Jul. 08, 2014
2014 MLB All-Star Selection Reaction
Not even 24 hours after the All-Star Game selections were announced, we look at the biggest snubs and shockers
This will be Derek Jeter's fourteenth, and final, MLB All-Star Game (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Written by Jake Elman
July is known as arguably the slowest month of sports for a reason. There's no NBA, the NFL doesn't start training camps until the end of the month with preseason games not until early August, the NHL is on break. Sure, there's tennis, but I think I'd rather watch endless repeats of Quick Pitch or SportsCenter than tennis. They don't even televise much lacrosse; all we have is baseball.
Which hey, that's not at all a bad thing. This is when the postseason race heats up, when we finally realize who can really contend, and who's preparing for the next season. And smack dab in the middle of all this is the Midsummer Classic, baseball's All-Star Game.
Despite some people disliking the fact that MLB's All-Star Game is the only one in sports that really means something - the winning league gets home field advantage in the World Series - there have been some great moments the past few years in baseball's showcase. From Cal Ripken Jr. hitting a to Ichiro Suzuki to even a tie, the All-Star Game has been pretty exciting lately.
Yesterday, the to the public, and as you may expect, there were some major shockers and snubs. Today, we're going to look at not only the snubs, but also the great picks made to the teams.
We'll start off in the American League East, where the fact the Boston Red Sox only had one All-Star (Jon Lester) with their manager, John Farrell, running the AL team was shocking. While the Sox are nowhere close to what they did last year, I truly was confused to see Dustin Pedroia (.284/4/32) miss out on the Midsummer Classic, especially with only one second baseman (Jose Altuve) making it as a reserve. I wanted Altuve starting the game, so that's not a knock on him, but Pedroia easily could've made it. Same goes for John Lackey (9-6/3.84/106 strikeouts to 23 walks) and closer Koji ]Uehara (4-2/1.30/18 saves).
Toronto's Melky Cabrera not making the roster is embarrassing, and I hope he gets added in somehow. A statline of .299/11/44 at the halfway point isn't bad at all, and he's partly why Toronto is even still in the playoff race.
Good seeing Dellin Betances making the game; he's been electric in the later innings for Joe Girardi and the Yankees.
It'll be interesting seeing Robinson Cano in the same lineup as Derek Jeter one last time - remember, they were teammates from 2005-13 and they haven't hit alongside each other really since 2012, what with Jeter's various injuries in 2013.
Ian Kinsler didn't make the All-Star Game with a .302/11/45 statline? Does he need to do backflips for John Farrell while singing the alphabet song backwards and trying to grab Wally the Green Monster's hat?
I'm honestly ecstatic to see Scott Kazmir make the All-Star Game. It wasn't too long ago the former Rays ace was pitching for the Salt Lake Skeeters, and now he's back in the Mid-Summer Classic. Awesomeness.
There was some early outrage about Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins not starting, but Mike Matheny's decision to start him at DH is smart. It's always fun watching the man once known as Mike slug home runs.
I thought it was interesting that George Springer of the Astros didn't merit much consideration for a reserve spot; granted, he is hitting .235 with 105 strikeouts, but I would've thought they'd have liked his pop on the bench.
I LOVE the selection of Dee Gordon by the NL. His speed will be a game changer for Mike Matheny's squad.
Good to see Nelson Cruz start the game as the DH; it looks like baseball as a whole is finally beginning to move on from Biogenesis.
It's hard not to feel bad for Jeff Samardzija, who was named to the National League All-Star team (with crappy numbers, but that's not the point) but is unable to play because of the trade to Oakland last Friday. From what I understand, though, the pitcher affectionately referred to as 'Shark' will be allowed to sit in the dugout with his new Oakland A's teammates. That's good - it'll allow him not only to bond with the men he'll call teammates, but he can also see how his new American League contemporaries approach at-bats.
How did Josh Harrison make the All-Star Game? I get that it's always good to have utility, especially if the game goes to extra innings like in 2008, but his numbers (.298/5/25) are essentially Dustin Pedroia's!
Huston Street not making the game is a joke. While I do think he'll end up making the game as a replacement, how do you ignore a 1.13 ERA and 18 hits in 32 innings?
Freddie Freeman didn't need the Final Vote this year, as he made it easily as a reserve (.294/13/47).
Yadier Molina continues to solidify himself as the best catcher in the game today, as he'll be starting his fourth All-Star Game in the past six years for the National League Squad.
Speaking of Cardinals, talk about a real difference in squads. John Farrell, who heads the AL, only has one player from his team this year - ace Jon Lester. Mike Matheny, on the other hand, brings four players from the Cardinals, and I wouldn't be surprised if Lance Lynn is added later.
And a former Cardinal, Albert Pujols, was snubbed big time. Yes, the average isn't amazing (.268), but he's on pace for his first 30/100 season since 2011 (19/57 at the All-Star Break) and could be an adequate replacement for Edwin Encarnacion.
For the record, I think the Final Vote winners will be Chris Sale of the White Sox (8-1 record with a 2.16 ERA and an 0.87 WHIP) and Justin Morneau of the Colorado Rockies (.316/13/59).
- And finally, anyone that complains about Derek Jeter starting the game and 'how he doesn't deserve to even make the game' needs to take a backseat for a second. This is one of the greatest players of our generation, and this year is the last he's going to play. This isn't someone who was busted for steroids, or may have been in legal trouble; Derek Jeter is the epitome of the baseball man. Just because someone may have a better WAR or their BABIP is a bit higher doesn't mean that we shouldn't honor Derek Jeter.
- And speaking of honoring Jeter, can it top what they did for Mariano Rivera last season?
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