Rant time. I've been making snide comments about the All-Star Game and I think I should explain why I don't cover it more. I don't mind the game itself, although the stupid "this time it counts" crap detracts from what should be a fun exhibition game. If we didn't lionize Pete Rose destroying Ray Fosse's career to win a meaningless exhibition game (that he probably had money riding on), then maybe we wouldn't care so much about the players giving 85% in the ASG.
What I absolutely can't stand is the inane debates about who should and who shouldn't be on the team. First of all, no one has ever defined how the All-Star teams should be composed, so anyone saying "Joe Shlabotnik should be an All-Star" is not going to convince anyone who doesn't already agree with the criteria the first person has left unsaid in their head. A lot of people seem to think the All-Star Team should be made up exclusively of the players having the best first half of the season, in which case I'm not sure why they don't call it "The Small Sample Size Game."
But then that argument spills over into who isn't on the team, and then the whole process becomes about who was "snubbed." The All-Star Game has become more about who's being insulted rather than who's being honored. Not everyone can make the team, and even then, once the game begins, it becomes about who got "snubbed" because they didn't get into the game. (The Hall of Fame has the exact same problem.)
Honestly, it's stupid and I don't need it. I'm now realizing that I probably should have saved all this for a separate off-day article, but to wrap up, if you're interested in the ASG rosters, click here.
- The trade deadline is something I'm more interested in. Jay Jaffe divides every National League teams into buyers, sellers and somewhere in-between. He also lists every team's needs going down the stretch. The AL teams were linked to in the last Bullets column.
- David Schoenfield thinks Johnny Cueto might have thrown his last game for the Reds. He lists possible destinations for the hurler.
- Jon Heyman has an overview of the trade market for starting pitching.
- Jonathan Papelbon wants to get traded. No surprise there, but he wanted everyone to be sure.
- Ken Rosenthal writes that the Rangers want to deal Shin-Soo Choo, but his contract means he'll be tough to move and that the Rangers will need to be creative. Ya think?
- David Schoenfield thinks the Blue Jays should acquire Jeff Samardzija.
- The Braves might shop Cameron Maybin. Hmm. Tempting.
- Jon Paul Morosi thinks the Padres may be sellers, just six months after they bought everyone they could. They probably will sell--I can't see GM A.J. Preller standing pat.
- Are we in a golden age of starting pitching?
- Is the starting rotation of the Indians cursed? If it is, it's probably because of Chief Wahoo.
- Will Leitch hands out the mid-season awards.
- The staff at Grantland talk about ten storylines for the second-half that interest them.
- Cuban infielder Andy Ibanez has signed with the Rangers.
- Robinson Cano says that he's been suffering from a stomach illness since last August. He doesn't want to make excuses, but that explains a lot.
- Yeah, Josh Donaldson is having a good season. It's been pointed out that the '09 Peoria Chiefs had 14 future major leaguers on that team. And one winner of the Bachelorette. It also had 3 future All-Stars and neither
Donaldson, Josh Harrison, Chris Archer or DJ LeMahieu made the team with the Cubs. Ouch.
- Over at Lookout Landing, Matthias Ellis pens a piece expressing frustration with MLB Advanced Media's social media policy.
- Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner praised Alex Rodriguez. It's amazing how much forgiveness the Yankees have in their hearts for a guy with a 148 OPS+.
- The Pirates are not considering sending Gregory Polanco down to the minors.
- Mets manager Terry Collins says that if his starting pitchers have a problem with his six-man rotation, they'd better get over it.
- A look at the historic workload the Rays are putting on their bullpen.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said that Cesar Hernandez and not Chase Utley is the best second baseman on the team.
- Jon Lester is a better hitter than you are.
- A former scout is suing MLB over wage violations and hiring practices.
- Do you remember using "ghost runners" when you played baseball as a kid? Apparently, Giants pitcher Chris Heston tried a pickoff throw to a "ghost fielder."
- Watch Hunter Pence turn a spectacular double play in his first game off the DL.
- Bryan Grosnick remember the Boston career of Fred Lynn.
- If you like baseball cards, Sports Illustrated recreated some famous cards of the past. Iowa Cubs hitting coach Brian Harper recreates his 1993 card. (h/t Hardball Talk)
- And finally, it now seems to be a Wrigley Field tradition as the Cardinals rookies went to Starbucks in uniform to pick up drinks for the team.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.