It shouldn’t matter that Yasiel Puig has only played 34 games this season. The Dodgers outfielder must be on the National League’s roster for the 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 16 in New York.
There’s no good reason why Puig should have to stay at home while the other stars in the game are playing for home-field advantage in the World Series.
The fans have the opportunity to vote for the player that they think deserves to land the last spot on the NL’s roster. Fans will soon get to tweet who should win the Final Vote. At this time, Puig is in second place behind Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, according to SportsCenter:
If Puig doesn’t win the NL Final Vote and earn the last spot on the Senior Circuit’s roster for the All-Star Game, MLB should be ashamed of itself. He’s been the biggest star in the game since getting promoted by the Dodgers back in June, and he had one of the best months for a rookie of all time. All time!
Sure, Puig doesn’t have the experience that the other players in the Final Vote do, but have any of those four guys played as hard and as well as the Dodgers outfielder has? Puig is hitting .407/.441/.659 with 19 RBI and 26 runs. Los Angeles couldn’t have asked for more from him throughout the month.
Here’s what Puig told Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com about his month—translated from Spanish into English via MLB.com:
This month has been unforgettable. It's great that this has happened in my life. I’m happy for myself, my teammates and all the fans of Los Angeles. They’ve all supported me in this month. I’m really happy with all the fans out there.
Puig isn’t going to hit over .400 the entire season, but how can one of the games best young players not be on the roster when the All-Star Game determines which league gets home-field advantage in the World Series? Nothing against Freeman, but Puig on the roster gives the NL a better chance of winning the exhibition.
Taking into consideration that Freeman has played 33 more games this year, Puig is still hitting more home runs per game and scoring more runs per game. Yes, Freeman drives in more runs per game, but that’s because he hits in a position where there are runners on base. Puig hits second for the Dodgers.
You may not agree with sabermetrics or WAR, but Puig is leading Freeman in that category as well, according to FanGraphs. Right now, the Braves' first baseman has received more love from the fans, but the public is making the wrong decision.
Puig is arguably the most hyped player in baseball right now, and there’s no question that MLB wants to capitalize on it. Not having him at the All-Star Game is bad for business. This is pure speculation, but more people will likely watch the Midsummer Classic because Puig is there, not because Freeman is.
Darren Rovell of ESPN believes that if Puig isn’t in New York for the All-Star Game, then the league needs to make some changes to the selection process:
The lack of games argument is a joke. The June 8 All-Star Game voting results update by Bryan Hoch of MLB.com showed that Derek Jeter was in fifth place at shortstop with more than half a million votes. Jeter hasn't even played in 2013. So, fans will vote in someone who hasn’t played one game over someone who has a month? It doesn’t make any sense.
If you’re a fan of an NL team—and not from Atlanta—why do you not want Puig in New York? Don’t you want home-field advantage in the World Series if your team makes it that far? While it’s just one player, the NL has a worse shot at winning the game without Puig on the roster.
If Freeman makes the team over Puig, MLB loses and the NL loses. If Puig makes the team over Freeman, everyone wins. It’s very simple. Now, go get your phone or log on to MLB.com and vote for Puig. You’ll be doing yourself and your favorite team a favor.
If you’re an AL fan, well, I think you know what to do.