|All-Star Snubs Abound through Voting||| Print |||Send|
Written by Jim Mancari (Contact & Archive) on July 12, 2011
Every year, there are a handful of players deserving of All-Star nods that fall into the category of "All-Star Snubs." Whatever the reason, these players do not receive the recognition from the fans, players and coaches responsible for selecting the team.
It's a shame that many of these players are off to great starts but are often times in the shadow of an aging veteran who may not have great numbers but is selected based on popularity.
This year, it's difficult to point out the snubs since so many of the original players have dropped out of the game for either personal reasons or injury. Though many of the "snubs" have now been selected, the majority should have been on the team in the first place.
Pirates starter Kevin Correia can also be considered a snub, though he was eventually selected to replace Cole Hamels who pitched Sunday. When looking at the NL wins leaders, Jurrjens and Roy Halladay are expected to be on top. Correia and his 11 wins are second in the NL.
A case can be made for Diamondbacks starter Ian Kennedy. The 26-year-old is 9-3 with a 3.44 ERA through 19 starts. It would have been a nice gesture to see Kennedy take the hill during the All-Star Game in front of his hometown fans at Chase Field.
Meanwhile, several pitchers selected to the team relied on their reputation -- and, in some cases, a little help from their manager. Giants manager Bruce Bochy had no qualms about taking four pitchers from his own staff.
Closer Brian Wilson rightfully deserves the nod, and even journeyman Ryan Vogelsong (6-1, 2.17 ERA) has earned the honor to pitch in his first career All-Star Game.
However, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain have had just average years in comparison to some other NL starters, yet they will be making the trip to Phoenix, though Cain pitched Sunday and is ineligible.
As for other NL snubs, the fact that Andrew McCutchen was not originally selected to the team is a travesty. What's worse is that he wasn't even on the ballot for the final fan vote (he was later added to the team as an injury replacement).
McCutchen is a dynamic athlete that will be an exciting force for an NL squad looking to win back-to-back Mid-Summer Classics. The Pirates have been one of the surprise teams in the league and have been rightly rewarded with more than the minimum "one-per-team" selection. Closer Joel Hanrahan, who has been lights out this year, will also represent the Pirates.
Michael Morse of Nationals is a legitimate snub. He has already matched his home run total from last season (15) and in 20 fewer games. Tyler Clippard will be representing the Nationals, but there's no reason aging former slugger Chipper Jones (.259, 8 home runs, 46 RBI) should be on the team over Morse.
Since this might be Jones' last season, it seems the players and coaches rewarded him with one final All-Star appearance after a great career. However, Jones was recently placed on the disabled list and replaced by Scott Rolen.
Over in the AL, the guy who is leading the league in wins -- C.C. Sabathia with 13 -- was left off the team. Though the Yankees are well represented, Sabathia may deserve the nod more so than any of his teammates.
Even though he pitched Sunday and thus wouldn't be able to pitch in the game, he definitely should have received the initial nod.
The biggest snub in the AL has to be White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, though the fans selected him as the AL final vote. Miguel Cabrera, who was selected as the backup first baseman to starter Adrian Gonzalez, also deserves his spot, which limited what manager Ron Washington could do.
However, if the White Sox were to have just one representative (like they initially did), Konerko should have definitely gotten the nod over Carlos Quentin, who's hitting just .254. Though having three first basemen would not be the best strategy, one could have filled in at DH or serve as a pinch hitter in a big spot.
Finally, Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta could have started for the AL based on his first half statistics, but he too was not initially chosen for the game. Despite having a poor statistical year and missing time due to injury, Derek Jeter was selected for his 12th All-Star Game.
Granted, Jeter has accomplished just about everything in this game including collecting his 3,000th hit. Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (.293, 14 HR, 49 RBI) earned the spot as Jeter's backup and will now start in his place.
Though the All-Star Game is a historic event that allows fans to vote for their favorite players, sometimes those players are not the ones who deserve it. If the game is going to decide home field advantage in the World Series (which is absurd by the way), the best players should represent their respective leagues.