I saw that Royals manager Ned Yost, the AL manager for the game, made sure to take care of his team, even though thanks to Kansas City fans stuffing the ballot box, four KC stars were already in the starting lineup, and Wade Davis was picked by players for the bullpen. Yost then obnoxiously went and picked Kelvin Herrera, one of his setup guys, saying:
“The one thing he had that a lot of others didn’t was he pitched in game seven of the World Series last year,” Yost said. “That was kind of a deciding factor for me.”
Um, the All-Star Game is supposed to be about *this* year, not last year.
Then Yost also picked yet another Royal, third baseman Mike Moustakas, for the Final Vote competition over A-Rod. Puh-lease. Dude, you already have six of your players on the team, and you try to get a seventh on? Good grief. Yost claimed it was about flexibility -- A-Rod is a DH -- but don't tell me Rodriguez couldn't play third or first for one inning.
Due to a quirk in the system, Prince Fielder was on the fans' first base ballot, but the players' DH ballot, and Fielder, who is having a slightly better year than Rodriguez, got the nod.
But, as the New York Post's Ken Davidoff points out:
The Yankees’ first half proved far more enjoyable than many (including the hack writing this column) anticipated, and for that, A-Rod deserves a healthy share of the credit. He ranks among the league leaders in on-base percentage (.390, sixth), on-base plus slugging (.902, eighth) and OPS-plus (149, 8th). Consider that no other player ranking in the top 10 in any of those categories — not all, but any — failed to make the club.Even writer Bob Klapisch, who has slammed A-Rod a lot in the past, thinks leaving him out is an injustice, and writes:
The layers of arrogance and narcissism have been peeled away. Beneath the psychological flesh is a goofy, semi-geeky ballplayer who’s made terrible decisions and told appalling lies. But Rodriguez loves baseball in a deep and profound way. I remember the first time he confided about a veteran Yankee who didn’t share his passion for the sport. “I asked [the teammate] if he wanted to come over after one of our games and watch the West Coast games on TV,” Rodriguez said. “And [the teammate] looked at me like I was crazy. “Why would I want to do that?” he said. “I was blown away.” Rodriguez is obviously not the player of his youth, but his enthusiasm remains intact.Hmmm -- I wonder which player he was talking about here?
At any rate, A-Rod in the ASG would have been must-watch at-bats. Love him, hate him, people would watch the game to see him.
The Yanks do have Mark Teixeira and Dellin Betances on the All-Star roster, and Brett Gardner in the Final Vote competition, but A-Rod should have been on the team. Here's hoping that somebody drops out in the next week or so and he is added on.