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Puzzling All Star Choices

Usually, I have minimal issues with All Star selections, especially with how much the rosters have expanded. It is fun to debate who got snubbed, but at this point it is usually over guys that likely would not make the team if the rosters were still at 25 players.

This year is different though. One glance at the rosters, and it is clear that some odd things happened:
  • How did Joakim Soria get picked over Zack Greinke as the lone Royals representative? Soria is not a horrible choice all on his own. He is a good closer, and has been for a while. However, Zack Greinke is the reigning AL Cy Young award winner, and he has been at least as good as Soria this year. He just doesn't have the wins because the Royals make a habit of blowing games when he is on the mound.
  • How is Trevor Cahill the lone A's representative? I like Cahill in a young and upcoming kind of way, but I don't like this selection. Oakland needs a representative, and if you have decided it will be a pitcher, how does Cahill get the nod over Dallas Braden? Granted, Cahill has more wins and a lower ERA. However, going by WAR, the two pitchers are about equal, and Braden was the one of the two that pitched a perfect game. Honestly, I don't think anyone on the A's staff truly deserves a spot in the game, so I would go with the guy who produced one of the season's most memorable moments.
  • How did Alex Rios get left off the AL roster? Rios has had a huge season for a surging team that all of a sudden finds themselves in the playoff hunt. He has been better than Vernon Wells and Jose Bautista - two outfielders who made the AL roster, that both play for the Blue Jays, a team not as relevant as the White Sox this year, and even in a smaller market too. Toronto needs a representative, so I am okay with one of them making the team ahead of Rios. Both of them is inexplicable.
  • How did Shin-Soo Choo get left off the AL roster? This should have been a no-brainer. Choo is clearly Cleveland's best player this year, and he just went on the DL today. He deserved to make the team, and strategically, it would have made amazing sense too. He could have been Cleveland's lone representative, instead of Fausto Carmona. Then, Choo's injury replacement could have been a starting pitcher, essentially opening up the pitching slot Carmona took for one of a plethora of snubs. The pick could have been a guy like Francisco Liriano, Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander, or Jered Weaver. Any doubt that those guys are better and more deserving than Carmona?
  • Once again, how is Trevor Cahill the lone A's representative? Did you see that list of pitchers that aren't All Stars while Trevor Cahill is? The backup catcher on the AL team is John Buck. Couldn't he be replaced by Kurt Suzuki? Buck probably is a little more deserving, but not even Blue Jays fans are going to remember that Buck was a 2010 American League All Star, especially with Wells and Bautista already on the team from Toronto. If Suzuki is on the team ahead of Buck, there is another pitching slot open for the aforementioned quartet of obvious pitching snubs.
Well, that's about it for the better of the two rosters. Here are the obvious problems with the NL squad:
  • Why is Yadier Molina the starting catcher? Although I don't agree with all the fan selections, this is the only one that I think was bone-headed. Molina just hasn't had an all star kind of year, plain and simple.
  • How is Evan Meek the lone Pirates representative? What a terrible decision here. Meek isn't even Pittsburgh's closer. He has had a commendable year, but he is only on the team because Pittsburgh had to have someone. So, why did Meek get the nod over Andrew McCutchen, who is clearly the Pirates best player, and one of the game's most exciting young players? Is it because the NL needed another pitcher? Well how's this for a solution: make Roy Oswalt the Astros only representative instead of Michael Bourn. Bam, solution, and there's a more than fair argument that Oswalt should make the team over Bourn anyway.
  • Why is Omar Infante on the team? Well, it's obvious why. He is the utility player, and each team can designate a utility player that can come back in the game in some emergency situation. I hate the new rule, but Infante should never make it in the game in the first place. The fact that a new rule manufactured a spot for a guy like Infante on the All Star team is a joke.
  • Where is the Padres bullpen? Have you seen the seasons that Mike Adams, Luke Gregerson, and Heath Bell are having in San Diego? The Padres are on a Cinderella run atop the NL West, and their amazing bullpen is a big reason why. All three would be deserving selections, and one of them needs to be an All Star with how significant of a storyline the Padres have been so far. However, somehow Arthur Rhodes, Tim Hudson, Brian Wilson, and Matt Capps were all deemed more deserving than any one of the "Pen-itentary," as they have dubbed themselves.
  • Where is Billy Wagner? I hate to keep picking on Rhodes, because I really like him, he's had a good season, and it's an awesome story that he is a first-time All Star at 40 years old. However, I feel like he made it as the specialty lefty, and he got added at the expense of all sorts of more deserving guys. One of them is Wagner. He is one of the greatest closers of all time, and he's putting up another fantastic year for the Atlanta Braves. Wagner has said this is his final year too. He deserves to be at this game, given his great career, as well as the great season he has put together. Oh, and he is left-handed, which is why I bring up that it's ridiculous he got left off in favor of Rhodes.
This time it counts, as Major League Baseball will remind us plenty of times between now and the game. It shouldn't with All Star decisions like these.