Should Yasiel Puig be All-Star? Yasiel Puig, a 22 year-old Cuban outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers, has put up gaudy numbers since being called up on June 3. There's the rub. Should a player be named an All-Star after only 30 games? Puig was not voted in or selected as a reserve, but is up for the "Final Vote," one of five players fans can vote for online.
Does Yasiel Puig belong on the All-Star team? Plenty of baseball people say no, including Philadelphia Phillies reliever Jonathan Papelbon, who said the idea of Yasiel Puig as an All-Star is "an absolute joke."
To Papelbon, Reds announcer Marty Brennaman, Angels manager Mike Scioscia and the rest of the Puig "haters" I have a simple retort: Get over yourselves.
The idea of Yasiel Puig somehow hurting the integrity of baseball's All-Star game is hooey. There are 5 reasons Yasiel Puig belongs in Baseball's All-Star game:
1) Yasiel Puig's stats are remarkable. Puig is batting over .400 with a 1.174 OPS in his first 30 games. To put those numbers in perspective, only Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera comes close with an OPS of 1.137. There are those who argue that 30 games is too few to justify an All-Star selection; that once Puig gets a second look at National League pitching his numbers are sure to drop. That might be the case, but:
2) Yasiel Puig would join a long list of All-Star phenoms. A big part of the Yasiel Puig debate involves the purpose of baseball's "midsummer classic." Is the All-Star game designed to reward players for a good first half or for sustained excellence? If Yasiel Puig is voted in he will join 22 other rookie All-Stars, joining the likes of Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Joe DiMaggio along with also-rans Geovany Soto and Walt Dropo.
3) Baseball's All-Star game is a "fans game." I would favor changing the name from "All-Stars" to "Guys the fans want to see." Since 1970 fans have voted for All-Star game starters and don't always get it right. Keep in mind that Derek Jeter was near the top of this year's fan ballot despite not playing a single game due to injury. It can be argued that Hall of Famers Cal Ripken, Ozzie Smith and Pete Rose were named All-Stars based on reputation alone late in their careers to which I say, "So what?"
4) There are plenty of dumb selections and dumb rules. Baseball's All-Star game can't decide what it wants to be. It's supposed to be an exhibition yet the winner gets home field advantage in the World Series. How can we take the game seriously with silly rules like "one player per team?"
5) Yasiel Puig plays in Los Angeles, the second biggest T.V. market in the United States. The ratings gods should pray that Yasiel Puig is an All-Star. In a game fueled by money fan interest would reach it's peak with Puig on the team.
Do you think Yasiel Puig should be an All-Star? Thank you for reading and I would enjoy hearing from you in the comments section. Of course you would be an All-Star if you would like us on Facebook.
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Filed under: Baseball