Wednesday, July 7, 2010

MARINERS COLUMN: The All-Star Game Blues

By: Nathan Parsons
Don't we all love the All-star game? Maybe it’s because of the epic battles between the AL and the NL players, the eye-popping home runs, and the magnificent catches? Isn't it amazing?

Yeah right, maybe in 1950.

To Continue...

On July 13, the 2010 MLB All-Star game will be played in Anaheim, and we will see two Seattle Mariners: Ichiro and Cliff Lee (given he's not traded by then). But you have to wonder, why isn't Felix Hernandez there? The first things his critics will point out is that he only has 6 wins compared to 5 losses and that he is only the second best pitcher on our team. Well let's examine those stats, shall we?

He has made a total of 18 starts, in which he has 7 no decisions. Most of those 7 have been a result of someone like the tattooed Brandon League blowing the lead in the later innings or the Mariners being 1-7 in extra innings.

In his 6 wins, he has 3 complete games and 1 shutout against the Yankees. Amazing. He is tied for the most quality starts with 14, only in 2 starts has he allowed over 3 runs, and is 3rd in strikeouts in the American League. I could go on and on and on, but I need to reiterate the second point his critics make: He is only the second best pitcher on his team.

This point seems quite irrelevant. Cliff Lee, the better pitcher (at the moment), has had 4 consecutive complete games, 2.34 ERA, and a 8-3 record on one of, if not THE lousiest offensive team in baseball. So you can imagine how dificult it is to be better than the best pitcher in baseball right now.

So all of this leads me to the point already made hundreds of times: the All-Star game is the biggest joke in all of sports. It's a thing that fans vote on, which is the biggest flaw. Let's say there's this one stud in Cincinnati (Joey Votto) who's leading the entire league in HR (21) didn't get in because he is … well … in Cincinnati. BUT let's say there's this overrated, overpaid guy in Philadelphia (Ryan Howard) who has 6 less HR than Votto, manages to get in!

So to me, all these that are missing out is the result of not enough media coverage of these players and fan numbers for teams like the Phillies. So that's why I suggest a group of highly regarded baseball writers pick the teams, as they do when choosing a player to win the MVP award and the Hall of Fame voting. Especially when implications of World Series home-field advantage are on the line.

Reach Nathan Parsons at