In case you have been living under a rock, Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn and Chris Sale all made the AL All-Star team. The King and Big Donkey are reserves. Chris is on the pitching staff and there is a very good chance he could be the starter given the season he has had so far.
Notably absent from the team is AJ Pierzynski. Many Sox fans are understandably pissed by this omission. Let’s face it, the voting for the All-Star team is a popularity contest. This is always evident when you see players who get tons and tons of votes, yet haven’t played much during the season due to injuries. If people were actually voting based upon what players were doing, then we know that some of the selections wouldn’t happen.
And herein lies a problem with the All-Star game. Good Old Bud decided a few years ago that the game should count for something. Beause ratings were dropping (it’s boring) and no one was watching. So to get us consumers to watch, he decided that home field advantage for the World Series. THAT will make us watch.
Not gonna lie, but that was seriously stupid. Especially because the All-Star game is supposed to be an exhibition game. And you have to have a representative from every team. You would think that if a game “matters,” you would want the best players and not just someone from every team. At least those who want to win would want this (at least I would assume so.)
For instance, Joe Mauer was added to the All-Star team by manager Ron Washington. He was chosen because the Twins needed a representative. Matt Wieters, the other AL Catcher was chosen by the players. Ron feels bad for leaving AJ off the team.
“I feel bad for Pierzynski,” Washington said Sunday after the team was announced. “The guy’s having an outstanding year. He’s been working with a very good pitching staff over there with those Chicago White Sox for many years. I consider him a winning player because he beats you any kind of way he can. He beats you mentally, he beats you physically. So I feel really bad for Pierzynski.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. AJ not getting the player vote is hardly surprising. Everyone hates him. Probably with no actual real legitimate reason but because it is the popular thing to do. (Though, there are some legitimate reasons to dislike him for some teams, like the Rays and Angels.) But Ron picking Joe is a bit of a joke. Dandruff Boy’s teammate, Josh Willigham is far more deserving of a spot. However, then that means another outfielder is “snubbed” from the team. Of course, if you didn’t have to have a representative from each team there for a game that IS CLEARLY NOT AN EXHIBITION GAME, then perhaps you could have fewer snubs.
Aside from the fact that AJ has better numbers than all the AL Catchers going, you also have weirdness on the NL All-Star team. The other Chicago team has two players being represented next week. Did you know that team is THE WORST in baseball? Why, oh WHY does a team that has the worst record get two representatives? Are you seriously telling me that they are both having phenomenal season and are top players in their positions? Last I checked, they were both just ok and one even has had just ONE MONTH of goodness this season and it wasn’t recently. The host city team doesn’t have two representatives going.
I basically don’t understand the concept in general. I mean, as meaningless as the games are, at least the NFL waits to play the game when the season is over. For MLB, and especially as it pertains to pitchers, they should not have to worry about conserving energy / resting their arms to pitch in a meaningless game when they still have half the season ahead of them. Bragging rights mean more at the end of the season. These all star games, to me, are completely pointless. There is nothing at stake (although I guess in MLB it has something to do [with] home field advantage, which is even more stupid) and it just taxes everyone’s energy when they should be resting.
I hate the MLB All-Star Game. In general, I don’t mind all-star games. In football, basketball and hockey, they don’t mean anything. They’re just a game to show off how good players are. And that, to me, is what an all-star game should be. But MLB is a little backwards, and they decided that this game should count.The problem with that is all-star game voting is a popularity contest. Because if it was based on stats, Paul Konerko would be the starting first baseman for the American League. But Prince Fielder is because the fans decided they wanted him to be the starter.***The All-Star Game is ridiculous, but it means that, when the Sox go back to the World Series, they could get home field advantage. That’s why, in spite of the ridiculousness that is MLB All-Star Game voting, I always watch, I always root for the American League, and I always vote for the most deserving players.***Maybe one of these days, Major League Baseball will realize that having this game count is ridiculous. Just let the players have a couple days to show off without having the added pressure of home field advantage in the World Series. The game would be more enjoyable for everyone.
I really do agree with Reva and Jen. The game is pointless and it isn’t an exhibition game anymore. Not to mention, it has become a giant popularity contest. Not sure about that, see who the starters are for each league and compare those numbers to other players who should start or even be on the teams.
It will probably be awhile before we see any significant changes to the All-Star game. I would love to see it go back to being exhibition though. If Bud really needs something to decide home field advantage, then how about using the NL versus AL interleague records. At least that way, each team is playing for it as opposed to hoping the best of their colleagues are doing it in a game that is supposed to not mean anything significant.
What about you? How do you feel about the snubs and the game in general? Will you be watching? Do you hope Chris Sale starts? Would you rather the guys all get some much needed time off? Let me know in the comments.