The MLB All-Star Game is such a confounding beast.
Bug Selig wants to make the game about the fans, so they vote in the starters, and at least one player from each team must be included.
Then again, this game is supposed to decide who gets home-field advantage for the World Series. Hall of Fame voters also use All-Star appearances in trying to decide a player's legacy. That's a lot you're leaving in the hands of fans and managers.
The whole event has become a convoluted mess by trying to please everybody, and the selection process is proof positive of that.
As with any All-Star selection, many fans focus on the biggest snubs. You can see the full rosters on MLB.com.
In the cases of these three players, though, there shouldn't be much discussion of being snubbed.
Yasiel Puig has no doubt been one of the biggest stories in the league this year. He was a bit of an unknown quantity coming into the season, thus making his huge start all the more captivating.
Unfortunately, that's not enough to warrant inclusion in the All-Star team at this point. The 22-year-old has only played in 31 games so far this season. That is less than half of the Los Angeles Dodgers' 85 games so far in the regular season.
It's way too small of a sample size to see him included on the All-Star team.
CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler thinks the final vote is the optimal place for Puig.
Can't complain with Bochy putting Puig on Final Vote ballot. Should be in the game, but up to the fans to decide.— Danny Knobler (@DannyKnoblerCBS) July 6, 2013
For those who are arguing this event is all about the fans, if that's the case, then maybe home-field advantage for the World Series shouldn't depend on the winner.
There are other players who've demonstrated over a longer period of time that they're much better All-Star candidates.
If the fans want to vote in Puig on the final vote, that's not a problem. That's pretty much what the final vote should be about. In terms of the starters and reserves, Puig doesn't deserve inclusion.
Josh Donaldson is just one of a few Oakland Athletics players who have a case to be on the All-Star team. The San Francisco Chronicle's John Shea put the contrast between the A's and San Francisco Giants nicely.
In Donaldson's case, though, it's hard to make a compelling argument for him over the players who were chosen. Jim Leyland only took two third basemen—Manny Machado and Miguel Cabrera—both of whom are much more deserving players.
Is there anybody who would argue Cabrera doesn't deserve to start?
Then it comes to a choice between Donaldson and Machado. Machado is the far superior defender, so he gets the edge there. Donaldson gets the edge in home runs, average and runs batted in.
It's a tough choice, but in the end, the difference between the two offensively isn't enough to make up for Machado being one of the best defensive third basemen in the game.
You could also throw in Evan Longoria and Adrian Beltre as possible choices as well. It's not Leyland's fault Donaldson just so happens to play at one of the deepest positions in the league.
Shortstop was one of those tough positions in terms of which players to take. Aside from the injured Troy Tulowitzki, there weren't a ton of great options. Bruce Bochy ended up with Tulowitzki as the starter—and Jean Segura and Everth Cabrera as the reserves.
Should Ian Desmond be on the team ahead of Jean Segura or Everth Cabrera?
Although Ian Desmond made the final vote, he's pretty much out, considering Puig will likely dominate that ballot.
Desmond is not putting up great numbers. A .281 average with 15 home runs and 49 runs batted in are very good. However, they're not enough to make him stand head and shoulders above his competitors.
The San Diego Padres had to send somebody, so Cabrera was a worthy selection. He's second in the majors in stolen bases and has an average 39 points higher than Desmond.
Segura was also a good choice. He has 26 stolen bases and leads all shortstops in batting average (.323).
Desmond is the kind of player who if he'd made the All-Star team, there would be little argument, and if he didn't make the All-Star team, you'd understand. This is a case of the latter happening.