All-Star Game: Reward or Showcase

On Tuesday, Justin Inaz wrote an article for The Hardball Times laying out who he would like to see on this year’s All-Star team, using projection data rather than seasonal data to select the players. I found his article interesting, but disagreed with the premise, so we argued about what the All-Star Game should be. That conversation is below.

Dave: Over at THT, you relayed a sentiment about the All-Star Game, and in particular, your dislike for the way it is treated as a reward of small sample flukes. You even called the game itself a “frustrating experience” because of how much luck can influence decisions over which players are named to the team each year. In the article, you suggest that we’d be better off if the teams were chosen by systems designed to estimate a player’s current true talent levels, with 2011 year-to-date stats playing a small role in who is selected to represent their teams at the event.

First off, am I re-stating your position accurately? Is there anything you’d like to add to that summary, or an aspect of your view that I left out?

Justin: My position is that All Star Games should be about showcasing the best players, not the players who have gotten lucky. Whether we use projections or not is a matter of personal choice (maybe the alternative is scouting? Or some combination of both?), but projections are a good way to estimate player talent level.

I actually think that a lot of fans (a majority?) agree with the notion that All Star Games should be a showcase of the best talent. That is how they seem to be advertised. It’s just that we (fans, media industry, etc) put far too much weight on a player’s current-season statistics when judging talent. 2011 statistics do matter, and we absolutely should use them as part of the evaluation process. But we shouldn’t ignore what players have done, for example, in the past calendar year, or in prior years. As it is, second-half performances get almost no consideration in All Star selection, which I think is absurd.

Dave: See, that’s a notion that I don’t actually agree with. To me, the best players in baseball get showcased every night on Sportscenter, MLB Tonight, and every website in existence that covers baseball. I don’t know that anyone needs more Alex Rodriguez in their life. By going to an estimate of true talent level, we’re essentially guaranteeing that the rosters will be pretty similar from year to year, and that just seems pretty boring to me.

The All-Star Game is supposed to be a showcase for the sport itself. I don’t really care to see the same group of players every year, even if they are the best. It’s an exhibition game that doesn’t mean anything (sorry Bud), so getting the most talented roster possible isn’t something I’m overly concerned with.

Justin: The rosters would be similar, but not identical. There are players who are clearly the best at their positions in their league, and they’d be annual mainstays. But there are also positions at which there are 2-4 players who are all within spitting distance of each other in true talent, and they’ll swap out from year to year. Injuries will also liven things up a bit. This year compared to last year, I have Tulo overtaking Hanley, Zobrist over Pedroia, Yunel over Jeter, Hamilton over Crawford, and Bautista over Cruz. And that’s just the position players.

Also: Alex Rodriguez didn’t make my All Star team, at least not as a starter. :)

Dave: Okay, so, you don’t like rewarding luck. That’s an understandable sentiment, so let me ask you this – do the playoffs frustrate you as well? If something as relatively harmless as All-Star roster selections being influenced by two month samples bother you, how about handing out the title of World Champion to a team that plays well for one month? Baseball has been rewarding small sample performances with their most important prize for over 100 years, but while people will talk about how the winner of the World Series isn’t necessarily the best team, I’ve never heard anyone suggest we should get rid of the post-season entirely. If you see that as different, how?

Justin: Yes, I think there is a difference there. In the post-season, we’re “choosing” eight good/great teams and letting them battle it out in a tournament that will be decided by a combination of luck and skill. It is meant to be a showcase of the best teams in baseball, and you have to earn your chance to participate in the post-season via a long, difficult post-season. And while teams can get a bit lucky during the regular season via success in one-run ballgames or playing in an unusually weak division, most of the time, the best teams in baseball will get to play in the post-season. We know that the team that ultimately wins the World Series will be influenced by luck, but at least we can be assured that all of the teams who are participating are quality, deserving teams (with the occasional exception like the 2006 Cardinals, but even they had Pujols and Carpenter!).

The way I see the All-Star Game, at least as it “should be,” is as showcase of the best players in baseball. The best players, once chosen, get to battle it out in a single game that will (like the post-season) be decided on luck and skill. Therefore, my preference is that the selection process be one that generally will select the best players in baseball, as opposed to players who had a hot month or two and played above their talent level. Ty Wigginton is a decent little player, but he shouldn’t be the NL representative at third base, even if his 2011 numbers suggest that perhaps he should be.

