I've been extremely vocal about my hatred of the All-Star Game selection rules, and the actual selections (I wrote an article about what the rosters should be , and who we must vote for in the Final Vote ).
I've been most frustrated about the fact that Joey Votto is left off the team.
I was glad to see, however, that after 24 hours since the Final Vote began, Votto was leading vote-getter in the NL, meaning he would be named to the All-Star team if voting had ended today. Voting, though, ends Thursday.
Votto went 3-4 with a double, 2 RBI, 3 runs, and two HRs, including one moonshot into the Big Apple's box out in straight away center field at Citi Field and one bomb over the 415 sign in the deepest part of the park in right-center field (and a foul ball that was two feet from being his third of the game).
If his performance doesn't scream, "I'm an All-Star," just days after being one of the biggest snubs in MLB history, I don't know what does.
As a Mets fan, I was fortunate enough to be able to watch the game live, and listen to the commentary from Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez about Votto's exclusion.
Cohen was very adamant in his belief that Votto deserved a roster spot over Ryan Howard, who was Phillies manager Charlie Manuel's selection, and I agree.
While it goes as no surprise that Manuel chose his own player, Votto should not have to suffer.
During the broadcast, I also learned that Votto was the only player with his caliber statistics to not be named to the roster in NL history (and it only happened once in AL history, in 1966).
While I can't quite remember everything that was said, I believe it was that no player who is in the top five in the NL in HR, RBI, average, OBP, slugging, and OPS has never not been an All-Star.
Don't quote me on that, by the way. If anyone knows what was actually said, please let me know!
Here's Votto's stats as of July 5th, with his rank in the NL in parenthesis:
.318 AVG (T-3rd)
21 HR (1st)
59 RBI (T-4th)
56 runs (T-3rd)
.422 OBP (1st),
.595 SLG (1st)
1.017 OPS (1st).
Those are MVP caliber numbers. Yes, MVP.
And he's not even an All-Star (yet).
Interestingly, there has been at least one time in MLB history where the MVP was not an All-Star. Willie Stargell did not make the cut for the Midsummer Classic, but was co-MVP with Keith Hernandez in 1979.
By this point, it's well known that Votto deserves to be in the All-Star Game. The only thing we can do is vote him in through the Final Vote.
So before Thursday, go to MLB.com and VOTE VOTTO!