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The 2012 All-Star Game Rosters have been announced. Perhaps a little surprisingly, only one Jay made the cut this year (I'll let you guess who). Brandon Morrow might have had a case if he hadn't been injured, and if the game was a month later so too might Colby Rasmus and Brett Lawrie. But it's not. Edwin Encarnacion is probably the only Jay with a legitimate gripe - his performance has basically been equal to that of the three reserve 1B chosen (Konerko, Cabrera - I'm assuming technically a 3B - and Trumbo), the reserve DH (Butler) and far superior to starter Prince Fielder; nevertheless he was the odd man out. Blame Canada I guess. The full line-ups, and a couple of quick thoughts after the break.


American League

C: Mike Napoli
1B: Prince Fielder
2B: Robinson Cano
SS: Derek Jeter
3B: Adrian Beltre
OF: Josh Hamilton
OF: Curtis Granderson
OF: Jose Bautista
DH: David Ortiz

C: Matt Wieters, Joe Mauer
INF: Paul Konerko, Asdrubal Cabrera, Miguel Cabrera, Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler, Mark Trumbo
OF: Adam Jones, Adam Dunn, Mike Trout

P: Matt Harrison, Joe Nathan, Felix Hernandez, Ryan Cook, Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia, CJ Wilson, Jered Weaver, Jim Johnson, Chris Sale, Chris Perez, Fernando Rodney, David Price.

Final Vote: Jonathan Broxton, Yu Darvish, Ernesto Frieri, Jason Hammel, Jake Peavy

National League

C: Buster Posey
1B: Joey Votto
2B: Dan Uggla
SS: Rafael Furcal
3B: Pablo Sandoval
OF: Matt Kemp
OF: Carlos Beltran
OF: Melky Cabrera
DH: To be selected

C: Carlos Ruiz, Yadier Molina
INF: Starlin Castro, Bryan Lahair, Jose Altuve, David Wright, Ian Desmond
OF: Jay Bruce, Carlos Gonzalez, Ryan Braun, Andrew McCutchen, Giancarlo Stanton,

P: Clayton Kershaw, Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman, Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg, Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon, Wade Miley, RA DIckey, Lance Lynn, Joel Hanrahan, Huston street, Matt Cain.

Final Vote: Michael Bourn, David Freese, Bryce Harper, Aaron Hill, Chipper Jones

Thoughts: Well, nothing seems patently ridiculous. The fans make a couple of weird choices, but that happens every year. If you would have told me two months ago that Melky Cabrera was the only Giant voted into the starting line up that actually deserved to start I would have laughed at you, but here we are. Pablo Sandoval wouldn't have made the team if he wasn't selected by the fans, as he's missed about half the year and has been mediocre, while David Wright has been transcendent; Buster Posey has probably been the NL's third best catcher, though the other two made it as reserves. Derek Jeter makes it on reputation, while A-Rod does not. Suck it, Alex. In the NL Rafael Furcal opened liked gangbusters but has been awful subsequently, and he's probably the worst overall selection. Dan Uggla probably doesn't deserve to be here, while Aaron Hill probably does, though he's been bumped to the fan vote (which he will lose to Bryce Harper) because the Astros had to have a representative, and it's Jose Altuve, who also plays 2B. Curtis Granderson's had a fine year, but probably doesn't make the cut if not for the Yankees fans; ditto Mike Napoli/Rangers fans. They were really good last year though! Austin Jackson probably deserved a shake, but it's hard to argue with the guys they took ahead of him. I find it funny Matt Harrison is an All-Star, but he's been good!

Otherwise, a pretty good job was done. Mike Trout (deservedly) makes the team, whereas despite probably even more hype, Bryce Harper (probably undeservingly) makes the Final Vote list. With that being said, it's hard to argue with Harper possibly (probably) making it. I feel bad for Edwin that he didn't at least make the fan vote, but he also wouldn't have won it anyway, and no one will remember that in two months. Also, this 1 player per team thing is silly. The A's representative is a non-closing reliever who's thrown 34 innings (with a walk rate over 5/9 IP and an xFIP over 4). Who cares.

