Too many players left at All-Star altar • Latino Sports

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Too many players left at All-Star altar

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It happens every year: deserving players don’t go the All-Star Game because teams urge fans to vote for their favorites.

Simply put, that hurts the integrity of the All-Star Game almost as much as the ridiculous idea of awarding World Series home-field advantage to the winning league.

With fans encouraged to vote 35 times by internet without ever buying a ticket to a game, selection of the starting lineup is little more than a farce.

That’s why people like Paul Goldschmidt (Diamondbacks), Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox), and Jhonny Peralta (Tigers) aren’t starting.

Dustin Pedroia probably should be starting at second base for the AL

Dustin Pedroia probably should be starting at second base for the AL

It’s also why people like Adrian Beltre (Rangers), Jed Lowrie and John Donaldson (A’s), Shin-Soo Choo (Reds), and Brian McCann (Braves) are not even going.

The list of snubbed pitchers is even longer, although changes will still be made because of last-minute injuries plus starters working Sunday games — including potential All-Star Game starter Adam Wainwright (Cardinals).

Among those omitted by All-Star managers Jim Leyland (Tigers) and Bruce Bochy (Giants) were Mike Minor (Braves), Lance Lynn (Cardinals), and Chris Tillman (Orioles). Overlooked relievers were Jim Johnson (Orioles), whose 32 saves lead both leagues, and Edward Mujica (Cardinals), a johnny-come-lately who grabbed the Cardinal closer job in late April and never let go.

In an ideal world, Leyland and Bochy would get a final shot to revamp their rosters, vetoing fan selections where necessary to form the best possible squads.

Given such a surgical knife, perhaps Bryce Harper (Nationals), J.J. Hardy

Does Bryce Harper deserve his spot on the 2013 NL squad?

Does Bryce Harper deserve his spot on the 2013 NL squad?

(Orioles), and even Robinson Cano (Yankees) would not be starting. In fact, Harper might not be a worthy 2013 All-Star at all. Players should be picked on performance rather than promise.

If not for the rule requiring every team to be represented, no Cubs, Marlins, Padres, or Astros would be All-Stars. Not to sure about Andrew McCutchen either, since the Pittsburgh centerfielder is not having the same MVP-type year that he did in 2012.

Jacoby Ellsbury, the fleet Boston centerfielder, would own the spot occupied by Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto’s first baseman, and fellow AL infielders James Loney and Evan Longoria (Rays) and Howie Kendrick (Angels) might also merit lockers in the All-Star clubhouse at CitiField.

It’s also a good thing White Sox starter Chris Sale was selected, since Chicago reliever Jesse Crain is virtually certain to be traded — maybe even before the All-Star Game.

There is precedent for such an event: Jeff Shaw was traded from Cincinnati to Los Angeles just before the 1998 All-Star Game and wound up being the first man to wear the uniform of his new team for the first time in the Midsummer Classic.

Other items of interest on the eve of the All-Star break:

Reds pitcher Homer Bailey’s given name is David. The author of two no-hitters, Bailey honors his grandfather by calling himself Homer. Must confess it’s an odd name for a pitcher . . .

An All-Star in his first six seasons, Brian McCann should have been invited again

An All-Star in his first six seasons, Brian McCann should have been invited again

Brian McCann had been an All-Star in each of his first six seasons before getting a delayed start (shoulder surgery) and missing the game this year. He even owns an All-Star Game MVP award . . .

Tim Lincecum (Giants) struggled so much the last two seasons that Bochy considered demoting him to the bullpen. Instead, the manager let him throw 138 pitches in his no-hitter Saturday night. Apparently the pilot doesn’t recall what happened when Mets manager Terry Collins let Johann Santana throw 134 pitches while crafting the only no-hitter in team history.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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