Sunday, July 7, 2013

Solid All-Star selections from fans

Typically I'm pretty dubious about fan voting for the MLB All-Star Game. It tends to skew the roster toward players from big-market teams like the Yankees, Dodgers, and yes, Red Sox, because those teams have legions of fans that they can mobilize to vote. In a true exhibition game, that wouldn't matter as much. Since the players and managers fill out the rosters after the initial fan voting selects the starters, they ensure that all teams are represented.

But because the winner of the All-Star Game determines who gets home field advantage in the World Series, fan selection seems like a big responsibility, and we've certainly made some questionable selections in years past. I was somewhat apprehensive about the unveiling of the voting results last night, but I could have saved myself the trouble  because the fans did a pretty solid job all around - while there were a few minor snubs, there wasn't anything egregious.

The National League starting infielders are Yadier Molina (C) of the Rockies, Joey Votto (1B) of the Reds, Brandon Phillips (2B) of the Reds, David Wright (3B) of the Mets, and Troy Tulowitzki (SS) of the Rockies, and the outfielders are Carlos Beltran of the Cardinals, Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies, and Bryce Harper of the Nationals. There's some controversy over Harper's selection, as the young sensation has missed significant time this season with a knee injury, but I don't think the selection is unreasonable.

On the American League side of things, the infield will include Joe Mauer (C) of the Twins, Chirs Davis (1B) of the Orioles, Robinson Cano (2B) of the Yankees, Miguel Cabrera (3B) of the Tigers, and JJ Hardy (SS) of the Orioles. Starting AL outfielders will be Adam Jones of the Orioles, Mike Trout of the Angels, and Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays, while Boston's own David Ortiz will be the starting DH. I don't really have any qualms with this, though I would obviously love to see Dustin Pedroia get the nod (he will be at the game as a reserve, so I'll have to settle for that).

The managers of the two teams, Jim Leyland for the AL, and Bruce Bochy for the NL, along with player votes, fill in the reserves and the pitchers - with the exception of one player on each roster. The Final Vote started yesterday, and will continue until Thursday, where fans can choose the last player for each league from a list of five. Interestingly enough, all five options for the American League are relief pitchers, and all five from the National League are field players. The AL vote will probably come down to Red Sox closer Koji Uehara and Yankees reliever David robertson, while Dodgers rookie sensation Yasiel Puig is heavily favored to win the NL's final roster spot.

No comments:

Post a Comment