Your thoughts?

2012 All-Star Rosters Announced | 40 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#259598) #
Brett Lawrie has a good case right now.  He is clearly the best (healthy) third baseman in the league.
Mike Green - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#259599) #
All right.  Clearly is probably overstating it.  Beltre isn't what he was defensively, and Lawrie makes up enough on the basepaths and the glove to be better. 
sam - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#259600) #
The homerism bug has hit you hard Mr. Green.

Lawrie ranks seventh, seventh, fourth, fifth, sixth, and sixth in HRs, RBIs, AVG., OBP., SLG., and OPS. of qualifying third basemen in the AL. Might I add there are only seven qualifying third basemen.

But, you say he gets to more ground balls than any other third basemen, I say well he leads the league in errors.

You say he is a far superior baserunner than any other third basemen, I say he has been caught stealing eight times on nineteen attempts (57% success rate, well below the league average of 75%).

Lawrie does not deserve to be anywhere near the allstar game at this point in his career. He is a leadoff hitter playing a production position.
Anders - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#259601) #
All right. Clearly is probably overstating it. Beltre isn't what he was defensively, and Lawrie makes up enough on the basepaths and the glove to be better.

I am not sure I agree. Mike Moustakas' numbers are basically identical to Lawrie's, for example, while selecting Lawrie over Beltre requires one to accept at face value Lawrie's massive defensive numbers, which I am not sure I do.

Alex Obal - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#259602) #
Vote Hammel (or Frieri). If there's substance behind the Darvish hype, as I think there is, he'll make plenty of all-star trips in the future.
Thomas - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#259603) #
In the offseason I called Matt Harrison baseball's best number five starter, so I'm not entirely surprised he was an All-Star.

On the flip side, if you had told Paul Konerko would be a deserving All-Star in 2012 four years ago, I would have suppressed laughter and made a high-stakes bet with you. (The same would have been true ten years ago and probably at various points in between.)

I haven't taken a look through the league leaders, but off the top of my head, Johnny Cueto, James McDonald and Madison Bumgarner seem like noticeable omissions. However, of two of the players I would sub out - Lance Lynn and Jonathan Papelbon - the former was a player selection and only Papelbon was taken by LaRussa.
Alex Obal - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#259604) #
Lawrie is also first in runs scored among AL 3B despite having almost two-thirds of his PA in the 6 or 7-hole. First in Base Runs, too, which if you accept it is a much more nuanced baserunning metric than SB/CS.

I don't know whether the fact Cabrera is miscast as a 3B should count against his all-star resume when we factor in fielding stats. It's not a contradiction to say he's a better player but a worse 3B than Lawrie. Much like Joey Votto is a better player but a worse catcher than Matt Wieters.
Mike Green - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#259605) #
DRS has Lawrie at +40.  TZ has him at +10.  UZR has him at +9.  I don't buy that Lawrie is clearly the best player in the league as the DRS figure leads one to, but I do buy that he is the best defensive third baseman in the game.  Lawrie now has almost a full season, and no matter what metric you look at, he gets to more balls than any other third baseman in the league.  And it isn't really close.  It fits with my own observation (but that is secondary). 
Thomas - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#259606) #
In relation to the potential Cueto snub, someone else made the point that once Cueto wasn't voted in by the players he was basically out of luck, given the history he has with the Cardinals (and LaRussa) and the incident where he kicked Jason LaRue in the head during the Reds-Cardinals brawl a couple of years ago.

I don't know if that's why he's not on the team, but I don't find it a big problem if LaRussa has a hard time looking past that.
sam - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#259607) #
Has Joey Votto ever played a Major League game as a catcher? I'm not sure your logic follows, however, I understand your point. By the way, Joey was a pretty good catcher as a teenager.
Alex Obal - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#259608) #
I had no idea Votto was a catcher. That's awesome.

