|Midsummer classic full of controversy once again|
|Written by Tony Andracki|
|Tuesday, 07 July 2009 18:00|
The Major League Baseball All-Star voting has commenced, but not without controversy, as has become custom for the Midsummer Classic in the past few years.
As usual, the fans vote in the All-Star starters. While I love this idea and think that it is great that fans can get involved, the popular vote is just not always the right one, plain and simple.
This year, Josh Hamilton is really the only undeserving name as injuries have forced MLB's best story of 2008 to play in only 35 games so far this season. In those games, he's hitting just .240 with a .290 on-base percentage. Hardly All-Star worthy.
A case can be made that Dustin Pedroia and Derek Jeter are undeserving as well. Pedroia was a surprise choice. This year, he is off par from his first two years in the Majors, with a .290 average and three home runs. He's still scored 59 runs and is on pace for almost 200 hits and 30 stolen bases, but Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler is having a fantastic season, better than Pedroia's.
The 27-year-old four-year veteran is on pace for a 30-30 season, 100 RBIs and 100 runs. Yet, he is not even in the All-Star game at this point. He can still be voted in by the final fan vote, where he is going up against four other AL options.
I'm not going to argue whether Pedroia is worthy of an All-Star nod, because I think he's a great player who helps his team out as much with intangibles like hustle as he does with his play on the field.
The NL is actually as fair as I could imagine. It looked for some time that Manny Ramirez or Alfonso Soriano would be among the starting three, but cooler heads prevailed and the most deserving players are making the start.
My only knock on the NL team is that there were three first basemen chosen to backup baseball's best player (yes, I finally will admit Albert Pujols is baseball's best player). Why does any team need four first basemen? Most positions have only one backup.
As long as fan voting is the way in which the starting lineups are chosen, somebody will always disagree with the final product. The more popular players will probably always be chosen over the lesser-known-but more deserving-guys.
It didn't used to matter how the players were selected as much because the game meant nothing. Now, it means home-field advantage in the World Series. Something's on the line now, so something needs to change in the way players are selected to the game.
Until then, I'll just continue to disagree, but enjoy the mid-July festivities anyways.