It's always interesting when people get so up in arms about teams or brackets that are picked subjectively. The NCAA basketball tournament sparks a similar debate each year as the All Star Rosters in baseball. Before going further, let's get a few things straight:
- It's impossible to make everyone happy. Just like any musician that puts out a popular album, the results are polarizing. It inevitably gets overplayed/overhyped and many people get sick of it. In a similar fashion, the All Star team will be full of guys who are currently good, used to be good, and are overhyped but might be good in the future.
- People need to be realistic. Not every team deserves an All Star, yet they all get one. If the team you root for is extra terrible, don't try to make an argument that some terrible player with half decent stats deserves to be on the team. Pirates fans, I have no idea who Evan Meek is, but please can we not have any more middle relievers on the team? Please? If a pitchers is great, they are a starter. If they are great, but prone to injury, they are a closer. And if they are barely good enough to be in the Major League, they are a middle reliever. They don't deserve to be on the All Star team, even with a freakish ERA.
- Most the time, the fans aren't really to blame for omissions. The fans typically vote in the best players, with a few nostalgic picks occasionally rearing their ugly head. But if the fans vote for Albert Pujols to be the 1B on the NL team, that is a perfectly good decision. Joey Votto deserves to be on the team, and just because his stats are a little better at this point, there is no one in their right mind who would pick him over Pujols if they were choosing a team. That's just dumb. It's up to the All Star manager to get it right- and in this case you're dealing with a hayseed-old-schooler who doesn't understand the concept of looking at a camera directly during an interview on TBS. Hey Charlie Manuel, it's called technology, get with it buddy.
Overall, I don't have any problem with the starting position players of either team. If I was putting a team out there, I'd probably take Brian McCann over the third Molina brother, but that's a minimal complaint. Now, Martin Prado is replacing Chase Utley in the starting lineup, which is a bit odd because even though he has a great average, I still don't believe this guy is actually good. I'd rather have Brandon Phillips as the starting replacement. Again, I'm nitpicking.
It's also interesting to note how much more dangerous the AL lineup looks versus the NL lineup. I'd like to see the NL win an All Star game sometime in the next 50 years, but they way it's going it's not looking good. It is good that the NL pitching is quite dominant with Ubaldo, Josh Johnson, Halladay, Wainwright, Carpenter, and Lincecum. I do think Matt Cain deserves a spot in there with those guys, but I'm not going to complain too much. Also, if you needed a guy for an inning against Mauer, Morneau, Jeter, and Longoria would you rather have Matt Capps or Stephen Stasburg? I'm not saying Strasburg deserves a spot on the All Star team six starts in, but if Matt Capps is the Nationals' All Star representative, he should at least be the best pitcher on his own team.
The All Star game is typically a fun game to watch, and worrying about whether one guy gets on the team is pretty insane. Let's be honest, with all the injuries they'll probably get added with or without winning the last chance vote by the fans (which Votto is winning by a lot right now.) Just enjoy the festivities and feel free to mute the TV during the Home Run Derby. Your ears do not need to be subjected to Chris Berman. Ever.