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Top 10 2010 MLB All-Star Game Snubs

What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than by merging two of America's great traditions: baseball and complaining. After all it, wasn't it the complaining of our Founding Fathers that spawned the Declaration of Independence? Today, our gripes come following the announcement of the All-Star teams, an annual process which always leaves people scratching their heads over a few snubbed players.

For starters, I'm not going to get all indignant about it, because I know that picking All-Star teams is a very tough job, especially when you've got fans picking part of the team, players picking another part and then managers left to make sure they have every team represented. (By the way, don't forget that the NL has two more teams than the AL, but the same number of players on the All-Star roster, so there will inevitably be more snubs in the NL.)

Another reason to chill out about these All-Star snubs is that at least four or five of these guys are going to end up making the team anyway, either as replacements for players who get hurt or pitchers who are starting on Sunday. A few injured players (Victor Martinez, Troy Tulowitzki, Dustin Pedroia) were already replaced, but there are others (Chase Utley, probably Clay Buchholz, possibly Jason Heyward) who have yet to be replaced.

But enough of the measured response. It's All-Star Snub Day. Let's get out the torches and pitchforks!

Top 10 2010 MLB All-Star Game Snubs -- MLB FanHouse

Top Five NL Snubs

Joey Votto, Reds: If there was ever a snub that was so egregious, yet so predictable, this is it. Votto leads all NL first basemen -- even Albert Pujols -- with his .988 OPS, but he couldn't squeeze onto this team. He lost out to Pujols, Ryan Howard and Adrian Gonzalez. It's tough to argue that Howard and Gonzalez aren't All-Stars, even though their numbers aren't quite as good Votto's this year. Votto can at least take solace in the fact that Prince Fielder didn't make it either. Don't be surprised if Votto is added the first time someone pulls out with an injury (Heyward?).

Mike Pelfrey, Mets: He's one of only three NL pitchers with 10 victories. Of course, we all know that wins don't mean anything, right? That's what the stat people tell us. And his 2.93 ERA actually ranks 12th in the NL. He's also the only guy with 10 wins and a save. (You forgot that 20-inning game?) Can't be too surprised that Phillies manager Charlie Manuel took an opportunity to stick it to the Mets. Pelfrey may not have been able to pitch anyway, because his turn would fall on Sunday, although the Mets have an off day on Thursday, so they could have Pelfrey go Saturday on regular rest.
Mat Latos, Padres: This team is on top of the division, instead of at the bottom, because of its pitching, so you'd think that at least one pitcher ought to be at the All-Star Game to represent the staff. Latos has a 2.62 ERA and he's tied for fourth in the league with nine wins. Oh wait, wins don't count.

Miguel Olivo, Rockies: There may be other snubbed players who are having better all-around seasons than Olivo, but none was better, relatively speaking, at his position. Olivo is leading all NL catchers in batting (.308), RBI (39) and OPS (.905), and he's tied for the lead with 11 homers. Yes, he's a journeyman. And yes, you'd probably take Brian McCann over Olivo if you were drafting a team, but if we're trying to reward the guys having the best seasons to date, Olivo should be there.
Stephen Strasburg, Nationals: What, you thought I forgot him? He's a tough one, and his absence from this team is certain to be one of the hot topics. I see the argument that he hasn't pitched enough to have "earned" a spot, and normally I'm not in favor of putting guys on the team just because of their popularity, but Strasburg is a exception to all the rules. Take a look at the attendance figures when he pitches. And it's not like he's just a sideshow freak people want to see. He's a dominating pitcher. Give the people what they want.

Honorable Mention: LHP Hong-Chih Kuo (see his story here), OF Carlos Gonzalez, 1B-OF Aubrey Huff, OF Josh Willingham, 1B Adam Dunn.

Top Five AL Snubs

Michael Young, Rangers: He's a candidate in the final fan vote, but he should already be on the squad in place of his teammate Ian Kinsler. With Pedroia out, there really isn't a second second baseman in the AL that deserves to be an All-Star, Young could have just made it as a second baseman. Young, you'll recall, started as his career as the Rangers' second baseman, next to Alex Rodriguez, then he kept moving to his right every few years. Come to think of it, Young should have made the team over shortstop Elvis Andrus, too. Unfortunately, the system doesn't work that way. Manager Joe Girardi had no say in this, because the players voted in Kinsler and Andrus.

Andy Pettitte, Yankees: Truthfully, he's probably still going to make it, because both Trevor Cahill and CC Sabathia are scheduled to pitch on Sunday, which would make them ineligible to be on the final roster. Girardi gets to replace those guys, so who do you think he's gonna pick? Pettitte is deserving, though. He's 10-2 with a 2.82 ERA. He hasn't finished a season with an ERA under 4.00 since 2005.

Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox: Another final vote candidate, Youkilis is the best offensive player on the Red Sox. Period. He's got a .991 OPS, which is fourth highest in the league. Plus, he can play first or third, so that would make him useful.
Alex Rios, White Sox: It's true that he's not even the best White Sox hitter not on the All-Star team. Paul Konerko is having a great season, but he's a final vote candidate too, so I'm going out of the box here a little to say that Rios is the bigger snub. Rios has come back from the dead to hit .307 with 13 homers and 45 RBI. His .878 OPS is fourth-best among AL outfielders, ahead of All-Star selections Carl Crawford, Vernon Wells, Ichiro Suzuki and Torii Hunter and even Nick Swisher and Delmon Young, who beat him out for spots on the final vote ballot.

Brennan Boesch, Tigers: This guy is the runaway leader for AL Rookie of the Year right now, hitting .342 with 12 homers and 46 RBI. The All-Star Game should not be just about rewarding guys with long, successful careers, but also about letting the world see the game's new stars.

Honorable Mention: RHP Jered Weaver, RHP Felix Hernandez, RHP Jeff Niemann, SS Alex Gonzalez.

Top 10 2010 MLB All-Star Game Snubs -- MLB FanHouse

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