Every year the option exists to get into a whole diatribe about the idiocy of the fans. This is certainly still true this season, since they voted for the incapacitated Matt Wieters as starting catcher, the drug cheat Nelson Cruz as starting DH, and the inept Derek Jeter as starting shortstop for the American League team.
Every year we can also question the decisions of the players and managers when picking the substitutes, like how it took the ineligibility of Jeff Samardzija for Julio Teheran to make the NL club, how the incredibly average Matt Carpenter made the squad over the likes of Anthony Rizzo or Adam LaRoche or Anthony Rendon, and how Charlie Blackmon is here at all. Hasn’t anyone ever heard of home/road splits? This guy is below replacement-level if he wasn’t taking every other at-bat at Coors Field!
But I digress because I don’t want to have either one of those conversations this season. Something else much more alarming jumped right out at me after seeing the rosters Sunday night.
Are these the WORST lineups in MLB All-Star history?
Go through the list of hitters and tell me how many guys you think are legitimate stars right now. I knew pitching was dominating this season, but the All-Star teams make it abundantly clear just HOW dominant it is.
I know this may seem arbitrary, and I’m not basing the “star” label off of 2014 stats alone, but to me the number of stars is no more than fifteen… out of forty-two total hitters.
I want to sit here and tell you that no complaining is allowed this season, that the MLB All-Star rosters are what they are, flawed yet sufficient. That no matter how well the teams are selected, there are always mistakes made and snubs to be had. But then you go and bring up “Worst Roster Ever” and I have no choice but to pile on this star-less party. Your claim is not exactly complaining, but I’ll be damned if it’s not derogatory.
So you think the AL and NL All-Star rosters are the worst ever, going so far as to place the number of star players at fifteen out of a total of forty-two hitters. First of all, let me edit that sentence since we have collectively exclude pitchers from the conversation. It would be a completely baseless argument otherwise, so let’s go for it. Is this truly the worst group of All-Star non-pitchers in history?
Taking a look solely at the starters for the AL and NL squads, the ‘worst ever’ claim isn’t looking so hot. Here are the players I’d qualify as ‘stars’ in the league:
These players are All-Stars in baseball. I know they aren’t all national stars, but they are household names in baseball. Five of the nine starters in the AL and five of the eight in the NL can be considered stars. Not too shabby.
I’d argue that ten of seventeen starters is a low number of stars, but it’s certainly not worst ever territory. Expanding to the full roster of non-pitchers is where things get interesting. Are there more than five more players worthy of being called a star?
AL remainder of roster:
NL remainder of roster:
I came up with six more guys, some of them borderline. Adding in the players who are up for the last fan vote only helps this argument. But there is one all important question left to be asked. How many of these players would your wife, or mine, know by name?
Well, a simple glance at the names above leaves only five players that my wife would know, and that’s being generous. Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, and Mike Trout are obvious. Miguel Cabrera and Yasiel Puig fall into the most likely category, but not guaranteed.
I was all ready to bash this argument, blow up your spot, and call you a crazy liar. Then I looked at the rosters, I looked at my fantasy baseball team, and finally I cried a little. I have a lot of All-Stars on my fantasy baseball team, and yet find myself in tenth place of twelve teams. But who on these All-Star rosters are actually star players? I hate to say this, but I think you’re right. We are stuck with ‘The Worst’ All-Star roster of non-pitchers I can ever remember.
On a side note, what happened to David Wright? Third baseman for the Mets. He’s been playing great, in New York no less. And he’s a star. But he’s nowhere to be found. What is going on?