Moore: Mariners’ Jean Segura got snubbed, but baseball’s All-Star selection process is fine
Have you noticed that no matter what is happening in sports, someone is always upset with something, and I’m as guilty of that as the next guy. Today it’s outrage over the selection process for the All-Star Game. So-and-so should be there instead of so-and-so, and then there are the hot takers who think the process should be changed altogether.
This time around, I’m going to rip a much younger colleague, Curtis Rogers, host of “Seattle Sports at Night” on 710 ESPN Seattle.
On Sunday night, Rogers tweeted: “Having each team send a representative to the All-Star Game is dumb and needs to be done away with in the quickest way possible.”
He’s not the only one who feels this way. Mariners radio analyst Aaron Goldsmith agrees. And I’m sure there are many others who wonder about the All-Star credentials of Jose Berrios of the Twins, J.A. Happ of the Blue Jays, Joe Jimenez of the Tigers and Salvador Perez of the Royals.
They were the only players chosen from their respective teams, and all have questionable stats, particularly Perez with his .213 average and .632 OPS.
The thinking from the All-Star Game hot takers goes like this – these players are preventing more deserving players from appearing in next Tuesday’s game in Washington, D.C.
If you took Berrios, Happ, Jimenez and Perez off the AL All-Star roster, presumably there would be room for Mariners shortstop Jean Segura. That’s another thing I get sick of – crying about players who don’t make it to the All-Star Game.
Can you make a great case for Segura? Sure. Can you understand his disappointment? Of course. But if you put Segura on the AL All-Star team, some other sports-talk show radio host would be upset about someone else being snubbed.
It’s baseball’s version of March Madness where a handful of college teams get really mad every year when they weren’t asked to play in a tournament where they’d get their brains beaten in if they’d been invited.
In the 2019 All-Star Game voting, it will be another player in another city who got screwed, and in 2020, we’ll be miffed that Average Joe got selected at the expense of Joe Blow.
This year, besides Segura, don’t you think fans of the A’s are upset that Jed Lowrie will be watching the game on a flat screen like the rest of us? Lowrie’s numbers – .290, 16 HRs, 62 RBIs – are awfully similar to Mitch Haniger’s – .271, 17 HRs, 62 RBIs – and the Mariners’ right fielder will play in his first All-Star Game.
What about Blake Snell from Shorewood High and Charlie Morton of the Astros? Snell, the lefty from Tampa Bay, is 12-4 with a 2.09 ERA. Morton is 11-2 with a 2.83 ERA. And Mariners’ fans think James Paxton (8-3, 3.49 ERA) should be there ahead of them?
I fully understand that Perez should not be on an All-Star roster. But I also like the rule that requires each team to have an All-Star representative. Mariners radio analyst Gary Hill is in my camp, remembering how thrilled he was growing up just to see the one Mariner player being introduced before the All-Star Game. This year’s Midsummer Classic would not be the same for a fan in Kansas City if a Royal wasn’t there.
Like Hill, I remember those days, even earlier ones when the Mariners’ first three All-Stars were Ruppert Jones, Craig Reynolds and Bruce Bochte in 1977-79. I don’t even have to look up the stats for Jones and Reynolds – I remember them being fairly good players, but far from All-Star worthy. Bochte hit for a good average, and if he hadn’t been selected, the Mariners would not have had a player at the 1979 All-Star Game in the Kingdome.
I know Segura should be there this year. He’s second in the league in hits and third in average at .330. He also has 47 RBIs. But who are you going to replace at shortstop on the AL All-Star roster – Manny Machado or Francisco Lindor? Machado, maybe, but remember, the Orioles needed to have an All-Star too.
Segura still has a chance to make it if he wins the Final Vote and beats out Andrew Benintendi of the Red Sox, Eddie Rosario of the Twins, Andrelton Simmons of the Angels and Giancarlo Stanton of the Yankees. I’m just assuming Stanton will make it on name recognition alone.
If Segura loses to Stanton or one of the others, we’ll go through another round of hot takers being miffed on social media, wasting our time and theirs. I’ve got an idea. Find something else to get mad about.