The No-Star Game
When did the All-Star Game turn into the Pro Bowl?
A question that was asked quite often over the weekend. There are 83 players who received an All-Star designation this year. At what point is it no longer an honor to be selected? The NL starting third baseman will be Cincinnati's Scott Rolen, who's numbers are just a shade above Casey McGehee's. Backing up Rolen will be Pablo Sandoval who missed 42 games in the first half of the season. Over on the AL side New York's David Robertson qualified despite having no saves, 18 holds and only two wins. In his defense Robertson has 56 strikeouts in only 35 1/3 innings worth of work. Still, there was a point in time when setup guys just weren't All-Star worthy.
Furthermore, the argument of keeping the All-Star Game relevant by putting World Series home field advantage at stake is no longer valid. Not long ago there was almost always one pitcher who would pitch the maximum three innings. Nowadays, managers don't want to wear anyone out so it's common to see guys pitch for no more than an inning. Anyone with even a hint of an injury won't play. Pitchers who started on Sunday won't play. The MLB All-Star Game is still the best of the all-star games. But if in the future the number of replacement players keeps growing the All-Star Game will look like any other game played on a Tuesday night.