One of the side effects if not perks of winning the World Series is the manager gets to manage, and select the reserves for the following season’s All Star game. Since his first at bat as a Major Leaguer, Dodger Yasiel Puig has proved that he belongs on the NL starting roster. And since the very first time Bruce Bochy has had this privilege he won for the third time this season, he has proved to be an unabashed homer. Yasiel Puig is one of the current victims of this trend.
Puig isn’t a victim beyond help yet, since he can still be voted into the All Star Game with a fan vote, along with Adrian Gonzalez. (Vote Here) But back to Bruce Bochy’s selections.
San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner and catcher Buster Posey deserve to be on the National League All Star team. But Giants primary second baseman and utility infielder does not deserve to be an NL All Star.
Some of the current frustration with this year’s team stems from the outrageous number of Giants voted to last year’s team (ahem Pablo Sandoval and Melky Cabrera). Marco Scutaro is a superb contact hitter batting an impressive .310 on the season. But he has not been productive enough, especially of late.
Scutaro only scored 35 runs on the season, and 19 RBIs, no stolen bases. In only 32 games, less than half of Scutaro’s games played, Yasiel Puig has scored 25 runs, 8 home runs, has 19 RBIs, is hitting .409 with a .437 OPB. Besides being an absolute phenomenon that deserves to be in this exhibition game becaise he is exciting, his numbers dictate he needs to be involved.
Bruce Bochy believes what Phillies pitcher Jonathan Papelbon vocally said last week about how players who have been playing all season deserve to be included, not Puig. Puig’s inclusion would be “a joke.”
First, Puig shouldn’t be punished for what is out of his control–when he gets brought up to the team. Puig may not have played the first 50 games of the season, but Marco Scutaro has barely played the last 30 games of the season. In the last 30 days, in Scutaro’s 69 at bats, he has 5 runs scored, and 6 RBIs and is batting .260. Scutaro missed games with back stiffness, so Puig’s had roughly 40 more at bats.
Bochy selected Scutaro because he was the 2012 NLCS MVP, and was an all around playoff hero. And if you want to select someone who has been consistent all season, try Adrian Gonzalez, who is batting about .300 with 53 RBIs.
When Bochy chose the All Star reserves in 2011 following the Giants 2010 title, he selected pitchers Ryan Vogelsong and Brian Wilson (Full Lineup HERE). Wilson was a phenomenon altogether different than Puig, and Vogelsong backed up his surprise start to he season and selection with superior performance; but Bochy was unapologetic about the questionable decision of rewarding his guys.
Crying about who should and shouldn’t be an All Star in a given year, expecially based on the criterion of showing up every day to play for the first half, is a moot point when the criterion is whoever the manager wants to pick. The integrity of the decision is questioned without a checks and balance to answer to.
In 1999, one year after the San Diego Padres lost to the Yankees in the World Series, starting pitcher Andy Ashby was on the NL All Star roster (Full Roster HERE). I don’t remember much of the public discourse over the decision when I was 12 years old, but despite a respectable 14-10 record and 3.38 ERA that season, there were probably worthy snubs in the National League that season.