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All-Star Grumblings: National League
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 7/2/2007 10:52:00 AM
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I understand the absurdity of arguing against who got snubbed for the Major League All-Star game, but what good is having a blog if you can’t complain about the minutiae? First up, the NL squad:

Catcher – Russell Martin – An easy call. Martin has been one of the most pleasant surprises in baseball through the first half of the season. In fact, if he kept the same pace over the next three months, he’d likely finish the season as a top-20 fantasy player.

First Base – Prince Fielder – Deserving. He’s one homer shy of last year’s total in 266 fewer at-bats.

Second Base – Chase Utley – Another no-brainer. There isn’t a bigger gap at any other position than Utley and the rest of MLB’s second basemen.

Third Base - David Wright – He’s having a fine season, but Miguel Cabrera should be starting here. Still, that’s nitpicking, and there are far worse decisions to come.

Shortstop – Jose Reyes – The most loaded group in recent memory. Tough to argue with the Reyes pick, but the fact Hanley Ramirez didn’t even make it as a reserve is egregious. There’s a pretty good argument to be made that J.J. Hardy has been the fifth best NL SS this year.

Outfield – Ken Griffey Jr. – Do you realize that Griffey has 585 career home runs? Over the last six seasons, Junior has missed 418 games, an average of 70 contests per season.

Outfield – Carlos Beltran – Four homers over a two-game span this weekend sure makes this selection more palatable.

Outfield - Barry Bonds – Some of the media are treating his insertion like some charity case because the game is in San Francisco. In a recent ESPN SportsNation poll, Bonds blew everyone out with a 48% vote as “player least deserving to start.” Unfortunately, those pesky stats don’t back up these claims. Bonds leads the NL in OPS (1.119), walks (84), OBP (.516) and ranks second in slugging (.603) despite playing in an extreme pitcher’s park. He only ranks eighth in the league in homers (16), but it’s awfully tough to contend in that category when seeing two-three pitches within feet of the strike zone per game.

A few notes on the NL reserves: Did Dmitri Young really just make an All-Star team? Freddy Sanchez over Ian Snell as Pittsburgh’s representative is laughable, especially considering the other middle infield snubs. With Matt Holliday already on the roster, why was Brian Fuentes also included? You’re telling me he’s had a better year than Chris Young? Young should be in consideration to start the game, let alone make it as a reserve. As for Jake Peavy vs. Brad Penny, it’s a tough call on who should start. Peavy has the more impressive strikeout numbers, but Petco is a better park to pitch in. Penny hasn’t allowed more than one run in a game since June 3! Still, since I’m convinced last year’s All-Star start – when he came out pumping 99 mph fastballs – essentially ruined Penny’s second half, for his own sake (and my fantasy team’s), I’m hoping Peavy gets the nod.


Embarrassing is all you can say about the NL picks, especially the Fuentes selection. Guessing Hanley Ramirez and Chris Young would have been better selections over Freddy Sanchez and Brian Fuentes. Incredible.
Posted by vtadave at 7/2/2007 10:57:00 AM
I am just shocked Bonds is in as a starter when he is hated through out baseball nation. You really have to wonder where all those votes came from. Very few want him to break the record and just as few said he didn't seserve to start and in one weekend passes Soriano when he was so far behind.
Posted by draysfan47 at 7/2/2007 11:29:00 AM
How about taking Gorzelanny or Snell over Fuentes and Rollins or Hanley over Sanchez? Could even argue Maine or Chris Young over Hamels but that splitting hairs.
Posted by airjan23 at 7/2/2007 11:53:00 AM
Very happy over the Snell snub because he performs better with a chip on his shoulder. His fantasy owners should be happy too. Definitely feel he was the most deserving Pirates player to make the All-Star team, though, and feel bad for him personally. PS - You've got to be kidding me. Hanley Ramirez didn't even make the team? It's obvious LaRussa is looking to manage the game in the late innings to win rather than recognize the achievements of the most deserving. And maybe that's not so bad, I'm not sure.
Freddy Sanchez -- .301, 1 homer, 28 RBI, 0 steals.
Hanley Ramirez -- .318, 11 homers, 29 RBI, 25 steals.

Posted by jtopper at 7/2/2007 12:25:00 PM
draysfan, I think Bonds getting into the starting lineup proved pretty conclusively that "he is hated through out baseball" and "very few want him to break the record" are media-created fictions... feelings against him are not nearly as unanimous as ESPN wishes they were.
Posted by ESiegrist at 7/2/2007 10:16:00 PM
There isn't a poll out there that supports Bonds or anywhere online where fans get to voice their opinion. You see a few here and there who bash all those who can't stand him. Basically Bonds is like the love him or hate him. I hate both personally ;-)
Posted by draysfan47 at 7/3/2007 7:29:00 AM
So... then where did the votes come from?
Posted by ESiegrist at 7/3/2007 7:36:00 PM
For whatever it's worth the Giants had a *very* aggressive campaign to get votes Barry's way, which included mailers sent to their season-ticket and fan-base encouraging voters to register dummy e-mail addresses so they could vote more for Barry (each e-mail address gets 25 votes per MLB rules). Now I know most teams do some sort of cheesy thing to help their players, but this is the first time I've seen a team rep suggest the dummy e-mail address. Pretty lame if you ask me, but then again, I haven't watched an All-Star Game in 10 years, what do I care? The people (and their aliases) have spoken! (Gavel)
Posted by spianow at 7/3/2007 9:20:00 PM
Fuentes was a player pick, right? Just a timing issue - he looked like a solid pick until that week from hell. It is a joke that Freddy Sanchez is here, while so many other stud shortstops aren't.
Posted by spianow at 7/3/2007 9:23:00 PM

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