One such snub was Mets starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey. Coming into tonight's game, Big Pelf had an outstanding 10-2 record and a 2.93 ERA. However, he was not selected by Charlie Manuel (he earned the right to manage the National League All-Star team by leading his team to last year's World Series) to pitch in Anaheim next Tuesday.
Looking at the National League All-Star roster, some players whose names are not familiar to the common fan were selected as their respective team's sole All-Star representative. These players include relief pitcher Evan Meek of the Pittsburgh Pirates and closer Matt Capps of the Washington Nationals.
One might say that because these two pitchers "had to be" selected by Charlie Manuel to fulfill the "every team must be represented" rule, Mike Pelfrey was denied a spot that appeared certain to be his. I claim otherwise.
For example, what's the deal with Charlie Manuel's love of Atlanta Braves players? He took Brian McCann (.265, 10 HR, 34 RBI) to back up Yadier Molina behind the plate. Normally, this wouldn't be a bad choice. Did he fail to notice that Miguel Olivo of the Rockies was doing better in all three categories (.307, 11 HR, 39 RBI)? Olivo also has five triples to McCann's big fat zero. Defensively, Olivo is a monster, throwing out more than half the runners who have attempted to steal against him (20 runners caught stealing in 39 attempts). McCann? Not so much. He has only thrown out 17 runners in 58 attempts.
If McCann's selection doesn't seem odd to you, then what about the selection of his teammate, Omar Infante? The Braves' utility player has only played in 57 games this season. Although he's hitting a healthy .309, his other numbers (23 runs, 22 RBI, eight doubles, one home run) are less than stellar. What about the King of All Snubs, Reds first baseman Joey Votto?
In the month of June alone, Votto hit .314, with 21 runs scored, 8 HR and 22 RBI. That's right. Joey Votto, the non-All-Star, basically did in one month (but with more power) what All-Star Omar Infante has done ALL YEAR!
For the year, Votto is hitting .312, with 19 HR, 57 RBI and 53 runs scored. (Note to fans: Immediately after typing this paragraph, Votto his 20th HR of the year against fellow All-Star snub, Mike Pelfrey.)
Need I say more about Charlie Manuel's questionable All-Star selection strategy? Yes, I do!
St. Louis Cardinals' first baseman Albert Pujols was voted in by the fans to start the All-Star Game for the National League squad. No one should object to that selection.
However, who did the Kool-Aid Man take as Pujols' backup? He took his own first baseman, Ryan Howard.
Howard is having a good year (.293, 15 HR, 59 RBI), but the numbers are far below his standards. So why did Manuel say "oh, yeahhhhh!" to Howard and not to Votto?
According to the Detroit Free Press, Manuel selected Howard over Votto because (and we quote):
"He's my guy, our player, my guy."So basically, Charlie Manuel is saying that he likes his players and thinks the way to getting home field advantage in the World Series is with the feared bat of Omar Infante.
On the bright side, it appears as if All-Star pitcher Yovani Gallardo will not be pitching in the Midsummer Classic because of an oblique injury. That paves the way for Mike Pelfrey to get the call to Anaheim that he's worked all season to get.
Pelfrey should not have needed any help to earn his first All-Star selection, but if Charlie Manuel wants to correct his oversight, he'll take Pelfrey to replace Gallardo. It wouldn't hurt Big Pelf's chances if he sent Manuel a plate of his delicious sliders.
Even with the Phillies winning three straight division titles, two consecutive National League pennants and a World Series championship two years ago, the Mets remain on their minds, especially the small one inside the head of Charlie Manuel.
A few months ago, Charlie Manuel suggested that the Mets must be stealing signs to gain a home field advantage. Now he's doing a snub-a-dub-dub to Mike Pelfrey (and Joey Votto) in order to take less deserving players and players on his team (which may actually be redundant).
Here's a request from Studious Metsimus to the rest of the National League. Please make sure the Phillies don't make the playoffs this season. We can't have another year of Charlie Manuel going all holier-than-thou with his managerial duties by making these foolish decisions with the National League All-Star roster. The National League and its fans deserve better than this pompous fool calling the shots.