The 2009 MLB All-Star game will be played in St. Louis on July 14th. I was looking over the rosters today and I was shocked at some of the selections.
The biggest thing that pops out to me when I look at the rosters is the fact that Josh Hamilton was voted in as a starter for the American League. He has been DL’ed for most of the first half of the season, and the games he did play… he doesn’t have all-star numbers, actually not even close to it. His line is 35 games, 125 at bats, .240 average, 6 homers, 24 RBIs, .290 OBP. Carl Crawford should be a starter for the AL all-star team- no question in my mind.
Even Pedroia, last year’s MVP, should not be a starter or even on the team for that matter. Aaron Hill (made the team as a reserve) and Ian Kinsler (nominee for final vote in player) both play 2B and both have better numbers than Pedroia this season.
Now, for the national league Beltran and Ibanez are both starters, but on the DL. I actually don’t have a problem with these picks because the voting takes place for most of the first half and each of those players played 62 games (a majority of the first half) and they both have all-star numbers. Obviously, they will be replaced and that will give two more players a shot at starting.
The All-star game comes down to a popularity contest, and I am fine with that- if the game was like the Pro-Bowl in the NFL, or the All-Star game in the NBA. But it’s not- the game means something and should be voted on differently. Yes, the fans absolutely need to matter and they need vote. I have a two ways of dealing with this:
First: It could be a split vote, maybe managers, fans, and the writers all have a third vote (as David Cone mentioned in the Yankees broadcast on 7/5).
or, my preferred solution,
Second: The fans vote as normal, and when all the votes are in, you have it like a top-3 for infielders and a top-5 for outfielders and then the manager picks the most deserving from the fan’s list. So if A,B,C,D,E finished in that order for the OF voting, and manager thinks that A,B,D,E are all-stars then A,B,D start and E is the reserve. This way smaller markets have a better shot to combat the popularity contest effect that large markets create. The fans say still matters, and the teams are even better. It works the same way as the Final Vote for the final roster spot- the mangers pick 5 and the fans vote for 1, in my system the fans pick the pool and the managers make the final selection.
Speaking of the Final Selection, the nominees are:
Chone Figgins- LAA 3B
Brandon Inge- Det C
Ian Kinsler- Tex 2B
Adam Lind- Tor OF
Carlos Pena- TB 1B
Christian Guzman- WAS SS
Matt Kemp- LAD OF
Mark Reynolds- Ari 3B
Pablo Sandoval- SF 3B
Shane Victorino- Phi OF
For the AL honestly you can’t go wrong with any of them, but my vote goes to Kinsler
For the NL my vote goes to Kemp
That does it for this post, be sure to check out the MikesPickz: Sports Section again