Anyway, pretend Votto throws left-handed. If the Reds started lefty throwing Votto at catcher his defensive contribution would be really bad, and the physical toll of catching would likely knock his offensive stats down a bit, too. Between those two things I'd expect him to be lower than Wieters on your catchall metric of choice. But who would you rather have if you were building a team from scratch for the next three months?

Cabrera hitting: +60
Cabrera 3B fielding: -25
Cabrera 1B fielding: 0
Lawrie hitting: +30
Lawrie 3B fielding: +15
Lawrie 1B fielding: +15

In this universe, Lawrie has more total awesomeness points as a 3B (45) than Cabrera does (40). But Cabrera as a 1B (60) beats Lawrie as a 3B. But in a real way that's a counterfactual since Cabrera is not playing 1B this year. Who makes the team?

Anders - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#259609) #
Much like Joey Votto is a better player but a worse catcher than Matt Wieters.

Semantics! Votto is 30 runs better with the bat so far, and there's a 10 run positional difference at this juncture between the two of them. If you thought Votto could reasonably approximate catching, he'd probably have to be much worse than Mike Piazza to be less valuable at catcher than Weiters is.

And I agree, being overly pedantic about the minutae of WAR is boring, but it's a big difference, at least season to date. Of course, Wieters is better at physically catching the baseball behind the plate than Votto. But, semantics! Pedantry!

sam - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#259610) #
I think if somebody were to create a website titled: "Mike Wilner does not know what he is talking about," or "Mike Wilner is out to lunch" Just collecting his daily tweets or anything he says, there might be a strong following. I wonder if the man has ever played the sport competitively or just what he sees that informs his writing. I know when people criticize him of the sort he'll claim he's been doing this for some odd years, or that he's been to scout school, which equally begs the question what the hell are they teaching people there, and how on earth has been allowed to be "doing this" for how many years he has.

The man is one part homerism, two parts blind, and another part just plain embarrassing. Today's tidbit of baseball analysis and valued information to pass along in regards to the collision at homeplate between Lawrie and Hester, in which fans have (rightly?) questioned Lawrie's attempt to separate ball from catcher, "As far as the chirping about Lawrie taking out Hester - if the catcher doesn't want to get drilled, he should get out of the way. #Bluejays." There you have it folks. I don't have any problem with Lawrie trying to take out the catcher, but going in high as he did on a defenseless player is a dirty play. Especially in the situation where Hester is not blocking the plate, it's a dirty play. Hester in that play is just trying to catch the ball, he knows nothing about getting out of the way.
sam - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#259611) #
Another past favorite is Cole Hamels and Brett Cecil have very similar stuff. In fact, it appears as though the fellas over at The Score have already picked up on the ridiculousness of Mike Wilner.

http://blogs.thescore.com/mlb/2012/03/19/today-in-things-that-just-aint-so/
Alex Obal - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 05:59 PM EDT (#259615) #
"Instinctual cathexes seeking discharge that, in our view, is all there is in [Twitter]."
- Freud
Sherrystar - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#259624) #
Amazing Wilner gets away with some of the things he says. He should have been fired a few years back when he had his spat with Cito Gaston.
Super Bluto - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 11:31 PM EDT (#259629) #
1. Wilner should not have been canned for the spat with Cito. He was doing his job as a journalist.
2. Wilner is not a journalist. He is an employee of the corporation that owns the Jays. His job is to promote the team and help sell tickets.

If someone can reconcile these two truths, I would be grateful.
sam - Monday, July 02 2012 @ 12:07 AM EDT (#259630) #
My recollection of the Wilner-Gaston dispute was Wilner had on several occasions questioned Gaston's in-game decision making. Gaston on this occasion had answered Wilner's question with a question of his own, which wasn't suffice for Wilner who continued to pursue the matter in the media scrum. A Blue Jays employee stepped in and told Wilner that his question had been answered. The following day he had the weekend off.

