07/01/2005: Thought for the Day:
I have a very specific idea of what an "All-Star" is, and in my mind All-Star Games should be reserved for great players, not just players having great first halves. I tried to explain my point of view by using Jack Wilson as an example last year and received an avalanche of nasty e-mails from Pirates fans for my trouble. In short, my point was that one good half-season does not an All-Star make, and Wilson should have to prove himself for longer than that before being branded an "All-Star" for life.
Or, as I wrote then:
Despite all the angry e-mails from Pittsburgh, Wilson hit just .279/.313/.407 in the second half of last season and is back to his banjo-hitting ways this year, hitting .231/.266/.351. In other words, he was indeed far from for real, and we certainly could have waited to see him in his first All-Star game. Ah, but I know what you're saying now. Pittsburgh needed someone to represent them in the All-Star game last year, so why not Wilson?
If Jack Wilson is "for real," we can certainly wait a year just to make sure,
and pick him as an All-Star next season. If he's not for real, he doesn't
deserve to be an All-Star this year any more than Paul Quantrill in 2001 or
Scott Cooper in 1993 and 1994 anyway. A mediocre player who has 10 good weeks
is not an All-Star; he's just a mediocre player who happened to put his hot
streak together in the first half of the season.
My formative years as a baseball fan were spent watching the post-Kirby Puckett Minnesota Twins fight for fourth place in the AL Central, so I speak from experience about the one-player-per-team rule. There is absolutely nothing exciting about watching Ron Coomer represent your favorite team in the All-Star game, and in fact it serves as more of a reminder that your team stinks than simply not having an All-Star at all would.
Len on 07.01.05 @ 06:54 AM CST