David Wright surged past Placido Polanco in fan voting to become the starting third baseman at the Midsummer Classic on July 13th in Anaheim, Calif. In June, Wright had a .404 batting average and 29 RBI.
Jose Reyes also was selected to the team as a reserve via player voting. He is filling in for the Colorado Rockies’ Troy Tulowitzki, who is on the disabled list.
Two notable absences were Mike Pelfrey and Rod Barajas. Instead of Barajas, it will be Brian McCann of the Braves and Yadier Molina of the Cardinals. Barajas has cooled off since his hot start. He is still tied for the league lead in homers by a catcher, but he hasn’t had one since May 31. He is third in RBI with 32, but his batting average has sunk to .244.
Pelfrey also has been on a decline. He hasn’t last five inning in his past two starts. Although he is tied for third in wins with 10, his ERA has risen to 3.39. His losses are among the league’s lowest, but he just hasn’t been as sharp as he was in the beginning of the season.
Still, if Tim Lincecum can make it with his 8-4 record and 3.28 ERA, then why not Pelfrey? Well, because the players didn’t vote for him and National League team manager Charlie Manuel didn’t choose him, which leads me to my pet peeve about selecting All-Star Game players.
Managers should not get to pick the players they want on their team. They are not going to be objective about it. Chances are they’ll pick someone from their own roster like Manuel did when he chose Ryan Howard and AL team manager Joe Girardi selected CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez. The result is a travesty. Howard gets chosen over Joey Votto, who is clearly having the better season so far. Granted, Votto still should make it, thanks to fan voting for the last roster spot.
Even the fan voting is suspect. The fact you get to vote 25 times just leads to the equivalent of ballot stuffing. Why not make the selection process more scientific? Either let the baseball writers make the selections or let the players vote. It’s the way it works for the Emmys, the Oscars and Tonys. Let yourself be judged by your peers. That sounds fair to me.