MLB All-Star Game 2011: Derek Jeter and the 5 Worst Picks
Because the All-Star Game voting is done mostly by fans, it becomes a popularity contest. Some players are voted in based on name or prior success rather than their performance in the season.
This popularity contest can lead to some ridiculous selections.
These five players did not deserve their All-Star selections this year. While they are pretty good players, they have not been All-Star material in 2011.
5. Chipper Jones
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The Atlanta Braves' Chipper Jones has been elected to his seventh All-Star Game as a reserve. Jones was probably voted in because of his previous success.
Jones used to be a .300 hitter who jacked 30 home runs on a regular basis. He was one of the most feared hitters from the mid-1990's to the mid-2000's, but that time has passed.
Jones is batting only .256 with seven home runs this season. Jones does have 44 RBI, but that does not even put him in the top 50.
Jones is no longer a young talent; he is a 39-year-old third baseman. Jones can make routine plays and have average offensive numbers, but he is far from an All-Star.
4. Russell Martin
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Russell Martin was voted into his third All-Star Game as a reserve, but that was probably because he plays for the New York Yankees.
Martin has come close to hitting .300 at times, but he is far from that this season. Martin is batting only .219 with 34 RBI in 2011, and he has only played 64 games this season.
Martin does have 10 home runs, which puts him on pace to break his personal best of 19, but those are not All-Star numbers. Martin is only on pace for a little over 20 home runs, and no All-Star should ever be batting .219.
Martin has been having a decent, year, but he is far from All-Star material.
3. Clayton Kershaw
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Clayton Kershaw is a starting pitcher from the Los Angeles Dodgers and he is making his first All-Star appearance. While Kershaw is a very talented pitcher, there were better options available.
Kershaw has an ERA of 3.23 this season, the worst of any pitcher on the NL All-Star team. Kershaw is 8-4 this season, with a WHIP of 1.06. These are good numbers, but considering how good the NL pitchers are, he was not the right selection.
The Dodgers already have Matt Kemp in the game, so Kershaw was not added because he would have to represent his team.
There are a lot of other pitchers that could have taken Kershaw's spot. The pitcher that comes to my mind is the Atlanta Braves' Tommy Hanson. Hanson has a 10-4 record (two more wins than Kershaw), an ERA of 2.52 (0.71 lower than Kershaw's), and a WHIP of 1.04 (also lower than Kershaw's).
Kershaw is going to have a lot of All-Star Game appearances in his career, but this should not have been his first.
2. Josh Hamilton
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Josh Hamilton has drawn more attention to himself because of his blue eyes than because of his stats. He may have been voted in because of prior success, or maybe because of his success story.
Hamilton is having a pretty good season, hitting .294 with 10 home runs and 41 RBI this season. While these are pretty good numbers, they are not up to an All-Star level, or even how Hamilton usually performs.
Hamilton is hitting 16 points less than he usually does, and he is on pace for only 20 home runs, less than he hit in the Home Run Derby. He is also on pace for only 82 RBI, a very disappointing statistic for a great hitter.
Hamilton has only played 48 games this season, which is barely over half of his team's games. If a player is going to be elected to an All-Star Game, they should have proven their worth for more than 50 games.
Lastly, an All-Star should take credit for their success, and responsibility for their faults. Hamilton shies away from the latter, blaming his struggles in day games on the color of his eyes. I personally lost respect for him because of this.
While some will say that this makes me biased, he does not deserve to be an All-Star based on his stats. The worst part about his selection is that he is going to be a a starter.
1. Derek Jeter
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Derek Jeter has been elected to his 12th All-Star Game. The New York Yankees' shortstop is 37 years old, and he has been pretty bad this season. Jeter was elected solely because of his reputation.
Jeter is batting .256 with two home runs and 20 RBI. His batting average is 56 points below his career average of .312, and his power numbers are down as well.
Jeter has been hurt for part of the season and he is just working his way back. He has played only 63 games, and he has not been very good so far.
The worst part about Jeter being selected is that he is starting, while Jhonny Peralta (who is hitting about 60 points higher with 12 more home runs and 27 more RBI) is not going to play.
Jeter will probably always be voted into the All-Star Game because of his fame, but he should not have been elected this season.