Saturday, July 8, 2017
Yet Another All Star-Related Rant
I've been running this blog for nine years. In every one of those years, something has happened in terms of the All Star Game that's simply pissed me off.
Again, I'm sorry if it's gotten laborious or annoying, but the ASG has become a very sentimental, important baseball event for me, in that it's literally the only pressure-less, fun moment in the entire season, and it's the culmination of an entire league year. It's the opportunity to see a ton of people I love watching just play together.
Part of this has something to do with an aspect I've already ranted about on this blog, which is the rule that people who pitch the Sunday before are ineligible for the game, even if they were already voted to the team. I've come to understand the mindset of players who'd rather win for the team than slum for the ASG, but I've held the opinion for years that this whole thing would be easier if they just blocked out a week for the game. It's obvious that they have time in April, and they can just have Opening Day earlier instead of just pushing it closer and closer to Tax Day. But the MLB just won't think about giving something as meaningless as the All Star Game its own week. Fine. That's on them.
And I get that injuries happen, because of course they do, and you can't control them, and obviously that's more important than the ASG. But...what's pissing me off this time is how both managers decided to replace a bunch of the sunday starters and injured players.
A few of the replacements I'm absolutely fine with: Brandon Kintzler's having a great season, he deserves to be there. Robinson Cano's fantastic as usual, and I argued he should have been in there initially, even if it's at Starlin Castro's expense. The fact that Corey Knebel made the All Star Team and Alex Wood DIDN'T pissed me off, so I'm glad they pulled in Wood for Kershaw. And while Justin Upton isn't completely wowing me this season, he's got to be on there so the Tigers have a rep (without Michael Fullmer), so I get it.
The other three I'm not wild about.
Chris Archer, as nice of a pitcher as he is, falls into the Carlos Martinez category of 'ton of strikeouts, not a lot of wins'...for the second season in a row. The Rays already have representation, thanks to Chris Dickerson, but Archer isn't necessarily the greatest choice for another AL pitcher. For once I'm not even gonna say it should have been a Yankee. Maybe Carlos Carrasco could have gone in there, or Jose Berrios. Archer wasn't the flashiest pick for them.
Same with Chris Devenski. Look, I'm not gonna deny how fantastic a season the guy's having. He's providing fantastic middle-relief for the best team in the AL. The problem with putting him in the All Star Game is the same problem I have with Corey Knebel...nobody knows who they are. The All-Star game is about putting all of those gigantic names together in one stadium, and when you pick relievers like Corey Knebel and Chris Devenski, you're using real estate space that could go to more impressive names. I understand the practicality of using relievers and making it more like a regular game, but this is the All-Star Game! Go all out! Have Corey Kluber work the seventh! It's not a big deal!
My other problem's with a reliever, and it's Roberto Osuna. The Blue Jays, with Osuna, now have two reps in this game. A last place-team like the Blue Jays should not have two nods. I'd honestly argue that Osuna has more of an ASG case than Justin Smoak, but I wouldn't have either of them on. If the Jays have to have a nod, it'd be Osuna, but there's no use having them both, especially Smoak starting. I'd have that attitude even if I didn't hate the Jays, by the way.
And onto my last gripe: While Justin Upton gets to sneak into the ASG as a replacement rep for Michael Fulmer, Yu Darvish gets replaced as the Rangers' rep by...no one.
That's right. The Rangers have 0 representatives for this year's All Star Game. This is a third-place team that's not doing too horribly, with some major players, and there won't be a single one in the All Star Game. Not even Elvis Andrus, or Nomar Mazara. That is a little unfair. Also, thanks to Mike Trout's injury, there aren't any Angels either, which is just an insult to Andrelton Simmons. so that's TWO teams without an All Star nod (while the last place Blue Jays have two)
So yeah. I'm a little ticked off with some of the replacement picks, and it boils down to a ton of things I don't like about the ASG.