Dave: I wonder if going to this kind of system would actually make the rosters better, though. Would getting rid of the “fluke” guys not be outweighed by also getting rid of the “real but short track record” guys? Should Jose Bautista have not been an all-star last year? How about Albert Pujols as a rookie? Losing these guys, who do get elected now and wouldn’t under your system, might be more harmful to having the best player’s possible on the rosters than tossing out the few fluke guys who sneak onto the roster due to a few decent months in April, May, and June.

Justin: Well, recognizing outstanding rookie players is something that projection systems can do, if the player’s minor league track record is strong enough. But yes, many of those guys would likely be left off that first year. My guess is that we get more short-term fluky guys than Jose Bautistas. Bautista, after all, has been the ultimate exception to just about every rule as far as projecting future performance goes. And Bautista’s the guy in RF this year regardless, just as Pujols would likely have been by his second year.

The question really is how much real information can we get out of 350 PA’s or thereabouts. Pizza Cutter gave us one evaluation, and it’s pretty conservative. You’re saying we can add a few diamonds to our All Star Games using first-half performances. And that’s probably true. But we’ll also get a lot of coal. I’m not at all confident in our ability to identify which is which in small samples.

Dave: Would your opinion be the same if the event was held after the season like the NFL’s pro bowl? I realize that no one cares about the Pro Bowl, but I also never hear anyone object to players being elected to that game based on solely how they did in the current season. Sure, they’ve played the entire season at that point, but there’s still luck in a 162 game sample. Are you mostly against rewarding players for flukes because they’re so much more prevalent in half-season samples, or would have you have the same objection regardless of when the game was played?

Justin: I would have far less of a problem with the 162-game sample being the deciding factor. First, as you acknowledged, you would have doubled your sample size. Fluky performances would be less prevalent, and you’ll more often get agreements between projections and full-season performances. Second, and perhaps more importantly, every pitch a player sees or throws would be considered when determining All Star representation, rather than ignoring half of a player’s work each season.

If people want to use the calendar year splits here at FanGraphs to determine who our All-Stars are, I have no real problem with this. I can absolutely see the argument to using the All Star Game to recognize the best annual performances, period. But the best 2.5-month performances? No, I just don’t get that.

Dave: What if you viewed the game not as a showcase of the game’s best players, but as a reward for performance during a specific timeframe? Would you be frustrated if some parent bought their kid a puppy as a gift for getting a 4.0 GPA during their first semester of school? Would you tell them to wait for their kid to regress to the mean in the spring?

At nearly every level of the sport, all-star teams are named after the season is over and are a reward to the player’s who had the best season. It’s only at the professional level that these games are moved to mid-season for marketing reasons. I don’t know that the timing of the game should be a good enough reason to change what they were invented for in the first place.

Justin: If it’s a reward for performance–and I can be happy with that being our definition of who deserves to go–I’d like the performance to be over the past calendar year. As I said above, I find it completely absurd that second-half performances have little to no bearing on All Star team selection.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. Ryan Zimmerman is probably the best third baseman in the National League. The projections have him as the pretty clear choice for that slot. But he’s missed a lot of time this year with an abdominal injury. Does he not deserve to go? Well, he ranks 18th in WAR in 2011 among NL 3B’s, so if 2011 stats are your criterion, the answer is no. In contrast, he is second among NL 3B’s in WAR over the past calendar year behind Chase Headley (4.9 WAR vs. 4.5 WAR), but has done that in 233 fewer PA’s. I think Zimmerman should be the guy, and that the All Star Game is more fun with him at 3B than with Chase Headley or Ty Wigginton.

Dave: And finally, do you really not find joy in watching the career journeyman walk around with his kid and his video camera, smiling from ear to ear, realizing that he’s a Major League All-Star for the first time in his career? Do you not think of how proud he is to call his parents and tell them that their boy is going to the ASG? Do you really prefer watching a guy who has been there 11 times beg out of the game because he hurt himself sitting on his overstuffed wallet? Why do you hate happiness?

Justin: Coincidentally, my 5-year old accused me of hating (her) happiness just last night, so it must be true!

I think these things you mention are nice side-effects of the current system. But to me, they are not a good enough reason to keep things as they are.

