Carlos Gomez was more deserving of the All-Star start than Bryce Harper. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Leaving it to the fans to decide who is an All-Star is stupid. Why? Because fans aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed. For the most part, fans only vote for players on their favorite team and well-deserving players, like Josh Donaldson of the Oakland Athletics, are left wondering what happened. While part of the blame rests on A’s aficionados for not voting him in, most of the accountability is on Major League Baseball. Bud Selig and the rest of his companions should know that the majority of people are idiots and giving them any type of responsibility is simply a bad idea.
This brings me to my main point. If someone could please explain why Bryce Harper was chosen to be an All-Star and how he started in centerfield, I would really appreciate it. It makes no sense to me. I know he’s supposed to be a wunderkind and the LeBron James of baseball but I have news for you – he’s not. At least not yet.
Harper had a below average first half of the season, partly because he missed all of June nursing a left knee injury. If someone misses a month or more of the season, he shouldn’t even be considered for the All-Star game (at least not when there are numerous other well-deserving players). Jay Bruce and Shin-Soo Choo were far more deserving than Harper but the All-Star game is just a Prom King and Queen type of event – in other words, a popularity contest.
But the thing that really grinds my gears is that Milwaukee Brewers centerfielder Carlos Gomez, who’s having a career year, had to sit on the bench and watch some 20-year-old kid, who’s not even having half the season he is, make the start. If All-Stars were chosen by merit alone, Carlos Gomez would have gotten the call before Bryce Harper.
To further my point, take a look at how their statistics compare.
You can make the argument that Harper would be putting up much better numbers if he hadn’t missed a month of the season and, while you may be right, who cares? You shouldn’t play the ‘what if’ game when you’re voting for All-Stars. That’s like saying Ken Griffey Jr. is the home run king because he “probably” would have done it if not for injuries.
In the National League, Gomez ranks first in WAR, fifth in stolen bases, and has the seventh-best slugging percentage. He’s on his way to a new season-high in home runs and is even outperforming Ryan Braun. Meanwhile, Harper has the same batting average as Colby Rasmus.
Shame on the fans for picking popularity over merit and shame on Major League Baseball for putting the decision into the fan’s hands. Hell, I’d rather have ESPN pick the All-Star rosters.
If you’re still not convinced that Harper didn’t deserve an All-Star nod, let me leave you with this. Yuniesky Betancourt has more RBI than Harper. Good day.