MLB All-Star rosters are questionable things. They have a dozen more people on them than will ever play. And those there are there because of various popularity contests among the fans and other players. A few are chosen by managers of course, but who really trusts Bruce Bochy or Ron Washington to objectively fill out a roster?
So there are always a handful of surprises and a handful of selections that would be surprises if someone handed you a sheet of paper with a bunch of stat lines for “Player A”, “Player B”, and “Player C”. These are the things the fans rant about, on blogs and Twitter and even talk radio.
This year it was Kevin Correia and his 4.01 ERA voted in by the players. I like Correia, but pitcher wins are pitcher wins are pitcher wins are silly. It was Derek Jeter with his fourth lowest OPS in the AL and “meh” defense. It’s hard to call that a surprise, but it should be. It was reliever after reliever after reliever in the bullpen, when more than one or two is too many. It was Andrew McCutchen not being on the original roster.
But on the flip-side there was Brian McCann finally winning the fan vote instead of falling to Yadier Molina. There were Prince Fielder, Joey Votto and Gaby Sanchez instead of Albert Pujols. There was Pablo Sandoval and a ground-rule RBI double. There was Ryan Vogelsong.
Vogelsong never pitched, and he was never the shoe-in for the roster that someone like Roy Halladay was. But unless you’re Keith Olbermann, it’s hard to get up in arms against a 2.17 ERA.
Giants fans: today Ryan Vogelsong was an All-Star, and it was not a surprise. That might be the singularly most spectacular journey any of us will ever follow in baseball.