Here’s the thing: we often act like the All Star game is meaningless. But it isn’t. The outcome of the game is (or should be–I hate the “This time it counts!” schtick), but getting selected as a player does matter. It’s one of the major ways that we recognize outstanding players. Being selected to the All Star Game stays with a player as part of his narrative for at least a year afterward, if not more. You hear about it on broadcasts all the time. And All Star Game appearances are always–always!–brought up as supporting (or dissenting) evidence when discussing merits for Hall of Fame induction. They might even influence contract negotiations or arbitration hearings. Does it influence “real” games or seasons? Aside from the home-team advantage in the World Series thing, no, and it shouldn’t. But baseball as an industry (and baseball fandom) is about more than just what happens on the field, and that’s where the All Star game has relevance.

There is a compromise position here, and I’ll mention it because if I don’t then someone else will: All Star Games are, and should be, popularity contests. If we agree to that, then it really does (and should) just come down to who gets the most votes. But judging by the number of All Star “snub” articles that are written every year once the teams are announced, I don’t think most people really believe that. I think people want the best players to be in that game. Using projections is the way that I prefer decide upon who those best players are.

Dave: Can you name a single deserving player that has ever been kept out of the Hall Of Fame due to a lack of All-Star appearances? I know that voters look at things like All-Star appearances in their decision making process, but I’ve never seen a case where a guy who is a strong candidate in every other aspect was denied because his spot got taken by a worse player in some Midsummer Classic.

Justin: I said it was a factor, not the factor. I am sure that a player’s numbers are the cornerstone of any Hall of Fame case for most voters. But celebrity, as at least partially evidenced by All Star Games, does matter. I don’t have a linkable example to provide right now, but I seem to remember seeing that as one argument made against Gene Tenace, for example, who appeared in just one All Star Game. His is not a slam dunk case, but he ranks 17th in WAR and has the highest era- and park-adjusted wOBA of any of the top-25 catchers. Again, I’m not saying it’s a major determining factor, but it is part of a player’s portfolio of accomplishments, and probably does influence voters. If you want me to quantify that, I can’t.

Dave: I think we could even argue this the other way. By going with multi-year track records, you would miss out on guys who broke into the league and were stars right away. We’d lose out on having guys make the All-Star team in the first X number of seasons of their career, and for some truly great players, we might even reduce the number of times they make the roster.

Justin: Perhaps. I think that some great players already make the roster more than they should. Although that’s for popularity reasons, not small sample performance reasons.

To turn that argument back at you, doing it your way would miss out on guys who broke in, struggled over the first month or two, but then went on to have a brilliant last 4 months of the season…especially if they got a slow start again their second year! Had he not gotten injured, Buster Posey might well fit this mold, and he’s right there with Brian McCann in my projections spreadsheet.

Dave: I’d argue that the joy of rewarding a guy who might otherwise never get that kind of attention is also something that I put a pretty high value on. James Shields will probably make the All-Star team this year, and I doubt he would under a system that valued multiple years of performance. I’d imagine Shields will be pretty thrilled to play in his first ever All-Star game, and given that he’s a pitcher and an inconsistent one at that, this might be the only chance he ever gets to go. What if Shields blows out his elbow in September? Are we really okay that he never got to experience the All-Star game despite being one of the league’s best pitchers so far in 2011?

I’m not. I want to see players rewarded for their performance, even if it is a fluke.

Justin: I’m thrilled for Shields if he makes it. Any person who fancies themselves a sabermetrician has to be thrilled to see his luck reverse after what happened to him last year. It’s become one of the most dramatic examples of DIPS in action!

But is he one of the top 5-7 AL pitchers, in true talent, right now? He might be, but he also may be a bit outside of that tier (my spreadsheet has him in the low 20’s, but I’d personally place him in the 10-20 range). If he’s not “deserving” (by the criterion of true talent) and still makes it, that means that someone who *is* deserving does not make it. And what if that player, whoever he is, goes on to blow out his elbow and doesn’t get his day in the sun? That would seem to me to be the greater loss.



Print This Post



Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Jon
Guest
Jon
5 years 2 months ago

I need more Arod in my life

It lets me know you could be the best in the world at something, have 100s of millions of dollars, be a decently good looking guy, and still be a fumbling mess around people

Telo
Guest
Telo
5 years 2 months ago

The word “fans” appeared far too little in this discussion.

Plain and simple – the all-star game is for the fans. If the fans want to vote for some guy who went on a tear for the first 80 games of the season, but who in reality isn’t a premier player… who gives a crap? The fans want to see him play.

