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Who Is the Least-Deserving All-Star?

Yesterday, Major League Baseball announced the rosters for next week's All-Star Game. 64 players were named with fans given the opportunity to still vote one more player in for each team (including Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman).

While this is obviously an honor for everyone involved (and one that some players will likely skip out on) I've decided to go the other direction and drink a strong potion of Haterade, put on my Silky Johnson hat and ask:

Which of this year's all-stars is least deserving of the honor?

While it might be easy (and even fun) to immediately look at the Yankees or Red Sox on the roster, all of them have decent resumes though some may be under performing compared to their usual standards. Guys like Jason Varitek and Jorge Posada (both fan favorites but past their prime) are not on this year's roster.

Unfortunately it seems that the best story of last year's All-Star Game is most likely the least deserving star this year.

Josh Hamilton was undoubtedly the top star in New York last summer after the show he put on in the Home Run Derby. However this year, the Texas outfielder has been beset with injury and has only played in 35 of his team's 80 games (though he is slated to come off the DL tonight). Hamilton has hit just .240 on the season with only six home runs.

To his credit, Hamilton has said, "I don't feel like I personally deserve to go [to the All-Star Game]" but still plans to attend since the fans voted him in.

On the National League side, the debate mostly arises over the question of how much should time missed factor into all-star candidacy? While Hamilton has been injured, he's also failed to produce. That has not been the case for Raul Ibanez.

Ibanez was in the midst of a monster season, hitting 22 home runs to go along with a .312 batting average, .371 OBP, and a staggering 1.027 OPS. Unfortunately, he hasn't been in uniform for the Phillies since June 17 due to a groin injury. It's Ibanez's first all-star selection but he may not be able to play, as he's just about to start a rehab assignment with Philadelphia's Class AA affiliate in Reading, Pa.

Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran could also fall into this category as he's been out since June 21 but had turned in a .336 average, .425 OBP, and .952 OPS. A bone bruise on his knee has sidelined the New York slugger and had forced him to miss a few games earlier in the season as well.

What do you guys think? Is Hamilton clearly the guy sticking out like a sore thumb or is there someone less deserving on the rosters?

By CJ Holley  |  July 6, 2009; 2:14 PM ET
Categories:  Mets , Phillies , Rangers , Red Sox , Yankees  | Tags: 2009 all star game, boston red sox, carlos beltran, josh hamilton, new york mets, new york yankees, philadelphia phillies, raul ibanez, texas rangers  
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I'm surprised you include Posada on your "list of big market guys to mock". He's second in the AL in OPS among catchers with 200 or more plate appearances. It's Mauer, then Jorge.

In terms of undeserving guys, how about Tim Wakefield and Ryan Howard.

Posted by: CharlieF | July 6, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

The fact that one player has to represent each team makes a mockery out of this whole process. Fans will be fans and we can be idiots but that is excusable - it is Selig and his nattering marmish tendencies that has turned the All-Star game into a farce.

Posted by: mjwies11 | July 6, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Wakefield's life time achievement award would be behind Hamilton. In fairness to Wakefield, he did contribute significantly to a 1st place team the first two months when Beckett, Lester, Dice-K/Masterson and Penny were pretty bad. Wakefield was their go to guy. Wins count, and if you are going to say "high ERA," then some sabr geek will point out how bad Millwood's peripherals were. JP Howell would have been interesting, but Wakefield had the most career wins w/o an All Star appearance out of all the pitchers whose careers began in the All Star era. Lifetime achievement award, with a plausible basis for this year's achievements.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | July 6, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Whoever the Pirates send to the game will not be deserving.
Thankfully A-Rod and Manny both didn't make the cut. That would have been so pathetic, although slightly humorous.

Posted by: PhilliesPhan | July 7, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

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