Reid ‘Em & Weep (7/13/2021)
It’s about time I start writing again. It’s been awhile but maybe I need to throw some stuff up here and get it out of my brain. I used to do a weekly column called “Reid ‘Em & Weep”. Let’s restart it
for no good reason and address something that’s on my mind today.
The 2021 MLB All-Star Game
I have a problem with the MLB All-Star game rosters. Why are two Pittsburgh Pirates in the starting lineup? The Pirates are in last place, as usual, with a 34-56 record at the break yet have two starters while the Milwaukee Brewers are in 1st place at 53-39 but have none. Christian Yelich may have had a slow start this season but he’s a “star”, maybe even a “superstar” yet he got left on the sidelines behind nobodies like Bryan Reynolds. What??? Why are there two Cincinnati Reds starting also? Jesse Winker? This is the All-Star game, yet they have multiple nobodies on the roster ahead of Bryce Harper. That screams DUMB to me. Who is Bryan Reynolds anyway?
I don’t understand all the details about how the newfangled voting messed up the rosters this year but bottom line it just doesn’t make any sense. Jose Abreu won the Most Valuable Player Award last year in the American League yet isn’t good enough to make the All-Star team this year? Oh, he must be having a bad year you would guess. Uhh, not really. He is the heart and soul leader of the team with the best record in the American League, the White Sox at 54-35. He is fourth in the AL in RBI with 66 runs driven in. I guess I’m a little confused.
This game used to be about honoring the best players in baseball. Now it seems like the philosophy is to MAKE new stars by promoting no-names such as Jared Walsh. He’s a 1B for the Los Angeles Angels. Look, I love me some Jared Walsh. He’s a great young prospect who has had an awesome start to his career. However, in putting him on the team AHEAD of a longtime professional like Jose Abreu is just lame. Walsh needs to earn it by putting up numbers for eight years like Abreu has since 2014. I want to see the stars! I want Bryce Harper, Jose Abreu, Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, Trevor Story, and D.J. LeMahieu.
Just ’cause a guy hasn’t had a great start to 2021 doesn’t mean he isn’t a star anymore. I don’t need 42 first time starters in place of the good old guys that have been carrying this sport for a decade. Bottom line: Jesse Winker over Bryce Harper is a joke. Harper hasn’t had an overwhelming start to ’21 but he’s a former MVP, former Home Run Derby champion, and he’s still putting up decent numbers: .278, 15 HR, 34 RBI, 7 SB, .375 OBP, .891 OPS. He needs to be in Denver. It’s ridiculous that he’s sitting at home watching for the third time in his nine (ten overall) year career. This is now two seasons in a row (’19 & ’21, no game in ’20) that he’s been left out.
Cal Ripken Jr. made 19 straight All-Star appearances to end his 21 year career. It wasn’t because he always had incredible numbers at the end of June. A few times I remember him hitting about .200 at the break. That’s ok. He was a superstar. Hank Aaron appeared in 25 All-Star games over the middle 21 years of his career (They had two All-Star games per year from 1959-’62). I doubt he had great numbers at every All-Star break. He made the team because he was a superstar. That’s why they have a game, so that we can see the superstars, the stars, the All-Stars. It’s time to address this bad evolution in baseball.
Bring the stars back to the All-Star Game!