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“That’s Amore!” National League Central and East: All-Star Studs and Snubs

MartinAn All-Star is defined as; composed wholly of outstanding performers or players. I argue that the fans do not vote based on this definition. Martin Prado was almost voted in by the fans. With all due respect to Mr. Prado, he’s not an All-Star. There’s no question he’s had a solid career, but by no means has any season been an “All-Star” season. This is the problem I have with fans voting. It’s great to see your favorite players represent their respective leagues, but to have fans vote for something that dictates who gets home field advantage in the World Series is absurd. I understand Major League Baseball wants to engage fan involvement, but this isn’t the best route. I argue that if the fans get to vote, then the game shouldn’t be anything more than a publicity stunt. Then, home field advantage should be decided by the best record between the two teams in the World Series.

It’s true that baseball is a young man’s game to play, but the majority of fans are middle-aged men and youth that grew up playing the game. There’s a safe argument that basketball, football, and soccer are the major focus for youth in the United States. There are many baseball players out there, but the demand isn’t what it used to be. We see basketball, football, and soccer players getting to the professional levels faster than baseball players, and baseball is the only sport where you see foreign players signed at the age of 16, many of which don’t get the call to the Majors until they are in their early 20s. This can easily deter young athletes from wanting to play baseball. I’ve come to realize that entertainment, namely professional sports, is on the mind of young athletes everywhere. It was on my mind from a young age, and I can’t see athletes having the same passion to play a sport just for the sake of playing and not making a career of it.

Catcher

Fan Vote: Buster Posey, C, SF

Reserve: Yadier Molina, C, STL & Yasmani Grandal, C, LAD

Snub: Francisco Cervelli, C, PIT

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 15:  Francisco Cervelli #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a two-run triple in the first inning during inter-league play against the Chicago White Sox at PNC Park on June 15, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Input: Buster Posey has put up All-Star numbers since he entered the league in 2009. He has 15+ HR in four of first six seasons, and looks to go beyond that total in 2015. He’s been the heart and soul of the Giants and looks to primed to hit .300 and drive in near 100 runs. The same can be said for Yadier Molina. Hitting clicked towards the middle of his career, but since 2008 Molina hit over .280 in all but one season. He is the engine behind the Cardinals and has been vital to their pitching staff’s success. There is a fair argument that Cervelli could have been part of the reserves over Grandal. His numbers are very close to Grandal’s, except for home run totals. No one thought Cervelli would be able to replace Russell Martin, but he’s held his own.

Fantasy Rankings MLFB Leagues Standard
Buster Posey 1 1
Yadier Molina 11 13
Yasmani Grandal 6 3
Francisco Cervelli 12 9

First Base

Fan Vote: Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, ARI & Anthony Rizzo, 1B, CHC

Reserve: Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, LAD

Snub: Joey Votto, 1B, CIN

VottoInput: There’s no argument in regards to all-stars Goldschmidt and Rizzo. Goldschmidt’s the leading first baseman in all fantasy leagues, and Rizzo is not far behind. There is a fair argument that Joey Votto could’ve been chosen over Adrian Gonzalez. Votto has three less home runs, eight runs, and thirteen RBI less than Gonzalez. Votto has been a pleasant surprise to his fantasy owners with five steals to Gonzalez’s zero. There could be a conspiracy theory that Bruce Bochy went with the veteran in his league that has been around over Votto. I find it hard to believe that Votto wasn’t placed on the roster over Joe Panik. Naturally, Bochy chose his own guy, but the game is being played at Votto’s home park!

Fantasy Rankings MLFB Leagues Standard
Paul Goldschmidt 1 1
Anthony Rizzo 2 3
Adrian Gonzalez 8 7
Joey Votto 9 8

Second Base

Fan Vote: DJ LeMahieu, 2B, COL

Reserve: Dee Gordon, 2B, MIA & Joe Panik, 2B, SF

Snub: Kolten Wong, 2B, STL

Pittsburgh Pirates vs St. Louis CardinalsInput: Dee Gordon should be the starting second baseman. There’s no question LeMahieu is an all-star, but there are only four hitters that have an average better than Gordon’s .338, and Billy Hamilton is the only base runner with more steals (44) than Gordon’s 33. LeMahieu only has two stats better than Gordon, and that’s home runs (by one) and RBI (by 13). My biggest issue from the second base spot is choosing Joe Panik (.308/7HR/33RBI) over Kolten Wong (.280/9HR/37RBI). This was clearly a manager choosing his own guy over a player that has identical numbers. This is the advantage a manager with the ability to choose his own player has.