Apparently Gaston wasn't the one who "reported" Wilner, and while in the immediate aftermath of the incident one reporter remarked that Wilner was being unprofessional in trying "to show up Gaston," and that "it wasn't all about him" Wilner retorted that he felt "belittled" by Gaston in front of his colleagues. According to Wilner's description of the events it's pretty obvious that Gaston is referring to Brignac's splits against LHP and not just Shawn Camp, but that's for another time. Shortly after it had been revealed that he was being forced to take time off the Toronto chapter of writers was up in arms. The story was more about the consequences of having the media and team owned by the same corporation and freedom to write than it was about Wilner's particular comments.
Thomas - Monday, July 02 2012 @ 01:03 AM EDT (#259631) #
One of Wilner's most annoying traits is his habit of, when he makes a statement that is erroneous, controversial or subject to reasoned disagreement, picking statements that oppose his view in an illogical, unreasoned and often impolite manner. At least on Twitter, it seems almost as if he is less interested in having a discussion on an issue rather than selectively quoting the public to demonstrate how much smarter he is than everyone else. It gets old quickly.

I agree with much of the previous comment regarding the Cito incident, although I will add that I have found Wilner to be noticeably more deferential towards Farrell (and Gibbons) than he ever was towards Cito in terms of their managerial decisions.
Chuck - Monday, July 02 2012 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#259637) #

Wilner has certainly morphed over the past couple of years, hasn't he? His Quixotian play at speaking truth to power is but a distant memory.

His callers and blog posters are, let's be frank, typically numbskulls (more than just ill-informed casual fans, who would be a defensible ilk). I don't read his tweet conversations but I imagine it is just more of the same there. Lots of emotion-based rhetoric, black and white "analysis".

Wilner, rather than acknowledging when some of that endless spew of nonsense contains a germ of truth, becomes all the more entrenched and will willingly engage in pretzel logic (hello Steely Dan) to refute whatever anyone else is saying. In the small intellectual pond he inhabits, where he is the big fish, he has made it his mission to "win" arguments, whether or not he believes what he is saying (RBI are stupid except when he needs to defend Arencibia, for instance).

Whether this posture -- which comes with it no shortage of condescension -- is because he hates his audience or because he has embraced the idea of shilling for his employer, one cannot know for sure. Regardless of his motives, however, he becomes all the more unlistenable with each passing game.

Oceanbound - Monday, July 02 2012 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#259640) #
I've only been exposed to Wilner via Twitter but certainly he appears to be quite obnoxious there. No doubt most of the people who tweet him have no idea of what they're talking about, but Wilner never has a conversation with an intelligent fan, preferring to retweet all the idiotic ones to put them down. He's even recently started to demand apologies from people who attacked him after misreading a tweet, which is just pathetic and makes him look like a child.

He's also made it his personal mission to defend the honour of Francisco Cordero by engaging in rather... selective statistical analysis. Baffling.
Glevin - Monday, July 02 2012 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#259646) #
The NL Team is weird. Only 3 of the top 11 ERAs in the NL made the All-Star roster. No Cueto, McDonald, Voegelsong, or Bumgarner. There are also always too many closers on the teams.
92-93 - Monday, July 02 2012 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#259647) #
"Wilner, rather than acknowledging when some of that endless spew of nonsense contains a germ of truth, becomes all the more entrenched and will willingly engage in pretzel logic (hello Steely Dan) to refute whatever anyone else is saying. In the small intellectual pond he inhabits, where he is the big fish, he has made it his mission to "win" arguments, whether or not he believes what he is saying (RBI are stupid except when he needs to defend Arencibia, for instance)."

Extremely well said. It's incredibly annoying to listen to Wilner sit on his high horse as the deity of baseball talking down to every caller, even if the majority are morons. When someone does have something decent to say Wilner will nitpick the one part of his statement that is wrong and point that out, without fail every time.

