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.

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Joey Votto: The ultimate All-Star Game snub

How does Joey Votto not make the 2010 MLB All-Star Game? Well, I know how he didn’t make it: he plays in the same league as Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard and Adrian Gonzalez. But I mean, how can baseball allow this to happen?

This isn’t as much about Howard or Gonzo (two worthy All-Stars) as it as about Votto, who leads the Reds and ranks among NL leaders in hitting (.312), home runs (19), RBI (57), total bases (163) and on-base percentage (.414). Oh-and-by-the-way, he also leads all NL first basemen (including Pujols, mind you) with a .988 OPS.

Last time I checked, baseball is the king of numbers and stats. Yet even though Votto was statistically the best at his position in the first half, he didn’t make the final cut. It would be shocking if it weren’t so predictable given that Pujols, Howard and Gonzalez were locks to make the NL squad before voting even began.

Forget numbers for a second and let me throw this question out there: Would the Reds be 11 games over .500 and in first place in the NL Central right now without Votto? No flipping way. Cincinnati is on its way to having its first winning season since The Oregon Trail was the top selling video game in America and he deserves to be recognized for it.

The good news is that with injuries to guys like Jason Heyward and Troy Tulowitzki, there may be a roster spot open for Votto when it’s all said and done. And there better be, seeing as how nobody is more deserving of an All-Star roster spot than him. It would be a freaking baseball travesty if he didn’t get to travel to L.A. this year to take part in the well-deserved honor.

To check out the official, Joey Votto-less AL and NL All-Star Game rosters, click here.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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