“It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. You can quote
me on that.”
— Joe Saunders of the Los Angeles Angels on teammate Jered Weaver not making the All-Star team.
I want to get worked up over the snubs — especially the Omar Infante inclusion and Joey Votto exclusion — but I really can’t. It’d be one thing if what happened this year was some freak occurrence, but it’s not. Snubs and oddball inclusions happen every single year. Maybe not as odd as Infante, but this stuff always goes down.
Managers pick their guys to keep team harmony intact (e.g. Ryan Howard and Alex Rodriguez’s selections). Guys get picked because baseball has decided that the All-Star game is like Little League and every team needs a participant. There are approximately 125 pitchers on each team. The rules don’t allow for a natural roster construction, so we can’t really expect to have a natural or even a logical roster. Someone is going to get left out. Probably lots of someones. It’s the nature of the beast.
And ultimately, you have to wonder how much it matters. Sure, I feel bad for youngish guys like Votto and Weaver who get boned out of a fun time and the experience, but I always wonder if older snubs like Kevin Youkilis and Dan Uggla wouldn’t rather just avoid the ten hours in a plane and get the extra days off to hang out with their family and friends back home.
And besides, maybe we’ll get something fun out of all this craziness (and the All-Star Game is a lot of things, but rarely is it fun anymore). For example, though I won’t defend his selection for a millisecond, how cool would it be if Infante ended up being the game’s MVP or something?