It’s All-Star time! The best of the best from all 30 Major League Baseball teams will come together to showcase their talents.
Well, maybe not all of them are the best. But they’re still pretty darn good.
Since 1970, MLB fans have voted in their favorite players from their favorite teams for the starting eight positions. Most of the time, the fans get it right. Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols and Ryan Braun are all superstars that have been voted as starters for the All-Star Game over the last few years, but there are times when one wonders what on Earth the voters are thinking.
Looking at this year’s All-Star starting lineup, you can see pretty clear examples of players that were voted in more because of their names or the number of their fans voting, rather than their actual performance this season.
For example, the starting catcher for the American League is Matt Wieters of the Baltimore Orioles. This will be the fourth time he has been selected to the All-Star team, and it is the first time he was voted as a starter. The only problem though, is that he hasn’t played in a game since the first week of May and has had season-ending surgery. Thanks Baltimore for making him our starter!
It seems like the voting for the American League this year was a little crazy, as Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners was voted starting second baseman over, in my opinion, the much more deserving Houston Astros second baseman, Jose Altuve. Cano has been putting up pretty good numbers this year, but it seems to me that he got a lot of votes due to his recognizable name after nine years as a cornerstone of the New York Yankees offense.
Altuve is at a disadvantage when it comes to voting, because he is on a terrible Astros squad. But when you look at his statistics, you will see that Altuve is playing at an elite level this season. Altuve leads all of baseball with 126 hits and 96 singles, and leads the American League with a .341 batting average and 41 stolen bases. Cano has put up good numbers this year, but Altuve is having a better season, and therefore I feel Altuve should have been voted starter rather than making the team as a replacement.
In the end, the All-Star Game is still going to be a lot of fun to watch, and everyone who made it on the team deserved it. Although there will always be a debate every year as to who got left off the team, or who was voted a starter when they shouldn’t have been, the fans will get to see their favorite players all on the field at once. Even with crazy voting by crazy fans, they are getting the chance once a year to pick who they want to see, and every year it’s the fans, not the American League or National League, that win the All-Star Game.