The best part is that in his last 2 blogs he's given a "Baseball 101" and "truths about Francisco Cordero", both of which have had glaring factual errors.
uglyone - Monday, July 02 2012 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#259654) #
to be honest, I'm surprised you guys even listen/read Wilner.
uglyone - Monday, July 02 2012 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#259655) #
As for the all-stars, only one jay was really snubbed....but he was clearly and blatantly snubbed:

E.Encarnacion: 327pa, 22hr, 55rbi, .291/.373/.572/.945, .402woba, 156wRC+
M.Cabrera: 351pa, 16hr, 62rbi, .314/.376/.538/.914, .387woba, 144wRC+
B.Butler: 315pa, 16hr, 48rbi, .297/.365/.512/.877, .374woba, 136wRC+
A.Dunn: 343pa, 23hr, 58rbi, .210/.359/.407/.866, .370woba, 131wRC+
sam - Monday, July 02 2012 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#259657) #
Uglyone, agreed. Does MLB.com even know who Edwin Encarnacion is? See picture half down front page:

http://mlb.mlb.com/index.jsp
sam - Monday, July 02 2012 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#259661) #
Interesting that the Jays and Sportsnet are starting up a new radio show with Cosentino and Hayhurt. Wilner not involved. Cosentino on the broadcast talking about it, sounds like it will have call-in elements. Cosentino also left out Wilner's name when discussing the "great" team of people at Sportsnet and the Fan. Literally mentioned everyone else.
Anders - Monday, July 02 2012 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#259672) #
As for the all-stars, only one jay was really snubbed....but he was clearly and blatantly snubbed:

E.Encarnacion: 327pa, 22hr, 55rbi, .291/.373/.572/.945, .402woba, 156wRC+
M.Cabrera: 351pa, 16hr, 62rbi, .314/.376/.538/.914, .387woba, 144wRC+
B.Butler: 315pa, 16hr, 48rbi, .297/.365/.512/.877, .374woba, 136wRC+
A.Dunn: 343pa, 23hr, 58rbi, .210/.359/.407/.866, .370woba, 131wRC+

This isn't really an appropriate comparison, since Dunn was technically selected as an outfielder, Butler as a DH (and they had to pick a Royal) and Cabrera as a 3rd baseman. Yes Edwin could have been the DH, and yes he probably should have gone, but them's the rules.

92-93 - Tuesday, July 03 2012 @ 12:55 AM EDT (#259675) #
Personally, I find it odd when people start quoting 3 month wOBA and wRCs to decide whether or not a player gets snubbed. I don't want to watch a game of guys off to hot starts, if I tune in at all. I want to see the "stars" of the game, and Edwin Encarnacion is most definitely not one of them, at least not yet. If it were up to me somebody like Chipper Jones would be a no-brainer lock, but I do understand that (for some odd reason) the game decides home field advantage and therefore isn't just an exhibition to honor the great players of the game.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 03 2012 @ 01:32 AM EDT (#259676) #
I don't want to watch a game of guys off to hot starts

Indeed.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 03 2012 @ 01:59 AM EDT (#259678) #
yep, the all-star game is only for superstars like Mark Trumbo, Billy Butler, Adam Dunn, Ryan Cook, Matt Harrison, Jim Johnson, Fernando Rodney, Chris Perez, R.A.Dickey, Lance Lynn, Wade Miley, Jose Altuve, Ian Desmond, Bryan LaHair, and Yadier Molina.
Alex Obal - Tuesday, July 03 2012 @ 05:05 AM EDT (#259682) #
I sympathize with the desire to see "stars," and Chipper's farewell tour is a perfectly good reason to vote him in, but I also think one purpose of the All-Star Game is to be a little avant-garde and shine a spotlight on underrecognized players. "Stardom" is largely a function of how often your team has played on American national TV. Nick Swisher is twice the star Andrew McCutchen is. There's a happy medium here.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 03 2012 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#259688) #
Yup.

If you went with a roster of "biggest stars", you'd just end up with a bunch of crappy overpaid over the hill yanks and sox.

92-93 - Tuesday, July 03 2012 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#259689) #
"Nick Swisher is twice the star Andrew McCutchen is."

