Now that the actual MLB All-Star rosters have been constructed, it’s time to do what every other baseball fan with spare times does at this point: pedantically critique the selections and offer our own unsolicited opinion on the matter.
Here are my 2011 All-Star rosters:
The names in blue are players I selected, but were left off of the real All-Star teams. The names in grey are the final omissions from my All-Star squads, names that I had difficulty leaving out. I did adhere to the mandatory representative rule, so every MLB team has an All-Star amongst my selections.
Now, let’s take a look at the scrubs; the guys who don’t deserve to be going to Phoenix for this year’s Mid-Summer Classic:
American League Scrubs:
1) Derek Jeter, SS, Yankees
No commentary is really needed. It’s been said thousands of times before. Jeter is a living, breathing example of a flawed system. If he really did “respect the game” or whatever, he would gracefully bow out and allow a more deserving player to take in the festivities (there are about 5 other shortstops who fit this description).
2) Jose Valverde, RP, Tigers
In modern-day baseball, as a general rule, closers tend to be overrated and middle-relievers tend to be underrated. The All-Star game is an annual reminder of this. Jose Valverde averages 5 walks per 9 innings, and is the third-best reliever on his own team. I could probably find at least 20 other relief pitchers in the American League who I’d rather call upon in a close situation.
3) Michael Young, DH, Rangers
I guess I just don’t understand the logic of choosing an actual DH to be the “backup DH” on your team, unless that DH happens to be the best hitter available for the spot (Young isn’t). I’d much rather have seen Konerko in this role.
National League Scrubs:
1) Chipper Jones, 3B, Braves
The Jeter selection is almost understandable, because he was chosen by idiots. You don’t blame a dog for shitting in your yard, you just grab a plastic bag and deal with it. This, however, is ridiculous. An actual baseball person selected Chipper Jones to be an All-Star, in a year where he is one of the most unproductive third basemen in the league. Yes, he’s a future Hall of Famer. Yes, he deserves recognition for his play over the past 18 years. But, this isn’t the proper forum for that.
2) Jonny Venters, RP, Braves
Yeah, an ironic choice, given what I wrote about Jose Valverde. Venters is a middle reliever who was chosen instead of the closer on his own team (Kimbrel) who is having a much more dominant season. It looks like the selection was based upon ERA, and not much else.
3) Brian Wilson, RP, Giants
He’s a MLB poster boy, and he’ll probably go to a few more All-Star Games before his career is over, but 2011 hasn’t been a standout year for him. There are a bunch of other more deserving pitchers.