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?
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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