Did Girardi purposely snub Youkilis from the All-Star Game?

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When Twins first baseman Justin Morneau bowed out of next week’s All-Star game due to a mild concussion, many Red Sox fans were hoping that Boston first baseman Kevin Youkilis would be named as his replacement. 

After all, Youk finished a close second on MLB’s “Final Vote” ballot to Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher and is plenty deserving of an All-Star nod given the fact that his 987 OPS ranks fifth-best among all major leaguers and his 18 homers and 57 RBI also stand near the top of the league.

Red Sox Nation is up in arms tonight, as White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko was selected to take Morneau’s spot instead.  This according to an MLB.com press release.

Konerko is having a heck of a season, with a .299/.382/.560 batting line, 20 home runs and 63 RBI through 291 at-bats.  He has been a big part of the White Sox’s resurgence in the American League Central and there’s little doubt that he is also deserving of an All-Star nod. 

But the fact is Youkilis has been better, and his versatility on the infield might have proven helpful in the later innings of Tuesday’s Midsummer Classic.  Did Yanks skipper Joe Girardi, who is managing the American League squad on Tuesday, snub the Red Sox first baseman on purpose?  Or is he simply a fan of more traditional statistics, like the home run and RBI?  We’re thinking the latter, but, either way, selecting Konerko over Youk was probably a misguided move for the sake of that whole “This One Counts” nonsense.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.