That's something only a Canadian who doesn't have access to ESPN would say. It's not true, in the slightest.

As for your sarcasm, uglyone, I'm not sure what you're trying to prove. I don't think any of those players other than Dunn & Molina belong in the ASG.
92-93 - Tuesday, July 03 2012 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#259690) #
To help illustrate my point, TB & MIL were on Sunday Night Baseball 4 & 5 times from 2007-2011. I'm pretty sure Longoria & Braun are, nonetheless, STARS.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 03 2012 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#259692) #
Hmm, well, the sarcasm was a reply in kind to the condescension of "I find it odd when people start quoting 3 month wOBA and wRCs".

As for what I'm trying to prove, I guess it's pretty simple - if you want to know the name of the best hitter in the AL this year who WON'T be at the all-star game, it's Edwin Encarnacion. To me, that's a clear snub.

And while you might prefer to see Alex Rodriguez and Andy Petitte duking it out at the all-star game, I doubt many would agree with that, and I think it's fairly clear that the players on the current rosters are largely made up of the players who have played the best this year, aside from a handful of fan-voted entries.

This isn't the hall-of-fame-career game, it's the 2012 all-star game.
92-93 - Tuesday, July 03 2012 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#259694) #
You interpreted condescension from that? Wow, people are really sensitive here. I specifically worded it to acknowledge that it's a matter of personal opinion.

As for what you just said, you're wrong. Albert Pujols is "the best hitter in the AL this year who WON'T be at the all-star game", and it really shouldn't be up for debate. If you want to watch Encarnacion over Pujols, that's your preference, but it's not mine and I don't think it's the majority of baseball fans either. Albert Pujols is the greatest right handed hitter of all time and it doesn't matter to me if he had a bad April or not. If we're really worried about putting the best team forward I don't understand the specific 3 month sample size. Pujols is hitting .331/.407/.590 since May 12th.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 03 2012 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#259697) #
meh, Albert's had one all-star month this year:

APR: .570
MAY: .800
JUN: .977

and he's not coming off a shoo-in all-star year last year, either.

A 1B with a .794ops doesn't deserve to go the all-star game, no matter what he's done before, IMO.


Edwin will still be the best of this year's hitters to miss the all-star festivities.
Alex Obal - Tuesday, July 03 2012 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#259704) #
As a Canadian living in the US who tries to avoid ESPN as much as a baseball obsessive possibly can, I'm flattered to hear that I might be out of touch with the sports-industrial zeitgeist. I've noticed that the Pirates are the flavor of the month, and delighted to concede that Cutch has probably surpassed Swisher. Still think Swisher was way bigger before this year. Swisher had more all-star votes than McCutchen on June 11 (cite here and here). Swisher was hitting .245/.311/.460 at the time. McCutchen finished ahead. All he had to do was hit .354 with 15 homers and 14 steals. I guess the system works.

Braun and Longoria have been frequent participants in the most visible nationally televised spectacle of all: the playoffs. They don't count. McCutchen plays for a team that didn't exist at all until three weeks ago.

Jose Bautista is a good counterpoint, proof it's not impossible to be a star for a non-marquee team - you just have to be Bondsian for a year or two. Thinking of him, I wonder exactly how well Steve Pearce would have to hit in 2013 to qualify for the (theoretical) lifetime achievement, all-star-qua-Star, Jane Casualfan picks 60 players she wants to see game.

This isn't the hall-of-fame-career game, it's the 2012 all-star game. - I say it is both and should be. But mostly the latter.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 03 2012 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#259720) #
To illustrate, when Pete Rose was an All-Star in 1978 at age 37, he wasn't the best first baseman in the league but had had All-Star quality seasons before and would have another one later.  He was still a good player.  I have no issue with that selection.  On the other hand, Pete Rose was an All-Star in 1982, and by that point, he was just bad.  I didn't really want to see him.
2012 All-Star Rosters Announced | 40 comments | Create New Account
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