The dominant All-Star conversation for the past 48 hours or so has been about how there are too many of them. What with all of the substitutions and everything, there are 84 or 85 guys who can count them All-Stars, and that’s an outrage, right?
Maybe not! Because according to Bill and The Common Man of The Platoon Advantage, historically speaking this may be low:
However, the truth is that that’s not out of line with where the All Star Game has been in the past. After all, there are almost twice as many teams playing today as there were in 1933, when the All Star Game debuted. Rosters are larger, and the changing nature of the bullpen means that more pitchers have been deemed worthy All Stars. We looked on Baseball Reference.com into every All Star Game from 1933-2010, to see exactly how much the term “all star” gets devalued when 84 players are so honored in 2011.
You’ll have to click through for the analysis, but as is always the case, TPA makes it worth your time.
Now: if they can explain how so many All-Stars — if not problematic on the merits of their selection — can possibly make the game halfway decent. Because that’s the real problem here.
But hey, we’re halfway there!
Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:
CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos
SP Yovani Gallardo
With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.
LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar
SP David Price
After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.