Fantasy Rankings MLFB Leagues Standard
DJ LeMahieu 11 5
Dee Gordon 5 1
Joe Panik 4 6
Kolten Wong 6 7

Third Base

Fan Vote: Todd Frazier, 3B, CIN

Reserve: Nolan Arenado, 3B, COL & Kris Bryant, 3B, CHC

Snub: Matt Carpenter, 3B, STL

FrazierInput: Playing the 2015 All-Star game in Cincinnati made the decision easier for fans to choose Frazier over Arenado. The numbers are very close, but Arenado has 13 more RBI. Kris Bryant has shown why he was one of the top choices in his draft class and why he will be the face of MLB, with Trout and Harper. The strikeouts are high, but that was to be expected. The bigger story is Matt Carpenter. He’s not exactly a snub. He made an early case for NL MVP, but started to fall behind the pack, seeing his average go from .372 in April to a current .266. This great drop had to do with him batting a combined .190 in June and this far into July. The fans go this vote right, and the players and coaches chose the correct reserve players.

Fantasy Rankings MLFB Leagues Standard
Todd Frazier 3 1
Nolan Arenado 1 3
Kris Bryant 7 6
Matt Carpenter 6 8

Shortstop

Fan Vote: Jhonny Peralta, SS, STL

Reserve: Brandon Crawford, SS, SF & Troy Tulowitzki, SS, COL

Snub: None

PeraltaInput: Everyone involved in voting made the correct calls. There can be a case that the fans should’ve voted Troy Tulowitzki over Peralta, but each are just as deserving. Tulowitzki may carry the sex appeal, but there’s no stopping the St. Louis Cardinals’ fan support. Crawford may not have the best average, but he’s produced when he’s needed to and has been part of the Giants success. This isn’t necessarily a snub, but there are other players from different positions that could’ve been on the roster over Brandon Crawford. Again, it shows the bias of Bruce Bochy.

Fantasy Rankings MLFB Leagues Standard
Jhonny Peralta 1 2
Brandon Crawford 3 4
Troy Tulowitzki 5 3

Outfield

Fan Vote: Bryce Harper, RF, WAS/Giancarlo Stanton (INJ), RF, MIA/Joc Pederson, CF, LAD

Reserve: Andrew McCutchen (Now Starting), CF, PIT/Ryan Braun, RF, MIL/Matt Holliday (INJ), LF, STL/A.J. Pollock, CF, ARI/Justin Upton, CF, SD

Snub: Nori Aoki, LF, SF

HarperInput: There’s no questioning the outfielders that were chosen. It’s a shame Giancarlo Stanton and Matt Holliday won’t be able to play in the game, but injuries happen. Nori Aoki was more than deserving to be on the all-star team, but a fractured fibula will reward him a stint on the disabled list. Before the injury, Aoki was hitting .317 with two home runs, 19 RBI, and 33 runs scored.

Fantasy Rankings MLFB Leagues Standard
Bryce Harper 2 1
Giancarlo Stanton 13 4
Joc Pederson 23 27
Andrew McCutchen 3 11
Ryan Braun 11 10
Matt Holliday 75 67
A.J. Pollock 8 6
Justin Upton 17 15
Nori Aoki 37 37

Starting Pitchers

Game Starter: Zack Greinke, SP, LAD

On NL All-Star Team: Madison Bumgarner, SP, SF/A.J. Burnett, SP, PIT/Gerrit Cole, SP, PIT/Jacob deGrom, SP, NYM/Carlos Martinez, SP, STL/ Clayton Kershaw, SP, LAD/Shelby Miller, SP, ATL/Max Scherzer, SP, WAS/Michael Wacha, SP, STL

Snub: Johnny Cueto, SP, CIN

MLB: Washington Nationals at Cincinnati RedsInput: It’s hard to argue with any of the starting pitchers that got the vote. However, Johnny Cueto was more than deserving. Cueto and Kershaw have similar numbers, but Kershaw is ahead in strikeouts. While Kershaw plays with a dominant lineup behind him, Cueto has been solid playing with a Cincinnati team that can’t compete in the NL Central. I would’ve given the nod to Cueto over Kershaw, with the notion being that Cueto didn’t have the early season struggles that Kershaw had. It’s disappointing that the Reds player was left off the roster. After Cueto, the only other argument could be who starts the game. I have no problem with Greinke starting, but Scherzer had to be second to Greinke.

