Yesterday, the results came out for who made it to the American League and National League all-star teams for the upcoming annual all-star game on July 17th in our nation’s capital. The starting nine position players for each league get voted in by the fans while the reserve position players, as well as the pitchers, get voted in by the players and the commissioner’s office. This year, the talent level among the players voted into the all-star game is one for the ages as many of the game’s greatest will be showing their talents in front of thousands of fans in Washington D.C. Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Aaron Judge, Freddie Freemen, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, JD Martinez, and Mookie Betts are just some of the incredible players that will be participating.
The SF Giants will be sending their fabulous shortstop Brandon Crawford (starter) as well as their incredible catcher Buster Posey (reserve). The A’s will be sending their flame throwing closer Blake Treinen who, through the first half of this season, has used his 100 mph devastating sinker and filthy slider to emerge as one of the best closers in the MLB. Treinan has the best ERA (earned run average) among all MLB relievers (0.81) and has converted 22 out of 24 saves including a remarkable 19 in a row. Thanks to Treinan and setup man Lou Trivino locking down the late innings, the A’s are an MLB best 34-0 when leading after 7 innings thus showing how big of a part these two have played in the A’s midseason emergence as a potential contender for the second wildcard in the American league.
However, with all the incredible young talent and only room for 32 players on each side, there was bound to be some highly controversial snubs this year, and that sure was the case. Arguably the two most controversial snubs are A’s second basemen Jed Lowrie and Rays’ staff ace Blake Snell. Jed Lowrie had a career year last season as he stayed healthy and accumulated an A’s single season record of 49 doubles. This season, Lowrie has remained healthy and taken his whole game to another level. Jed Lowrie has been the A’s most consistent and clutch hitter seemingly always coming up with big hits to spur the A’s late inning comebacks, which are becoming common place this season. Lowrie has already tied his single season career high in homers of 16 to go along with 61 runs batted in, a high batting average at .290, and steady defense at second base. Jed Lowrie is the heartbeat of the A’s lineup and he is one of the major reasons why the A’s find themselves 10 games over 500 and in contention for the wildcard for the first time since the 2014 season. Yet, despite the incredible season he’s been having so far, and the fact that due to his age of 34 this might be the best shot that Lowrie has to become an all-star, the players inexplicably voted for the Yankees’ rookie 21 year old second basemen Gleyber Torres who has been playing well since his call up yet does not have the offensive statistics to match Lowrie, has played worse defensively than Lowrie, and is currently on the disabled list with a hip strain. This is the epitome of a popularity contest. The Yankees are like the starting high school quarterback as they are the most popular team in baseball, have one of the biggest payrolls, and are one of the most talented. Whereas the A’s are not as known around baseball and have one of the smallest payrolls, yet they have some players who are just as good if not better than their counterparts on the Yankees.
This same analogy applies to the Rays who often get put in the same boat as the A’s (are widely viewed as the east coast equivalent to the A’s). The Rays’ young staff ace Blake Snell has put together a breakout sophomore campaign and currently leads the American League with a 2.09 ERA. Yet, he was inexcusably left off the pitching roster while other pitchers who are more well-known made the team despite having nowhere near the same success that Snell is having. The Rays also encountered the common problem that most small market teams face. Every team is required to send at least one representative to the midsummer classic, and the Rays catcher Wilson Ramos was voted in by the fans as the starting catcher for the American league thus filling the spot of the Rays’ one required representative.
In the end, Lowrie will probably replace the injured Torres, and Snell will probably replace Verlander or one of the other pitchers who gets injured or pitches on Sunday and therefore is not allowed to pitch in the All-Star game. Nevertheless, this is not okay as both of these outstanding baseball players should have been put on the roster in the first place. As a result, I along with Chris Archer of the Rays (teammate of Snell) demand that players pay more attention to the voting and that the process gets changed if needed.
In conclusion, I look forward to the all-star game and watching all of the game’s biggest stars converge in Washington D.C.
BTW, I pick Belgium to win the World Cup out of the four teams left.
Signing off for now.