5-7, 4.03 ERA.

Starting Pitcher – Kris Medlen, 6-7, 3.11 ERA.

Starting Pitcher – Julio Teheran, 6-4, 3.23 ERA.

Starting Pitcher – Paul Maholm, 9-7, 3.81 ERA.

Starting Pitcher – Mike Minor, 8-4, 3.15 ERA.

Who do you think deserves to be on the All-Star team? Kimbrel is a lock. McCann and Freeman have put up stellar numbers, but not better than the reserves on the NL All-Star team. Although, Freeman does have an incredibly high RISP average, but more on him later. Who else? Justin Upton looked like an All-Star and even led the votes at one time. Now, he didn’t even make the reserves. The pitching has been great, and with the exception of Minor, none were All-Star worthy. Perhaps this team does just play great together with some timely hitting and pitching.

Freeman, a final vote contender, said this when asked about competing with Yasiel Puig for the final spot: “Good luck with that, huh? He’s already on the lead ESPN ticker.”

Uggla mentioned this to the AJC about the chances of Freeman beating Puig:

“Nobody has a chance. He’s been getting covered since he broke in. And he should be getting covered; he’s an exciting story. But should he make the All-Star team? No, not this year. But he’s going to make it. Which sucks for Freddie and other (final vote) guys, because they’ve been doing it the whole year.”

He’s exactly right. Why isn’t ESPN and MLB running campaigns for the other guys? As Hudson said, this shouldn’t be a popularity contest. It’s about who performs better and is most deserving to be there. For the first place Braves, the All-Star game means a lot. It effects the World Series and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Courtesy of the AJC again, here is what Uggla, a three-time former All-Star who was voted to start in the game last summer, said about the issue:

“If they wanted to start making it matter, they should let the players vote and get the right guys in. But they made it a fans’ game. The fans are going to vote in who they want in. Which is fine. They just need to change that to where this game doesn’t matter. It needs to be fun.”

Should MLB change the voting process, or should it make the All-Star Game just a “fun” game with no strings attached?

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  1. Never tried to have it both ways. The title actually says “MLB All-Star Game snubs upset first-place Braves;”

    Which means – The Braves are upset because they felt they have been snubbed.

    Doesn’t say that I felt that way. Clearly states the Braves were upset.

  2. “I didn’t suggest anyone to make the team from the Braves”; yet the title of the article indicates that Braves have been snubbed from the ASG. This is a contradiction. If you don’t think the other Braves are worthy, then they haven’t been snubbed – plain and simple. You can’t have it both ways.

  3. Well, you mentioned WAR up there in another comment, and Puig’s WAR is actually just a tick higher than Freddie’s (2.4 to 2.3) . The fact that he’s put up that kind of value in only 32 games is stunning. Wouldn’t it be beneficial to the NL to have the hottest player in baseball play in the game?

    Plus, it seems that some of the same fans who are crying for Puig to “pay his dues” or whatever are the same fans who whine about undeserving players getting in on name value. Can’t have it both ways

  4. Hey Alan,

    I don’t agree with you that Johnson should be in the All-Star game. Yes, he’s had a decent year and surprised production but he platooned for most of the first half and his defense is suspect. -.6 defensive war.

    He doesn’t shine above the guys on the NL Roster. Good year so far, but not great.

  5. Hey Jake,

    I didn’t suggest anyone to make the team from the Braves except for Kimbrel as a lock. Freeman doesn’t have better stats up from than the reserves on the team.

    It’s a flawed process and was merely pointing out that:

    1. Amazed that a first-place team has only one all-star.
    2. Braves were highly upset that Puig was in the final vote and wasn’t fair to the other contenders that the Media was pushing for Puig.

    There’s a lot riding on the line for the Braves with the All-Star game. They play good at home, they need to be home.

  6. Perhaps the All-Star voting system is broken, but the fact that none of the Braves position players were named to the team is not really proof of that. All told, I would say only 3 of the 8 have a case for inclusion on the team (Freeman, Johnson and McCann), the other 5 shouldn’t even be in consideration.

    Of the three with a case, not one should have been a starter, so we can’t blame the fans here. On the contrary, they chose wisely at 1B, 3B and Catcher. If anyone is to blame for Freeman, Johnson and McCann’s snubs, it is the players and/or Bruce Bochy.

    And in terms of being named reserves, Freeman was the odd man out at the traditionally packed position of 1B, McCann could have been named as the third catcher, but it makes sense to forgo that luxury to get a more qualified player at another position. I think only Johnson was the victim of a true snub. .

    I won’t comment on any potential snubs on the Braves pitching staff because, frankly speaking, I could give a rats ass about whether some pitcher makes the All-Star team. Most would rather not pitch in the game, and those that do won’t want to go more than one inning, if that. So screw them if they don’t get picked for the team.

  7. So who are you actually suggesting should make it from the Braves? Justin Upton has had an awful season even by his own standards, he’s on pace to set career lows in BA, OBP, and OPS while setting a career high in strikeouts. I don’t think that WAR is the end all be all of stats, but it is useful, and the combined wins above replacement of both Uptons, Uggla, and Heyward is just 0.7. He and the Braves had an incredible first two weeks, but in truth both he and the team have been treading water since. The Braves are only 38-37 since April 16th.

    They just haven’t had any consistency since then, there was a month-long stretch where the Braves went 1-5, 8-0, 2-4, 5-0, 2-6. Flashes of brilliance, overall mediocrity. I live in Atlanta, so I see it first hand. They’re a perplexing team, I keep waiting for them to put it all together, and I think they will, but I don’t see too many All Stars on Atlanta.

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