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 Base – Freddie 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.
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?