Top 5 2011 MLB All-Star Snubs

Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen reacts after he caught a ball hit by New York Mets batter Jason Bay with a runner on base at the fence for the third out of the first inning of their MLB National League baseball game in New York, June 1, 2011. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Here are five players that deserved a trip to Arizona’s Chase Field next week, but instead will have to watch a couple of less-deserving players take their spot. Now let’s everybody pile on Bruce Bochy like the rest of the Internet world. Just make sure you stretch first.

1. Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates
I don’t know who deserves more blame here, the players or Bochy. The players selected the Reds’ Jay Bruce (who has more home runs than McCutchen but is hitting an earth shattering .230) as one of the outfield reserves and Bochy chose the Mets’ Carlos Beltran, another player with a lower batting average and OPS than McCutchen and whose defense is significantly worse. Somehow McCutchen was left off the “Final Man” vote that is decided by the fans, so Major League Baseball deserves a swift kick to the groin here as well. Seeing as how McCutchen and the Pirates are shaping up to be the feel good story of 2011, the players, Bochy, and MLB dropped the ball badly by leaving the sparkplug off the NL roster.

2. Paul Konerko, 1B, White Sox
Apparently the AL players voted in Michael Young as a backup DH. Why would somebody feel as though a backup DH is needed for the American League roster? Outside of pitchers, THE ENTIRE FREAKING TEAM COULD BE DESIGNATED HITTERS. Konerko has a .954 OPS, which is fourth-best in the entire AL, and is among the league leaders in RBI (62, third), home runs (21, fourth) and batting average (.317, fifth). The problem is that teammate Carlos Quentin was a players’ selection and AL skipper Ron Washington needed to use four of his seven spots to ensure that every team was represented. He simply ran out of room for Konerko, which is a shame. But hopefully he’ll win the “Final Vote” and be on his way to Arizona next week anyway.

3. CC Sabathia, SP, Yankees
Seeing as how Sabathia is scheduled to pitch on Sunday, it’s kind of a moot point to discuss in detail how he was screwed. But a snub is a snub. Washington chose his own lefty C.J. Wilson over Sabathia, which isn’t that big of a deal. There’s a strong argument that Wilson should have made the team, but there were others less-deserving that took Sabathia’s spot. (Jose Valverde, anyone?) Again, in the end Sabathia would have been replaced anyway. But he at least deserved to be mentioned.

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tommy Hanson throws to a St. Louis Cardinals batter in the fifth inning of National League MLB baseball action in Atlanta, Georgia, September 11, 2010. REUTERS/Tami Chappell (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

4. Tommy Hanson, SP, Braves
I actually get why Hanson was left off the NL roster. I’m not saying it’s fair or right, but I understand it. He missed time earlier this year with a shoulder injury (which limited his innings) and two of his own teammates (Jair Jurrjens and Jonny Venters) have taken some of his spotlight in Atlanta. Plus, if you say Hanson deserves a spot, then who do you leave off? Jurrjens, Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee were all locks. The argument gets interesting when you bring up Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain – two of Bochy’s handpicked pitchers from San Fran. But Vogelsong has been one of the best stories of the year and he was only 7 1/3 innings short of ranking second in the league in ERA. For those who have paid attention, the guy has been out-of-this-world good since being called up from Triple-A and we’re talking about a player who was pitching in Japan and the minor leagues over the last couple of years. Cain has worse overall numbers than Hanson, but did you see what he did in June? He was 4-0 with a 1.65 ERA in six starts and if the Giants had anything resembling a major league offense (hell, even a Triple-A offense would probably suffice), he would have had at least one more victory. Nevertheless, Cain is scheduled to pitch on Sunday so this snubbing will correct itself in the end. I’m sure Bochy will select Hanson as Cain’s replacement so everything will work out. (Or at least sort of. The voting system is still incredibly flawed and all of these snubs are proof.)

5. Jhonny Peralta, SS, Tigers
I guess now would be a good time to admit that all five of these players are interchangeable. One could make a good argument that Peralta deserves to be higher on this list and that wouldn’t offend me. The Tribe’s Asdrubal Cabrera made the AL roster as Derek Jeter’s backup. In reality, Cabrera should be starting and Peralta should be his backup with Jeter sitting at home. Simply put, the fans botched this one because they were blinded by Jeter’s popularity. I love Jeter and truly believe that he’s one of the best players of all-time. But Peralta (.311 BA, 14 HR, 48 RBI, .363 OBP) has been outstanding this year and deserved the spot more.

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