Sunday, July 7, 2013

By David Saltzer, Senior Writer

I know that we are an Angels fan site and that we aren’t too fond of that team up the freeway from us. And, topics concerning that team aren’t treated to well around here. But, sometimes things happen in baseball that are worthy of discussion, even if it concerns the Dodgers. For example, this season, I had to learn to say “Let’s go Dodgers” because my son played on that team, and I was one of the coaches.

Yesterday, Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers’ rookie sensation, was not voted onto the All-Star team by the fans or selected by the National League’s manager Bruce Bochy. In discussing the teams around the stadium, two schools of thought emerged. One, was typical and common amongst reporters and other people around the ballpark which was that the All-Star Game is played for the fans, so the players picked for the team should be those players that the fans want to see the most. There have been players picked in the past whose numbers weren’t All-Star caliber because they were popular players. With a .407/.435/.683 line, there’s no doubt that Puig’s numbers are All-Star worthy. And, since he has only been in the Major Leagues for a short time, not as many fans have had the opportunity to vote for him who might have, had the Dodgers promoted him earlier. More importantly, recent voting trends seemed to show an increasing demand for his presence on the team.

However, several former players Around the ballpark, had a very different perspective on leaving Puig off of the team. They pointed out that Puig has only been playing for about a month (123 ABs so far), and that there is a reason why the All-Star Game occurs past the mid-point of the season. According to the former players, they believed that many players can have a great month or so. For example, in 99 ABs an Angels’ player posted this line .364/.400/.778, but we’d all agree that Juan Rivera didn’t deserve to be on an All-Star team (in spite of having an incredible July, 2006). But, in order to be on the All-Star team, players should be putting up solid numbers for the whole season to date, not just a short portion of it. After all, Angels fans would say that Tim Salmon was an All-Star many times in his career, but, because of his propensity for slow starts, he never was selected once to play in the All-Star Game.

Torn between these opposing viewpoints, what should Major League baseball do?

In this case, I believe MLB and Bochy got it right. Bochy picked Puig to be one of the last players to be selected by the fans in an online vote. If the fans really want him, he can be voted onto the team by going online and voting here. If enough fans vote him on, he will get his shot. If not, he won’t. Ultimately the game is for the fans, and all of the players left for the Final Ballot are deserving and will help the N. L. squad during the game. This decision walks the tightrope between those two opposing viewpoints, and leaves the decision ultimately up to the fans.

Now, it’s up to you Angels fans. Sound off. What do you say? Did MLB and Bochy get it right? Should Puig have been put on directly by Bochy? It’s your turn to sound off.
Love to hear what you think!

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