There is no argument or discussion point that can’t be trumped with: give the fans whatever they want. To wrap HoF candidacy and who deserves what into all of this… is stupid. Even the “showcase” reasoning is way off. Anyone who is watching the all-star game as an entree into baseball isn’t going to know the difference between Ryan Zimmerman and Ty Wiggington anyway.

Telo
Guest
Telo
5 years 2 months ago

For the record, I am agreeing with Dave. Though I am surprised that no one trumpeted the fans side in all of this.

Justin Merry
Member
5 years 2 months ago

I did mention fans. Look for the paragraph starting “There is a compromise position here”. I don’t agree with you. :)

Matt Hunter
Member
Member
5 years 2 months ago

This is a good point. The All-Star game is not for the players. Yeah it’s great to see an underdog player make the All-Star team, and I also generally agree with the principle that it is good for players to be deserving of being on the team, but when it comes down to it, the ASG is about letting the fans see their favorite players compete against each other in a fun exhibition. It’s a shame that this often leads to undeserving players making it and deserving players missing out, whatever your definition of “deserving” is, but if that’s what the fans want then that’s what they should get. Yeah, I think Ryan Zimmerman should get in over Ty Wiggington, so I’ll vote for Zimmerman, but if Wiggington wins, then that means more fans wanted to see him play than Zimmerman, and that’s fine with me. Whether or not his season is a fluke, he has excited fans enough that they want to see him play, and so he should.

Matt Hunter
Member
Member
5 years 2 months ago

And in response to the number of snub articles there are, I think no matter how we choose them, people are going to disagree with the selections and write “snub” articles. If everyone really thought that the All-Star game was about the best players, then Derek Jeter wouldn’t get in every year. People are just choosing the players that they want to see, whether that means the best players or just the players they like to see play.

Rudegar
Guest
Rudegar
5 years 2 months ago

Are these things really a true “fan vote” when it seems certain cities or high profile players get the bulk of the votes? Did the fans really want Yadier Molina over Brian McCann, or are the St Louis fans more faithful in stuffing a ballot box than all others.

The fan vote thing gets me some times.

Nate
Guest
Nate
5 years 2 months ago

“Why do yo hate Happiness?” haha.
Dave, it’s common knowledge that anyone who’s dabbled in sabermetrics holds to a very skewed definition of the word “Happiness”.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron
5 years 2 months ago

xJOY

Bryz
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

Is this used to make Carson’s All Joy teams?

Nauter Your Dogma
Guest
Nauter Your Dogma
5 years 2 months ago

wJOY

Person
Guest
Person
5 years 2 months ago

I don’t care what the projections say, Jayson Werth is no all star this year. Indeed, I think Inaz takes it too far when his own impression of the accuracy of the projection, not 2011 performance, is his tiebreaker.

Justin Merry
Member
5 years 2 months ago

If you group the two corner OF slots together, Ryan Braun gets the nod over Werth.

Werth is 4th in NL RF WAR over the past 162-games behind Stanton, Upton, and Bruce. 0.5 WAR separates Stanton from Werth, which is at least your margin of error in fielding measurement for one player (much less two!). I think it’s a pretty defensible pick given Werth’s outstanding track record.
-j

psiogen
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

The fact that Justin’s analysis would have us leave Jose Reyes off of this year’s All-Star roster in favor of Hanley “.216/.307/.317” Ramirez really shows how the mantra of small sample size can become a mania.

What kind of psychopath would rather watch 2011 Hanley play baseball than 2011 Reyes?

Justin Merry
Member
5 years 2 months ago

I think I picked Tulo, so…

I guess you’re inferring a bench pick. Again, it really depends on what data you’re looking at and what you’re trying to do. I don’t expect Hanley to hit .216 the rest of the season, and wouldn’t be surprised to see him outhit Jose Reyes in the second half. So yeah, I’m ok with him being the bench NL SS this year.
-j

Trotter76
Guest
Trotter76
5 years 2 months ago

I gotta part ways with you here Justin. Reyes is playing amazing ball — AND has a track record of being a great player. Hanley does not deserve to be anywhere near the All Star Game this year.

Jonathan C. Mitchell
Member
5 years 2 months ago

I gotta agree with Dave. The All-Star Game should showcase the best players from this season or from the past calendar year. I love seeing that guy who has never made it, and will probably never make it again, trot around with his camera and kid and enjoy the experience. He earend his spot on the roster, even if it was only 3 months of excellent play.

