Tonight will be the Midsummer Classic where the best players in the first half of the season from both the American and National League’s face off. Or so we thought. The voting system for the All Star game has been criticized every season because of snubs and undeserving popular players making it through. This season’s voting took the system’s shortfalls to a whole new level of ridiculousness. One city absolutely took advantage of the unlimited fan voting option and completely fucked up what could have been an amazingly competitive game being played by deserving players. The San Francisco Giants organization and fans had nothing better to do this season then stuff the ballots so their sub-par and undeserving players can make the National League starting rotation.
Now I have never had a reason to have beef with San Francisco because my parents lived there and it’s the city where my brother was born, but after this appalling display of over-voting I now consider the city pathetic. The Giants are only two years removed from winning the World Series and after a disappointing 2011 campaign and an average start to the 2012 season, where they trail the Dodgers by a half game in arguably the worst division in baseball, their fans and organization decided to stuff the ballots with their players names so they can represent their team in the All Star game. The Giants have 4 players starting the All Star game tonight, which is more than any other team, and only one of them have the stats to justify their placement.
Let’s start with the biggest travesty. David Wright, of my New York Mets, is having an MVP caliber start to the season and is arguably the best third baseman the game has to offer right now. Somehow he is not in the starting lineup for the NL because of those douche bags in San Fran. The Giants fans got their third baseman, Pablo Sandoval, a.k.a Kung Fu Panda, entered as the starting 3B which is an absolute joke. Sure, Panda is a good player, but he does not deserve to be starting in the All Star game. Wright is batting .351 with 106 hits and 11 home runs and 59 RBI’s through the first half while Pablo has an incomparable .307 BA with only 59 hits, 8 home runs and 30 RBI’s. Yes, you read that correctly, David Wright has as many RBI’s as Panda has hits. What a joke.
Both Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera are also starting for the NL out of the San Francisco organization. I won’t argue for Melky because he actually deserves to be where his based on his stellar start to the season, although we all know it’s a fluke. As for Buster Posey, he probably shouldn’t even be on the NL roster at all this season. Carlos Ruiz, of the Philadelphia Phillies, is having one of the best hitting seasons for a catcher in recent memory. Ruiz has 13 bombs and is batting a remarkable .350. Somehow Ruiz will be watching the first pitch of the All Star game from the dugout while Posey will be the starter with his .289 BA. As a matter of fact, Ruiz leads Posey in every major offensive statistical category and has struck out 16 less times than Posey. So how did Posey get the starting nod over Ruiz? Because San Francisco fans have nothing better to do than fill out All Star ballots and continue on their hippie ways.
The fourth Giants starter for the National League was not a product of their fans shitty voting, but rather a blunder by one of the greatest coaches ever. Tony La Russa, the retired coach of last years World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, decided to put Matt Cain as the man who will throw out the first pitch for the NL tonight. There is no denying Cain’s ability and I definitely thought he should be the third in rotation, but I and the rest of the world know who should be starting this game. R.A. Dickey has taken the baseball world by storm this season and has the best overall numbers out of any pitcher in baseball. He has the best stats and he has the best story and he plays in the best city, so why isn’t he starting? Because Tony spends most of his free time on the West coast and goes to a lot of Cain’s games. Sure Cain pitched a perfect game this season, but Dickey did something even more rare with back-to-back 1-hitters. Dickey took this decision very professionally but you can tell he was not thrilled about it.
“I’m not going to break down in tears over it, but at the same time I’m a competitor. I want to pitch. I want to start,” Dickey said Monday. “I feel like I had a good enough first half that I should be considered. But I’m not the boss. I don’t necessarily have to agree with him, but I have to respect it. That’s just the way it is.”
La Russa went on to say that the knuckleball is a difficult pitch to catch and Posey would have a hard time with it. So in some ways it is the Giants fans fault for stuffing the ballots with Posey’s name because if Ruiz was starting then La Russa wouldn’t have an excuse.
Regardless of the starters in tonight’s All Star game, I will still find myself cheering on my National League and when the deserving players on the bench make their way into the game I will applaud. As for the San Francisco Giants players in the game, I hope the American League starting pitcher, Justin Verlander, throws them some nasty chin music upwards of 100 MPH. I hope Bud Selig removes all voting privilege’s from the Giants fans for years to come because of the mockery they made of these year’s team.
Dream Weaver…the Angels believed you could get them through the night! Wednesday, the Angels Ace Jered Weaver pitched the second no-hitter in this young baseball season. The difference between this no-hitter and what Philip Humber did on April 21st is that you will know who Jered Weaver is for a long time coming and through April Weaver would have to be the leading candidate for the AL Cy Young. Luckily for the Sports Debaters, Weaver headlines our fantasy baseball squad for the second straight season.
Weaver was absolutely lights out last night and had the whole sports world watching as ESPN interrupted their regularly scheduled programming to broadcast the 9th inning of his masterful performance. Jered took a very unconventional way of achieving his no-hitter by accumulating 28 outs rather then the normal 27. With two outs in the second inning Weaver threw strike 3 past Minnesota’s Chris Parmelee, but unfortunately the ball squirted past Angel’s catcher Chris Iannetta and Parmelee reached first base safely. With two outs in the 7th inning Weaver walked the Twins Josh Willingham, but besides that Jered was absolutely perfect. On the final out of the game, the Twins Alexi Casilla ripped a shot to deep right field, which I thought was gone when it left his bat, but Gold Glove outfielder Torii Hunter pulled it in and then the celebration started.
My favorite part of this historical moment for Weaver is that there was a possibility he wouldn’t be wearing the Halo this season if he followed in the footsteps of fellow free agent superstars like Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder by pursuing the big bucks. Instead, Weaver chose to stay in his hometown and with the team that has molded his career into one of the best pitchers in baseball. Weaver pitched this gem in front of over 27,000 screaming Angel fans including his family and had this to say, “I was locked in for the most part, my mom, dad, wife, this was awesome.” Jered also credited his teammates after the game, “I’m at a loss for words right now. It hasn’t kicked in yet,” he said. “Thank you for all your support. Couldn’t have done it without the defense. The guys were picking me up left and right.” Last season Weaver finished second in Cy Young votes behind Tigers Ace Justin Verlander and it doesn’t seem like he has missed a step. Maybe this will be his year.
Jered Weaver is one of the few class-acts left in baseball and I for one am extremely happy he had this moment.