The Midsummer Classic is upon us, with the opening pitch tonight at 7 PM.
This year's game is causing a lot of controversy as a disproportionate number of players will not be attending the All-Star game despite being voted in by the fans. 16 players who were selected will not be there, and 84 total players have been deemed an All-Star at some point this year.
The fans are ultimately the reason for this game. It's a spectacle of the most popular and (hopefully) best players in all of baseball.
I'm a baseball fan, so I'll give you five guys I wish were playing in the MLB All-Star Game tonight, in no particular order.
Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta is playing a lot better than expected, and is more deserving of an All-Star nomination than fan-favorite Derek Jeter.
Peralta is batting .314 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI. He's been solid defensively and ranks in the top five of almost every Tigers offensive category.
He's playing the best baseball of his career and would be a great asset to the AL All-Star roster.
He may be the second best pitcher on his own team, but the LA Angels' Dan Haren should be in Arizona for the All-Star game tonight.
This season Haren is 10-5 (16 quality starts) with a 2.61 ERA and 115 strikeouts. Haren is one of the main reasons that the Angels are within one game of leading the AL West.
With the AL team missing so many great pitchers, it's hard to believe they couldn't find room for Dan Haren on the All-Star team.
I know the New York Yankees are well represented on the All-Star roster, but CC Sabathia certainly deserves to be among them on the AL squad.
Only two years removed from a Cy Young award, Sabathia is 13-4 with a 2.72 ERA and 126 strikeouts for this year's Yankees. Sabathia is a dominant pitcher whose consistency for New York is holding the pitching staff together in 2011.
Yankee haters don't want to hear this, but CC Sabathia needs to be on the roster to help the American League win home field advantage tonight.
Most people don't know it, but Tampa Bay Rays' utility player Ben Zobrist is one of the most valuable players in the all of major league baseball.
Zobrist does it all for the Rays, batting .269 with 89 hits, 10 home runs and 43 RBI. He also leads the team in total bases and ranks second on OPS.
Zobrist has been fantastic defensively, and steps up for the Rays in every facet of the game.
Especially in the All-Star game, Ben Zobrist could be used in just about any key situation to make a great play for the American League squad.
Obviously, Justin Verlander was named to the All-Star team this season. But it's quite a shame that fans won't get to see the best pitcher in baseball play in the Mid-Summer Classic this year.
Verlander has been nothing short of dominant this season, posting a 12-4 record with a 2.15 ERA and a whopping 147 strikeouts. He also has a ridiculous 0.87 WHIP and 19 quality starts on the season.
He pitched this past Sunday to catapult the Detroit Tigers into first place, eliminating him from playing in the game. It's understandable, but disappointing that Verlander won't have an impact on All-Star game that will decide home field advantage for the World Series.