JohnHavok
Guest
JohnHavok
5 years 2 months ago

My opinion is kind of a mix… I want the best players in 2011 to be at the 2011 All Star game. Saying that you want the best players at every position based on history and projection contradicts this. Derek Jeter has been a HOF SS in his career. Key words in the sentence are “has been.” He is not an All Star calibre player this year, and he should definitely not be at the AS Game. The All Star game is meant to reward players who have outstanding seasons in that year, not who have had 5 previous outstanding years.

What would be nice is that voting did not start so early in the season, where small sample sizes would impact decision making, IE Sam Fuld. Open voting no earlier than June 1. Have certain standards for positions so that you can’t vote for guys who are having garbage years. Again… using Jeter as an example, they guy shouldn’t even be on the ballot.

As for having an AS game at the end of the year… yeah, it makes sense from a player selecvtion standpoint, but I don’t think MLB wants to go head to head with the middle of the NFL season from a TV ratings POV any more than they have to.

Justin Merry
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Just for the record, I didn’t pick Jeter this year using projections. I went with Yunel Escobar, though there are a number of AL SS’s who all had about the same projection and I’d have no argument going with any of them. Jeter clocks in at 8th in the AL, and I think I’m underestimating how bad he is in the field (have him at -8 runs per season, and that seems generous).

Last year, I thought Jeter was actually deserving based on what he’d done in the past calendar year at the time. His projections weren’t great, but they weren’t great for any AL SS…
-j

Trotter76
Guest
Trotter76
5 years 2 months ago

To dovetail off the June 1st idea, also don’t print the ballots until May. I will GUARANTEE that Ty Wigginton does not start the All-Star game because Ian Stewart is listed on the ballot as the Rockies starting 3B. Kendrys Morales is listed at the Angels 1B, and he hasn’t (and won’t) play a game all year.

Barkey Walker
Guest
Barkey Walker
5 years 2 months ago

“Well, recognizing outstanding rookie players is something that projection systems can do, if the player’s minor league track record is strong enough.” except that Marcel (which just projects the average for a rookie) outperforms all the systems that use minor league data.

Justin Merry
Member
5 years 2 months ago

Depends on how you test it and which dataset you use. Last year, Tango found that Marcel would do better if it assumed a value below league-average. Oliver’s had a number of improvements to it focused on improving how it does with rookie players, even since last year, and anecdotally I’ve been pretty impressed with how well it’s doing this year. We’ll see in the annual projection round-ups.
-j

Barkey Walker
Guest
Barkey Walker
5 years 1 month ago

yes, the latest and greatest shiny new thing is always about to be really great.

But call me when the results are in.

TexasRanger
Guest
TexasRanger
5 years 2 months ago

I’m on Dave’s side here. Projection systems are far from perfect. Every year dozens of baseball players fail to live up to their projections for reasons that are beyond luck. Your system goes the other way from rewarding small sample sizes, yours rewards sudden and rapid decline in a ballplayer. I’ve never been a big fan of projection systems in general, and using them to pick all stars rather than what actually happens on the field seems crazy. No wonder so many sportwriters hate sabermetricians.

AustinRHL
Member
AustinRHL
5 years 2 months ago

I think I mostly want to agree with Dave here, although there are times when I would want to just call the first-half performance a complete mirage and select the Ryan Zimmerman over the Ty Wigginton. That said, Dave’s side of the argument comes off as surprisingly weak here, and I think Justin “won.”

Jonas Wepel
Guest
Jonas Wepel
5 years 2 months ago

Why don’t we have computers simulate who would win in a game amongst the players who are projected to be the best… or maybe we can enjoy the game for what it is – a meaningless exhibition for which no sabremetric analysis is needed. Just sit back and enjoy.

Roger Workman
Guest
Roger Workman
5 years 2 months ago

Weezer.

Total Dominication
Member
Total Dominication
5 years 2 months ago

A-rod leads all 3b by an entire win last time I checked.

DT
Guest
DT
5 years 2 months ago

I think Justin said…he’s not just looking at this year’s performance.

Justin Merry
Member
5 years 2 months ago

I’m using projections to select Longoria. Even past calendar-year splits would select Longoria or Beltre over A-Rod.
-j

GiantHusker
Guest
GiantHusker
5 years 2 months ago

The All Star Game is for the fans and always has been for the fans. It has never been for “honoring” players for half-season performances.
Let the fans pick all the players–though there should be a better voting system.

