Jermaine Dye Should Be in Tonight's All-Star Game

Joe SlowikCorrespondent IJuly 14, 2009

CHICAGO - JUNE 17: Jermaine Dye #23 of the Chicago White Sox makes a hit against the Chicago Cubs on June 17, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

I'm normally not one to complain about All-Star game selections.

It's a game that doesn't really matter in the long run unless you are one of the two teams in the World Series. Also, the rosters are less than perfect because of fluky strong starts and the requirement that every team must have at least one All-Star.

That said, I really don't understand why Jermaine Dye is not in St. Louis tonight.

Dye had an excellent first half, finishing with 20 homers, 55 RBI, and a .302 batting average before the break. He is currently seventh among AL outfielders in batting average, tied for second in home runs, fifth in RBI, eighth in on-base percentage, and first in slugging percentage.

Yet somehow that doesn't place him among the top seven outfielders in the American League.

The first problem is that Josh Hamilton was elected as a starter despite playing only 42 games. He wasn't particularly good over that stretch either, hitting only .243 with six homers. It was a horrible selection, but I'll let that slide since it was a fan selection.

Adam Jones was also a very dubious pick over Dye.

While he's having a nice year, he only hit one point higher than Dye in the first half with eight fewer home runs, eight fewer RBI, and nine fewer walks. It might not sound like a lot, but when you add it all up, Jermaine's OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) was over 100 points higher.

However, I'll also let this one slide since Jones was the only Oriole selected for the game.

You could also make the argument that Dye would have been a better selection than Carl Crawford, given that Dye is comparable or better in every category except for stolen bases. Again, I'd let it slide because Crawford is an exciting top of the order hitter and was a manager's selection.

The one that I really don't get at all is Curtis Granderson.

He's only hitting .254 on the season with fewer runs, home runs, and RBI than Dye. Granted, he took more walks, but his on-base percentage was also almost 40 points lower. He's considerably faster, but I don't see how that negates the big advantage Dye has offensively.

The only argument I can really see is that Granderson is a solid center fielder while Dye is a right fielder with limited range.

While this is true, I don't see why it should affect the roster. Hamilton, Torii Hunter, and Jones all play center field, and Ichiro also has played there in the past. If needed, Crawford could also probably play there. A solid bat in a corner outfield spot seems to make more sense for the roster.

So instead of selecting a player that should probably be starting based soley on production thus far, they took a player that has no business being near this game instead.

In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. The White Sox and their fans know how valuable Jermaine has been to their organization.

However, it would have been nice to see him be rewarded for a strong season thus far that is one of the best of his career. Dye continues to be one of the more under-appreciated players in the league.