2012 MLB All-Star Game: San Francisco Giants Players Stuff the Box Score
And to some extent, there was validity to this claim when under-performers or season no-shows like Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt and Freddy Sanchez all cracked the top five in votes at their position.
But when the 2012 All-Star Game ended with the National League's largest margin of victory ever, it was Giants players that played the biggest role in the 8-0 victory over the American League.
Melky Cabrera, who was voted in over arguably the best-hitting outfielder this season, Andrew McCutchen, leapfrogged into the starting lineup in the final days after a surge in votes and earned the Most Valuable Player award after going 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs batted in and two runs scored.
Pablo Sandoval, who was voted in over arguably the best NL third baseman this year, David Wright of the New York Mets, went 1-for-2 at the plate with a triple, three runs batted in and a run scored. Wright finished 0-for-2 with a strikeout.
Buster Posey, who was voted to start over two catchers with higher averages and home run totals this year, St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina and Philadelphia Phillies' Carlos Ruiz, caught five scoreless innings and scored a run on Sandoval's triple.
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ASG election of "Kung Fu Panda" shows the value of a cute nickname. Surprised Giants fans didn't elect a "ball dude" to start at 3B.
I'd bet Alderson wasn't too happy either when NL manager Tony La Russa selected Giants' pitcher Matt Cain to start the game over the Mets' R.A. Dickey—who leads the NL in wins and WHIP while being second in strikeouts and fourth in earned run average—primarily because Posey isn't experienced in catching a knuckleball and Posey was voted in as a starter.
But at the end of the day, it was Cabrera and Sandoval who batted in five of the eight runs the NL scored.
It was Matt Cain who pitched two scoreless innings for the NL to set the tone for the rest of the NL's pitching to provide more of the same.
You can argue that statistically Dickey and Wright should have started over Cain and Sandoval.
You can argue that statistically Ruiz and Molina should have started over Posey.
You can argue that McCutchen should have started over Cabrera.
But you can't argue that the Giants' All-Star representatives didn't do their jobs and provide the largest single-team contribution in this year's All-Star Game.
Giants fans may have stuffed the ballots, but at the end of the day the National League won and it was the Giants' players who stuffed the box score.
And I suspect that's all the validation one of the loyalest fanbases in baseball will need.
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