Fantasy Rankings MLFB Leagues Standard
Zack Greinke 5 2
Madison Bumgarner 16 17
A.J. Burnett 18 16
Gerrit Cole 9 6
Jacob de Grom 10 7
Carlos Martinez 15 14
Clayton Kershaw 3 9
Shelby Miller 23 23
Max Scherzer 1 1
Michael Wacha 28 19
Johnny Cueto 17 13

Relief Pitchers 

Bullpen: Aroldis Chapman, CL, CIN/Mark Melancon, CL, PIT/Jonathan Papelbon, CL, PHI/Francisco Rodriguez, CL, MIL/Trevor Rosenthal, CL, STL

Snub: Drew Storen, CL, WAS & Jeury Familia, CL, NYM

StorenInput: The pooch has been screwed leaving Storen and Familia off the all-star team. Storen and Familia each have 13 more saves than Jonathan Papelbon . I honestly can’t think of a logical explanation of why Papelbon received the nod over Storen and Familia. On a side note, four of the five relievers are from National League Central teams. Not only is it possible that three playoff teams come from the NL Central, but they all have solid bullpens, excluding the Chicago Cubs.

Fantasy Rankings MLFB Leagues Standard
Aroldis Chapman 8 14
Mark Melancon 5 2
Jonathan Papelbon 41 31
Francisco Rodriguez 22 17
Trevor Rosenthal 4 8
Drew Storen 6 7
Jeurys Familia 2 3

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Major League Fantasy Sports Radio Show: Join Ej Garr and Corey D Roberts on Sunday July 19th from 7-9pm EST for this week’s episode of Major League Fantasy Sports Radio sponsored by the Sports Palooza Radio Network. Call in at 646-915-8596 to ask questions. This week’s topics will be Hits & Misses, and the players that will have a big second half.

Our guests this week include Professor Mark Rush, Joe Iannone, and Kyle Amore. Professor Rush is the Law Professor for Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA as well as a writer for Ron Shandler’s shandlerpark.com. JoeIannone is a writer with MLFS, and his articles focus on the AL East & AL Central divisions. You can catch his writings published every Monday. Kyle Amore is a former College ball player, and he is a writer with MLFS. Kyle handles everything fantasy related in the NL Central, and NL East divisions. Catch his articles published every Tuesday at 9am. Come join a spirited debate.
If you can’t make it to the live airing you can always download the podcast at I-Tunes or Google Play stores. Search for “Sports Palooza Radio Show”. Android owners download “Podcast Republic” and then search on podcast republic for “Sports Palooza Radio Show.”
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Major League Fantasy Football Weekly:  Join Lou Landers, Ron McCleese, and Jeff Nelson from 2-3:30pm on Saturday July 18th for this week’s episode of Major League Fantasy Football Weekly. Our guests this week are Matt Barkman, and Dennis Dunbar. Matt is a writer with majorleaguefantasysports.com, and he is focusing on the QB/TE positions. You can catch his articles published every Sunday morning. Dennis Dunbar is a member of fakepigskin.com, and a former colleague at MLFS. This week’s topics will be the QB, and TE positions. Feel free to leave a comment in the Q&A section during the show, and the guys will answer it during the show.
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I'm a former collegiate and semi-pro baseball player. Chicago sports are the love of my life [Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls] as well as European football. I promise Cubs fans that if Theo can't bring a World Series, I will knock down all doors until I work my way up to GM and bring home a World Series to the Northside of Chicago!

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Joe Iannone

    July 14, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    I enjoyed your article Kyle and I see you are nearly as dismayed as I am with the selection process. It seems the NL did a better job than the AL though other than a few too many Cards and not enough Reds. A quick look at the NL bench shows far more fire power than the AL bench.

    As for Paps, there is one reason he is on the team. They had to pick a Philly. Another unfortunate product of the selection process. Bochy could have taken Revere instead and used him as a late game pinch runner, especially since the loss of Gordon leaves them with little speed anyway. Or they could have taken Ken Giles. Unlike the AL with 4, the NL brought no middle relievers to the game.

  2. Kyle Amore

    July 18, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Yeah, I’m not a fan of the selection process. HaHa Yeah, MLB has turned into Little League where each team needs to be represented. I’m glad we live in a world where we give medals/ribbons just for competing rather than awarding only the winners. But hey, everyone has to be politically correct. Except for me, I think all of the people who have an issue can kiss my a*s. I thought it was great that they didn’t bring any middle relievers. Personally, I’d go with all starters and blow every hitter away and then have two closers.

    It’s funny how the selection process, the way every team needs to be represented, and all of the whiny bs that goes along with professional sports is a direct reflection of how soft society has become. I’m glad all of our family members busted their asses to make it to this country and build it up just for future generations to be come softer and softer and b*tch, piss, and moan rather than rolling their sleeves up and putting in their fair share of work. Not sure what this paragraph has to do with my article but it definitely does show the correlation between sports becoming soft and the softness of our society.

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