I’ve made no bones that I think the All-Star Game is just one ginormous shit show. The game “counts,” yet I would venture to say that about 80% of the starters, let alone those who have made the roster simply because there needs to be a team representative, won’t even sniff the playoffs. Besides personal gain (like All-Star bonuses, etc), what incentive is there for say, a Miguel Cabrera who played for the Marlins in 2006 to not Roger Dorn an easily playable ball, leading to Trevor Hoffman’s meltdown which essentially turned me off for the All-Star Game for good? And yes, I brought that up the other night on the Happy Recap’s podcast, because unlike 1986, I won’t get over it. Dammit.
But there’s more. Tony LaRussa pulled a Mr. 3000 and retired right after his team, dark horse candidates for the World Championship, won the World Series last year. Besides San Francisco Giants fans stuffing the ballot box so less deserving players can start (Pablo Sandoval, really people?), is there a point to this whole thing?
Not really. Except once again, personal accolades for the individual and home field advantage determination for the winner.
Makes sense to me.
(Editor’s Note: No, not really)
There are so many inconsistencies with it this year though. Okay, so Mets fans all know and love R.A. Dickey, he’s awesome, hard-working, published author, a cool dude. In essence, he’s one of us. He’s had a monster break out year. Well, I was on ANOTHER podcast earlier this season when someone asked if I thought he was a Cy Young candidate. I said I’d need to see more consistent work after the second half (and his last two games didn’t look too hot, so take that with a grain of salt), but that even if he did coast it out and was awesomely awesome, chances are, the knuckleball, seen as an eccentric pitch, would be voted against him. Turns out I was half right, as it worked against him for the All-Star Game start.
My favorite explanation was that LaRussa was not sure that Buster Posey, a dude who probably shouldn’t have even been starting anyway, might not be able to catch a knuckle ball. Well, if Josh Thole is the only catcher, name him to the roster…or does Jason Varitek need to be called out of retirement…I guess Dickey is going to be throwing a lot of passed balls because NO ONE knows how to catch a knuckleball.
Seriously? THAT’S YOUR REASON?
Now that I got that circular logic out of the way, I refuse to be upset about this. It goes against everything that I stand for, really, regarding this exhibition. This is what I find hilarious – an “exhibition” game, that “matters.” Isn’t that the very definition of something that’s, I don’t know, a total paradox? Sounds like it. But I was only an English lit major, what the hell do I know?
So my friend Sully writes a column today about how Matt Cain starting is a good thing. Since I respect his opinion, and even when he bashes the Mets, I tend to agree with him from time to time, I wanted to address it here. Like usual, I agree with some, disagree with other points. Like one is Matt Cain paid his dues. So, R.A. Dickey, who had an incredible journey to the majors, learned to knuckleball, published a book, wants to lecture on Faulkner and English lit masters when he’s retired…that’s bupkis?
R.A. Dickey has only been a star for a few months, consistently he argues. Well, while I’d agree with one part (see my paragraph above about how I felt that he needed more of a body of work for me to consider a Cy Young, let alone a NL All-Star start, which by the way was totally deserved), but I have to ask…if not the All-Star Game…and let’s say for argument sake that he bowls over the competition, leads the Mets to the NL East title and the World Series…would that preclude him from getting a Cy Young…BECAUSE he *may* be in fact a one-hit wonder?
Does that make sense? I mean, chances are, Dickey may come down to earth, and be more level in the second half…so that might not be Cy worthy. But an All-Star start…that’s ever a time to have a so-called maybe one-hit wonder start.
I did agree, however, that Dickey coming into the game will give Mets fans a reason to stay tuned in middle innings.
But the All-Star Game is supposed to be based on merit, the cream of the crop, the top of the class.
Yet there’s the other side that it’s an exhibition game that “counts,” and the fans are voting their favorite players in.
Forgive me if I can’t muster up enough of an attempt to give a shit.
Yes, I did write about it, I did acknowledge it when I promised myself I wouldn’t. The fact is, I could get upset about R.A. Dickey not starting the game, I could get upset that David Wright wasn’t voted as a starter because a fanbase 3000 miles away managed to game the system.
But that would actually make me admit that I care about the All-Star Game. And I don’t. In fact, I found out that Prince Fielder won the HR Derby once again on Twitter. I didn’t watch. I may watch tonight just to see my players play. But that’s about it.
If the players and manager refuse to care about it, why should I?