Jun 20, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards (43) pitches during the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Great Los Angeles Angels All-Star Snub

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Barring an American League All-Star pitcher dropping out because of injury or schedule, Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards will not be participating in the Midsummer Classic a week from today at Target Field in Minnesota. This bugs me… a lot! Despite a season that could bring the Halos back to greatness, one might look back at 2014 and also remember the Great Los Angeles Angels All-Star Snub.

With a 2.71 ERA / 2.70 FIP / 1.066 WHIP, there is no reason for Richards to not be on the team.

There is hope, however. Richards is on the ballot for the voting of the final roster spot. But now he has to deal with another obstacle: Chris Sale. Sale owns a 2.16 ERA / 2.49 FIP / 0.87 WHIP, which is a better season by the numbers.

But how was Sale not put on the team in the first place? Clayton Kershaw got on the National League team. So it is fair for one to think that Sale should be in as well since he too suffered injury setbacks that have cut his season rather short so far.

Still, both Richards and Sale should already be in.

Now, there have been some improvements to the system, mainly centering around not voting in a player like Joe Mauer simply because he’s Joe Mauer. The Derek Jeter situation is excusable because he’s sort of a rock legend on his final farewell tour. However, there are still some kinks that need to be sorted out.

There was still a lot of name-dropping going on among the reserves–the NL has made more progress in improving the system.

Max Scherzer and David Price are All-Stars despite Scherzer having a rough June and seeing his ERA balloon to over 4.00, and Price being roughly league average until the past couple of weeks. But I’m going to stop for a second so I don’t contradict my own philosophy that overall numbers are deceiving just as batting average and earned run average can be numbers that actually do lie.

My contention there is that if Scherzer and Price can be on the team, then so can Jered Weaver and CJ Wilson, despite a slight regression in Weaver’s ability to control the long-ball, and given CJ’s slump over the past month.

And that’s all the more reason why Garrett Richards should be on the team.

I hope he gets in via the final vote. But something tells me Sale will win that one, and deservedly so. But again, the final vote should be down to players with weaker numbers, like Scherzer and Price. Those two should be switched with Richards and Sale.

Another spot that bugs me is Josh Donaldson. It looks to me like he got the sympathy vote for being snubbed last season. And yet, Adrian Beltre is having a much better season.

Heck, if Donaldson can start with a .240 batting average, then there’s no excuse for Albert Pujols being left out.

The peripheral statistics, and amazing plays made on the field, scream that Erick Aybar is having a better season than Alexei Ramirez almost entirely across the board. This might be a surprise to fans who have been fed the narrative by the networks that Ramirez is the superior shortstop. Again, more name-dropping.

If Sean Doolittle can make it as a reliever, then there are at least three Angels relievers that should be in Minnesota next week.

Angels fans might never have thought I’d say this, but Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler is the AL leader in WAR among non-AL All-Stars. Why is he not there? It’s not just the Angels. But at the same time, there are few teams with the amount of solid borderline All-Star-worthy offensive production across the board that the Angels have.

What exactly happened here? I don’t really know. But what I can tell you is that it is mind-boggling that a team like the Angels has only one All-Star.

I’ve even begun to wonder why Chris Iannetta isn’t going to be there. Catchers don’t feature nearly a .400 on-base percentage, especially hitting from the 9-hole. That’s a video game spot. But no, it’s happening on the Angels right now. And it’s one of the biggest reasons they have quite possibly the game’s most all-around potent offense in 2014.

Maybe I’m overreacting. Perhaps we should take solace in the fact that we still have the game’s best player representing us at the All-Star Game. How often do we get to see a player like Trout play for our Angels?

Never.

So I guess I should be thankful for that. But still, for the sake of Garrett Richards and his own status as a major league pitcher, the numbers are still there. The same goes for Aybar, and perhaps Pujols, as well as other players from other teams who were left out.

Even Josh Hamilton’s numbers have been All-Star-worthy. Unfortunately for Josh, he missed two months.

Maybe Major League Baseball should do away with the “all thirty teams represented” rule. Or maybe they should expand the rosters again. Why not give the voting to a panel appointed by MLB? What if the game was moved up to November, after the World Series, so a full season can be evaluated, much like the NFL Pro Bowl?

Who knows if these things will ever happen? Or if they should ever happen. In any case, the Angels should have at least four All-Stars going to Minneapolis. And I therefore am declaring this the ‘Great Los Angeles Angels All-Star Snub’.

And I won’t be watching the game until another Angels player gets on that team.

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Tags: 2014 All-Star Game Albert Pujols All-Stars Final Vote American League All-Stars Erick Aybar Garrett Richards Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout

  • Neil Fujiwara

    Aybar will be joining Trout in Minnesota. G. Richards is having an amazing last seven games,

    Garret Richards last seven starts:

    Starts 7, IP 49.6, ER 8, H 28, BB 14, K 55, ERA 1.45, WHIP .084

    Wish there would be a spot he could take

  • Jimbo Franks

    I could care less about the All Star Game at this point. Angels are doing great I just want to make the playoffs.