MLB: 5 Biggest American League All-Star Snubs
Letting the fans vote for who gets to start in the All-Star game is a fabulous way of expanding both interest in the game and casual involvement. On top of that, it's a tremendously great way of adding non-deserving big names to the game even though they've been anything but All-Stars. Huzzah!
Due to this farce, some very deserving players who've had great seasons will be watching at home come July 12 unless of course a bigger name decides he'd rather have 4 days off to sit on his couch than fly out to Arizona for an exhibition.
Here are the 5 most egregious player omissions in the AL who should be heading to Arizona.
Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay Rays
Statistically speaking, Zobrist has been the fifth most valuable player in the entire AL so far this year, and the best second baseman, which of course here amounts to nothing. He's shown good power (.200 ISO) exceptional fielding at multiple positions and has done a good job on the base paths.
Player's like Zobrist are infinitely valuable in game like this, which makes his absence quite puzzling. Well, puzzling till you realize Ron Washington manages the AL club and Michael Young, his crappy utility player made the team instead. Ahhh, its all so clear now!
Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
Of the 5 best AL second baseman this year, the AL starter as elected by the fans, Robinson Cano, has been the worst. Now that isn't to say Cano hasn't been good (he has) but there were better choices. The reserve second baseman Howie Kendrick has also had a very good, if lucky season, but he still hasn't been as good as Pedroia.
Even with the dip in slugging, Dustin is getting on base at a nearly .400 clip, while playing above average defense and hitting for a decent average. He's been worth almost a win and a half more to the Red Sox (3.8 WAR) than Cano has been to the Yankees (2.5 WAR).
Jhonny Peralta, Detroit Tigers
I'll give the devil his due; Peralta has been the best short stop in the American League this season, and thus was deserving in some capacity of making the All-Star team.
His .311/.359/.538 line has been remarkable (considering who he is) and even more remarkable has been the fact that he's played slightly above average defense all season. Asdrubal Cabrera was a worthy selection, but Derek Jeter wasn't a country mile close to performing like an All-Star. Those silly fans.
Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals
Gordon's had a pretty tough go of it since being called up to the majors, which made his 2011 season a nice story. he's hitting .301, has a .368 OBP and is slugging .491. His defense in right has been above average, not bad considering he was initially a third baseman by trade, and his 3.4 WAR all amounts what has been the fifth best outfielder in the AL.
But why would we want to showcase a young potential star like that when we can send Michael Cuddyer, a below average fielding outfielder and less valuable player to the All-Star Game? If the answer is that stupid rule about every team having to have a representative well, I'm pretty sure that's idiotic.
Dan Haren, Angels (I'm Tired of Typing That Dumb Elongated City Title)
Haren isn't a sexy name, so when it came down to choosing between him or King Felix, generally speaking people named "King" beat out people named "Dan."
That being said, Haren has been better than Hernandez in both ERA and FIP, while maintaining a better strikeout to walk ratio. He's also been more valuable than both James Shields and C.J. Wilson in the WAR department, and he's been just as valuable as David Price (3.3 WAR each, along with the King).