I hope everyone had a great Independence Day weekend. I was off celebrating and recovering from running in the Peachtree Road Race but couldn’t not have a third post to complete my All-Star Game roster trilogy. If you want to read some professional and expert-amateur opinions on the rosters you can check these links.
Players I thought should make the NL squad who didn’t: Miguel Olivo, Joey Votto, Kelly Johnson, Rafael Furcal, Ryan Zimmerman, Andrew McCutchen, Andres Torres, Tim Lincecum, Mat Latos, Roy Oswalt, Heath Bell, Billy Wagner, Carlos Marmol.
Players who did make the NL squad but I didn’t pick: Ryan Howard, Jose Reyes, Omar Infante, Michael Bourn, Corey Hart, Chris Young, Tim Hudson, Matt Capps, Evan Meek, Arthur Rhodes, Brian Wilson.
I’ll attack this in pairs where appropriate. Olivo deserved to be on the team. Howard over Votto is completely wrong and Charlie Manuel admitted he was just picking his own guy. I had anticipated he’d do that but I thought it would be with one of the Phils’ pitchers. Ryan Zimmerman is the other hitter with a legitimate beef for not being selected, especially when the lone Nats player – Matt Capps – has been dreadful the last two months. Somehow I completely overlooked Corey Hart. I had considered Tim Hudson for the team but he didn’t make the final cut. I not surprised Lincecum wasn’t selected but some of his peripheral numbers are just as good as they were the last two years when he won Cy Young awards. I think McCutchen/Oswalt would have made the team stronger than Bourn/Meek but I guess Charlie wants to have a pinch-runner and a lights-out setup guy instead of a five-tool player and a pitcher who could get you 4-5 innings if needed.
Players I thought should make the AL squad who didn’t: Mike Napoli, Kevin Youkilis, Alex Gonzalez, Michael Young, Alex Rios, Shin-Soo Choo, David DeJesus, Adam Jones. Francisco Liriano, Jered Weaver, Felix Hernandez, Ricky Romero, Justin Verlander, Andrew Bailey.
Players who did make the AL squad but I didn’t pick: John Buck, Ian Kinsler, Ty Wigginton, Elvis Andrus, Trevor Cahill, Fausto Carmona, Joakim Soria, Matt Thonton, Jose Valverde.
Buck is a solid pick, no issue with him over Napoli. Youk, Rios and Choo are pretty shocking omissions to me. Cahill instead of Bailey is OK, but I can’t see how you leave out Liriano, Weaver AND King Felix. Fausto? Really? Ty Wigginton? Double Ugh.
If you can’t tell, I’m in favor of more starting pitchers making the team than relievers. I also hate it when the only player representing a team is a relief pitcher. This whole situation is a bunch of haranguing over nothing but I think that if you’re going to take the time to pick a team and have a game then you should try to do it right. In the end there are too many sources each picking a part of the team.