All stars and Steinbrenner….who cares?

  It’s always been a puzzle to me how they can pick the All Stars halfway through the season when they’re still bringing up the kids from the minors and switching around players between positions and teams.  There’s a lot of players who probably deserve to be All Stars but since voting starts somewhere around February, March, April, there’s no way they’ll be able to make the team.  The problem is that each team has to front an All Star no matter what and that seems a bit patronizing.   Some of the teams are so far in the cellar they have no prayer of getting out and nothing’s going to help them.   The voting’s complicated and the system involves the fans, managers and players with a final player selected from, all things, the internet!  I guess when you take into account the high powered moneyed teams like the Yankees it’s probably one of the safeguards they decided on, to mandate one player from each team.  It seems kinda nuts since some teams don’t have even one player who can legitimately be considered an “All Star”, but like I mentioned above,  they’ve decided over the years this is the most fair way of deciding.  I guess with the moneyed teams if you didn’t do this, you could end up with the American League fielding nothing but Yankees and Red Sox on their roster against the National League.  So be it. 
One of the highlights this year for me was the interchange in the last couple  innings  between the pitcher and batter where the duel was on.  One power pitch followed by one foul ball, back and forth.  At one point, the pitcher obviously gave it everything, the batter swung mightily and missed, but came around with a big grin on his face, obviously acquiescing to the pitcher.  The pitcher responded with a chuckle and big smile, obviously enjoying the exchange.  It was something to see and the camera caught it beautifully.  Rarely do you see this in league play.  It made me smile too and in the end the batter struck out, which was appropriate.   The pitcher and batter, worthy opponents.  So that was the highlight of the game for me.  That and the fact the National League finally won,  and now gets home field advantage in October.
“The only bad thing about winning the pennant is that you have to manage the All-Star Game the next year. I’d rather go fishing for three days.”
My knowledge of George Steinbrenner is personified in a shirt I bought for my brother-in-law, Tom, a few years ago.  The shirt had a lot of graphics, but the gist of it was “New York Yankees…..Best Team Money can Buy”.    Tom hates the Yankees!  Almost everyone I know hates the Yankees.  Or they love the Yankees.  There’s really no in-between.  But I’m in-between.  I love the idea of winning all the time.   My dad hated the Yankees!  Back in the late 50’s when the Yankees were winning all the time, dad thought they ought to give someone else a chance to win.  That logic has always escaped me.  Good grief!   Shouldn’t the best team win?  In the case of the Yankees, they’ve paid mightily for the “best” team.  A few years back there was a player,  Dave Winfield, who refused to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Yankee, no matter how much money he’d made playing for them.  He was, instead, inducted as a San Diego Padre.  There were a lot of rumors and press involved in this, but I’ve always admired his decision, based on a principle.  But because of Steinbrenner, they’ve got the money.  How many sports stadiums have been built without public financing?  Yankee Stadium was.  How many stadiums can be sold out when the home team’s losing?  Yankee Stadium was. Let’s give credit where it’s due and one thing for sure,  George Steinbrenner deserves credit for bringing the New Yankees back from a really dry spell.  He loved his Yankees and he loved to win, and he did win.  The game of baseball is better for it.

4 responses to “All stars and Steinbrenner….who cares?

  1. Interesting but I have a few corrections.
    I don’t get your argument that, “There’s a lot of players who probably deserve to be All Stars but since voting starts somewhere around February, March, April, there’s no way they’ll be able to make the team.”
    The All Star voting begins at the end of April, and doesn’t get going strong until around June as the game gets more press. If your argument is that players who DO NOT deserve to be in the game get voted in too quickly based on a very small sampling of stats. I agree with that. Especially in the case of injured players like Heyward and Utley who’s large number of early votes, (pre-June), made catching them difficult.
    As a Braves fan I watched guys like Prado, Glaus, and McCann move up very quickly during Mid-late June based on how hot they were at that time, (Glaus and McCann after slow starts), they gained huge amounts of ground showing that even a late streak can move you steadily up the rankings.
    You might want to take back your Winfield praise:
    “A few years back there was a player, Dave Winfield, who refused to play for the Yankees, no matter how much money they offered. There was a lot of rumors and press involved in this, but I’ve always admired his decision, based on a principle.”

    Winfield played for the Yankees for 9 Seasons!


  2. In 2001 Winfield chose to enter the Hall of Fame as a Padre rather than a Yankee. He did indeed play for the Yankees. Thanks for setting the record straight! GFBB


  3. As a fan of the frequently hapless Mariners, I appreciate the “at least one player from each team” rule. There have been years where that was the only reason a Mariner was on the All-Star Team.

    I, too, am frustrated with when the voting takes place. I would like to see the stats calculated from the last All-Star Game. This would allow for the possibility that some players who historically have slow starts would have stats that placed them higher on the scale, for those of us who look at things like that.

    And speaking of stats, why don’t they include fielding percentage? (I’m pretty sure it wasn’t included.) Some players’ primary contribution to their team is their fielding. Shouldn’t they be considered for All-Star status?

    Glad I stumbled upon your blog.


    • Well, Helen, for sure as long as you have Ichiro there’s no worries. My kids live in Seattle so the Mariners have a special place in my heart! Glad to have you on board. Your comments are my favorite part of blogging.


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