July 5, 2010

Yankees sending 6 (7) All-Stars to Cali

The Yankees are sending two starters (Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano), three pitchers (Phil Hughes, CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera) and two Joe Girardi selections (Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez) to Angel Stadium for the All-Star Game on July 13. Since Sabathia will start the Sunday before the All-Star Game, by MLB rules, Girardi is allowed to replace him. In all likelihood, that man will be Andy Pettitte.

Jeter & Cano
Jeter and Cano were no-doubters; not much competition for Jete at short, and Cano is still a top MVP candidate at the midway mark (81 games as of yesterday). But Hughes over Pettitte, really?

Hughes Is Lucky
Steve Lombardi of WasWatching outlined it best. Hughes had a great start but has been on an awful stretch for more than half of the season thus far. Plenty of other starters, including Pettitte, deserved Hughes’s spot.

Mo No Surprise
Mo pitching in the ninth inning of the All-Star Game is a very safe bet. In the eight All-Star games he’s been healthy enough to pitch in, he’s pitched in the ninth of each game. Yes, 8/8. 9/8 (not a typo) really wouldn’t be that surprising for the alien.

A-Rod over Youk?
Girardi selected A-Rod over Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis. Anyone but Girardi and the Yankees will tell you the rivalry affected the decision, and it’s a disgrace, just like the All-Star Game. Justice will likely be served when Youkilis will be voted in with the final vote. This is a clear example of the perennial All-Star getting the benefit of the doubt as well as bias picking by Girardi.

ASG Is A Joke
Of all the rules in baseball that could be changed (instant replay, realignment, etc.), the All-Star Game’s meaning is the most disturbing to me. The fans’ vote turns into a popularity contest, automatically generating snubs, but the game’s outcome determines homefield advantage for the World Series. Even MLB.com admits more-deserving players don’t get selected year after year. Evidence?
all star game snub

Above is a snippet of an article’s headline from MLB.com. By saying “inevitably” it proves MLB knew the system was flawed before the vote, but still didn’t change the rule. With a fan vote, the All-Star Game should have no meaning and the team with the better record in the World Series should get homefield. I’d love to hear someone refute this point in the comments.

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