2011 MLB All-Star Game: The 10 Most Undeserving All-Stars This Year
On Sunday, Major League Baseball unveiled the first 66 members of the 2011 All-Star teams, as selected by the fans, players and managers.
Looking at the rosters, one thing is clear: everyone screwed up big time.
The Midsummer Classic is always a popularity contest, and despite the logical imperative to the contrary, this year was no exception. Simply put, these teams are not an accurate sampling of the best players in baseball.
In this slideshow are 10 All-Stars who may be good players and are probably nice people, but are simply undeserving of their spots in the Midsummer Classic.
As we reflect on these unsatisfactory choices, our thoughts are with those worthy players who have been unfairly snubbed.
Josh Hamilton, Rangers
Hamilton's been solid when he's been on the field, but he's missed more than a month's worth of games and he wouldn't be a definite All-Star even if he was fully healthy.
Brandon League, Mariners
League's been good, but make no mistake—he's on the AL roster this time only because he has 22 saves, one of the most overrated statistics in the game.
Ryan Vogelsong, Giants
Vogelsong is a great story, but he's thrown only 84.1 innings, and the 148-point difference between his ERA and his xFIP is dramatic even by Giants standards.
No. 10: Chris Perez, Indians
As an Indians fan I was thrilled to see Perez chosen, but as a baseball fan my feelings were more mixed.
His 19 saves and 2.37 ERA are nice, but does a guy with a 4.82 xFIP really deserve an All-Star spot?
Better Choice: Vinnie Pestano, Indians
No. 9: Gio Gonzalez, Athletics
An 8-5 record with a 2.31 ERA? Sounds like an All-Star to me.
Looking at his peripheral numbers, though, the case isn't so clear. His 3.53 xFIP leaves something to be desired for a guy with as few innings as Gonzalez.
Better Choice: Dan Haren, Angels
No. 8: Brian Wilson, Giants
Wilson made a name for himself last year with the Giants success and his badass attitude, but he hasn't been nearly as good in 2011 as he was in 2010.
How does a reliever with an ERA over 3.00 and an xFIP approaching 4.00 get to the All-Star Game?
Better Choice: Craig Kimbrel, Braves
No. 7: Robinson Cano, Yankees
Cano's very good, and some years his numbers would be good enough for him to deserve a spot at second base, but look at his stats—this year, he's no better than the fourth-best second baseman in the AL.
Anyone who voted for Cano is either doing so based on last year, completely ignoring defense or is a Yankees fan.
Better Choice: Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
No. 6: Yadier Molina, Cardinals
Molina's reputation as a defensive wizard has earned him yet another questionable All-Star selection.
Great as his glove may be, there's no way it makes up for his rather ordinary bat.
Better Choice: Chris Iannetta, Rockies
No. 5: Jose Valverde, Tigers
How often does a guy who walks five batters per nine innings get to be an All-Star?
I'm not sure what possible standard Valverde meets to qualify for the Midsummer Classic.
Better Choice: David Robertson, Yankees
No. 4: Michael Cuddyer, Twins
This pick isn't as crazy as you might think—the 32-year-old is in the midst of a career year—but there are much better hitters who play better defense than Cuddyer.
Better Choice: Alex Gordon, Royals
No. 3: Jay Bruce, Reds
Bruce made his living with stellar defense last year, and his fielding has declined without him making any real improvement on offense.
He's not just an undeserving All-Star—he's taking a spot that could be given to the worst snub in the game.
Better Choice: Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
No. 2: Chipper Jones, Braves
Even in a weak NL third-base class, if anyone not named Chipper Jones puts up those kind of numbers, there's no way anyone even thinks about sending him to Phoenix.
Better Choice: Pablo Sandoval, Giants
No. 1: Derek Jeter, Yankees
Say what you want about Jeter's leadership, career or what he means to the Yankees, but there's no way he's an All-Star.
The way he's been playing this year—he's hitting .260 with a .649 OPS and 0.5 WAR while playing his trademark subpar defense—he's not just unworthy of a starting All-Star spot, he's a questionable MLB starter, period.
Putting him in the Midsummer Classic is completely indefensible.
Better Choice: Jhonny Peralta, Tigers
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