Sean
Guest
Sean
5 years 2 months ago

Was the smiley face after your A-Rod statement meant to imply sarcasm? Because he’s leading all 3B in WAR by a win and a half. Unless personality or embarrassing Super Bowl camera shots are working against him, he should be starting. (Honestly, though, what’s embarrassing about having a beautiful movie star feed you popcorn in a luxury box at the world’s most expensive sporting event? A-Rod scored points in my book with that move).

And I agree with John’s suggestion of opening voting no earlier than June 1st. Last I checked Russell Martin is still leading AL catchers, but he’s accumulated just 0.5 WAR since his torrid start in April–not bad for a catcher, but nowhere near as good as Alex Avila.

Justin Merry
Member
5 years 2 months ago

No, the reason I smiled is that A-Rod at 3B was Dave’s example for what would happen if we used projections instead of current-season data to choose our all-stars. It’s sort of irrelevant to the argument at hand, but he wasn’t the guy I took–I took Longoria, who projects better moving forward for his combination of offense and top notch fielding.

It is the case that A-Rod is the choice this year if you’re using current season statistics only (which makes him a poor example for Dave’s argument, but like I said, it’s sort of beside the point). If you use past calendar-year splits instead of 2011 only splits, it’s either Longoria or Beltre over A-Rod. I like Longoria.
-j

TKay21
Guest
TKay21
5 years 2 months ago

If you want to fix the All-Star game, fix the pitching. I’d hate to see a guy like Roy Halladay not make it, but wouldn’t it be nice to just see the best hitters beat up the worst pitchers?

I want to see Prince Fielder vs. Fausto Carmona, Jose Bautista vs. Chris Volstad, or Matt Kemp vs. Luke Hochevar.

.400+wOBA vs. 4.75+FIP = fan friendly fireworks

jpg
Guest
jpg
5 years 2 months ago

It’s a simple, two-part fix.

1- Get rid of the rule that mandates that every team must be represented by at least one player.

2- Add six more roster spots to make it an even 40 men.

Like Dave, I’ll cite the NFL Pro Bowl, where last year, each team played with a 44-man roster, along with about 458 “Pro Bowl Alternates” and even they don’t have an “every team must be represented” rule in place. It’s an outdated rule that I’m sure made sense when it was inacted many, many years ago. In 2008, I didn’t need the All-Star game to see George Sherrill pitch. Even as little as 20 years ago that wasn’t totally the case. I had basic cable back in 91′ and I can tell you it’s a different world now on the TV side alone, much less the web based mediums we have today. We see more “undeserving” All-Stars due to this rule than any other factor.

As for increasing roster size, it makes everyone happy. It allows for the fans to vote who they want to see, especially living legends, like when the fans voted in guys like Ripken and Ozzie even though they were both well past being regarded as an “All-Star caliber”. The days of egrigious snubs like what would have happened if Votto didn’t win the All-Star Final Vote. The increase also allows for the fluky “one & done” All-Stars to get their day with the camcorder, kids and and Kool-Aid smile. It allows for the great player to get in on reputation without a big stink being made about it. In an extra inning scenario, having the extra players at the managers disposal will help, as an added bonus. I’d also counter any arguments that an All-Star roster that large would “water down” the accomplishment of being named an All-Star by pointing out the obvious. In my All-Star Game world, each roster would only be comprised of the games biggest stars to play, regardless if they are there based on reputation or first half performance. The guys who have monster first halves get the recognition they deserve. And lastly the fans get to living legends on their way out.

Again getting rid of the “every team represented” rule will eliminate the weak All-Stars. On top of that, look at how often these “undeserving” guys end up blocking the guys who should have been mortal locks to make the team. Isn’t there a guy like that every year? Isn’t that the point of all this? This way you get best mix of great players, one year wonders, fan favorites, and iconic players near the end. It works for all.

Hurtlocker
Guest
Hurtlocker
5 years 1 month ago

The All-Star team is designed to celebrate basball and all it’s wonderful quirks. I think it’s great a guy that is really an average major league player (read this to say he was a star High School player and maybe the best in his city or state at that time) finally gets recognition of some success at the ultimate level. That success is often fleeting. (see Norm Cash after his rookie season) These players combined with the superstar players make the game enjoyable to me.

Ousy
Guest
Ousy
5 years 1 month ago

I actually like Justin’s premise. But I also like the idea of skipping the playoffs and just projecting who will win the World Series. The difference between me and Justin is that I’m consistent with my views.

wpDiscuz