As I’m sure you all noticed, the All Star Rosters were announced last night. And while Johan Santana and Joe Mauer were named to the roster, some Twins fans seem to think that Joe Nathan and Fransisco “The Major League ERA Leader” Liriano should join their teammates in Pittsburgh. And they have a pretty compelling argument, in my opinion. Nathan is dominating Bobby Jenks in ERA, K/9, BB/9, OPS against and Batting Average against. The Cisco Kid, obviously, is dominating everyone in ERA and K/9, let alone the Royals lone All Star, Mark Redman. Then again, I’d rather Redman’s pitching routine get thrown out of whack. But there is no question that, based on performance, Liriano should be an All Star.
The question, of course, is should Twins fans be outraged? Should they spend every waking moment (and use every email address they have) voting to send Liriano to the nicest park I’ve ever been to? (I’ve also been to Fenway, Camden, Safeco and Coamerica—trust me when I say PNC Park is the nicest). Does it really matter? That seems to be the question on everyone’s mind—should fans care about the All Star game? While reasonable people differ, I think that the fans should care. What’s going to be more fun to watch, an All Star Game with the best players or one with random replacement level players?
Now, I’ve always enjoyed the All Star game. It’s fun seeing all of the best players playing at the same time. That’s why people should hate the “one player from each team” rule. I didn’t care if Ron Coomer made it, and I can’t see Royals fans caring if Mark Redman is on the team. While I know that interleague play ruins the novelty of watching the greats from each league play each other, it’s always cool to see Pujols dig in against Santana or have Mauer come to the plate in a late inning situation against Trevor Hoffman.
“But it’s an exhibition game” the All Star game’s detractors moan. Which is probably as it should be. And while Bud Selig has actually designated a prize for the victor, home field advantage in the World Series wasn’t awarded to the team with the best record before it became the spoil of the league that won the All Star Game anyway. I’m not saying it’s the best way to do it, or even that they should do it, just that having it alternate wasn’t that much better.
So to sum things up, Nathan and Liriano got hosed, the All Star Game is fun, and you should vote for the Cisco Kid to fill out the roster. Have a safe and Happy Fourth!