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2011 All-Star Reaction

It will be a rare double post day on the blog, as there are enough interesting things to talk about with both All-Star teams. Instead of going player by player, I'll highlight some of the differences between the AL and NL rosters, compared to my own selections:

  • The biggest snub is Andrew McCutchen, and it's not even close. He's going to be a 20-20 player with Gold Glove defense in center field. He has an outside shot at a 30-30 season, with a .300 average. McCutchen is one of the game's most exciting young talents, yet seems to always be forgotten when it comes to the All Star team. Playing in Pittsburgh doesn't help, but they aren't that bad this year. There are no excuses with this one. Terrible.
  • Fans love the Yankees too much. Derek Jeter has no business starting at shortstop this year. Robinson Cano shouldn't be starting either, though he is having a solid season, and there are no AL second baseman having massive seasons. With that said, fans deserve credit for voting Alex Avila into the All Star Game ahead of Yankees backstop Russell Martin.
  • In the National League, fans nailed the starting lineups. In general, in both leagues, I do not think fan voting forced a deserving player off the rosters. Then again, that's about impossible these days with the oversized 34-man rosters.
  • I am a little surprised that neither Ian Kinsler nor Elvis Andrus made the All Star team. Managers tend to pick their own guys, and I thought both had decent cases no matter who was managing. I wouldn't go as far as to call them snubs, but I am still surprised neither of them made the cut.
  • I am more surprised that Buster Posey was not named to the NL squad. There might be a rule that injured players cannot get named to the reserves, I don't know. Bruce Bochy definitely showed some preference to his guys. Just ask Ryan Vogelsong.
  • One pick I prefer to mine is Tyler Clippard from the Nationals, instead of my choice, Jordan Zimmermann. If I could go back and redo my rosters, I'd make that switch.
  • How did Sergio Santos get left off the AL roster? He is at least a more worthy selection than Jose Valverde, and I think a better selection than several other closers in the AL bullpen.
  • How was Craig Kimbrel left off of the NL roster? His set-up man, Jonny Venters, is an All Star (I think because he is left-handed). Kimbrel is tied for the NL lead in saves, has a sub-3.00 ERA, and strikes out over 14 batters per 9 innings. If it weren't for McCutchen, this would be the worst All Star snub. It's pretty awful. How exactly did Ryan Vogelsong make it over this guy?
  • My vote for the AL final player goes to Paul Konerko. It was a tough choice between him and Ben Zobrist, but Konerko ends up as my choice because I think his power is more appealing to fans in a one-game exhibition than Zobrist's underrated combination of speed, patience, and versatility. Ultimately, as far as I'm concerned, neither of them should be sweating it out on the final ballot anyway.
  • My vote for the final player on the NL roster goes to Shane Victorino. I don't understand why he isn't on the roster already. His all-around game makes him a premier center fielder this year, right there with Andrew McCutchen. What is it with complete center fielders getting no love at all from the All Star game?
Overall, both rosters are solid. There aren't too many puzzling selections, and only a few glaring snubs (depending on the final spot vote). Between injuries and whichever pitchers start next Sunday, I'm fairly certain some of these issues will be remedied. If not, well, it's a quasi-exhibition anyway. I'll just feel bad for the rest of the NL East, when Craig Kimbrel decides to strike out even more batters out of frustration.

UPDATE (1:02 PM) - I should have taken the time to look more closely. These really are some sub-par rosters, and as much as the fans love the Yankees, in the end a couple got snubbed. CC Sabathia should be on the team, period. How he got left off is stunning. What exactly does he have to do? His traditional stats are great, as are his sabermetric ones, AND he is the anchor of the Yankees staff. You know it is bad, because I'm always happy to see the Yankees suffer, but this is too far. This harms the integrity of the selections.

I am also surprised that Mark Teixeira is not making the trip to Arizona either, but whatever. That's one I can chuckle at and feel good about as a Yankee hater. It's weird to think that the Yankees both got too much and too little attention at the same time.