Find us on iTunes!
Phillips, Cueto Snubbed In All-Star Game
July 1, 2012KentuckySports.co
If there is anyone who is as happy as me for Jay Bruce, Joey Votto and Aroldis Chapman making the All-Star Game, I would like to meet them. Those three players have had tremendous years. Jay Bruce started off like a house fire this year and was named the NL Player of the Month in April. Joey Votto is, well, Joey Votto and Aroldis Chapman had a club-record 24 appearances without giving up an earned run this year.
But that's not what I'm here to talk about.
By now, everyone in Reds' country has heared that Brandon Phillips and Johnny Cueto did not make the All Star Game. Which would be totally fine if they weren't as deserving as they are. Brandon Phillips is one of the best second baseman in the game. The only argument that could be made against who would be better would be Robinson Cano. But even then, Robinson Cano made it. Phillips is tied for first in RBI's by a second baseman in the Major League. Every time you turn on ESPN, the MLB Network or name your sports channel, Brandon Phillips is almost guaranteed to be on at least once during the show.
As for Johnny Cueto, no one in Major Leagues has had a better overall ERA than him since 2011. That's better than Justin Verlander, Roy Halladay and the list goes on of great pitchers. Not one of them has had a better overall ERA than Mr. Cueto. On Cincinnati.com, Cueto said, “I see that I have great numbers,”. “I thought the way I pitched this year, I’d have a chance to go to the All-Star Game. I don’t know what happened. I don’t if know the manager of All-Star Game is ed at me because I went out with one of his girlfriends.” I find that hilarious. It's hilarious because the manager of the National League team this year is none other than Tony LaRussa.
Yes, that Tony LaRussa. The one who turns a two and a half hour baseball game, into a four and a half hour baseball game because of unnecessary pitching changes when his team is winning 7-0. But what is the reason as to why LaRussa did not pick Phillips or Cueto? The only logical reason that I can come up with, is the fight that occured two years ago at Great American Ball Park. Reds' fans remember that one quite well. I know I do. I was there. It all started with Brandon Phillips walking up and tapping Cardinals' catcher, Yadier Molina, on the shin guard. The rest is history. The big fight where Cueto apparently kicked Jason LaRue into retirement. The fight where Chris Carpenter had to " try and explain to his kids what happened".
While I drove home, Marty Brennaman and Jeff Brantley were talking about it before the game started today. Marty said, "This is an example of Tony LaRussa coming back from his grave, no pun intended, to haunt the Reds." I cannot have said it better myself. As you may recall, LaRussa retired after the Cardinals won last year's World Series. But the All-Star Game usually has the two coaches from last year's World Series' game two manage the game. So it would be only fitting that Tony LaRussa, as old and bitter as he is, would leave the two players that were the "instigators" of the fight two years ago off the All-Star team--even though their numbers clearly show they are as deserving as Lance Lynn and Dan Uggla.
So what should they do about the current all-star voting system? Should they allow the fans to stuff the ballot box to see their favorite players in the game? My suggestion would be to only let the players and coaches vote players into the game. But the counter argument would be it would take the fun out voting. Which, I'm sorry, is the right thing to do. I know, I know. It's fun voting for your favorite player to get in the All-Star Game. But then you run into these problems like Cueto and Phillips are having. The voting process has become nothing more than a popularity contest, rather than a process to select the game's best. For instance, Bryce Harper hasn't even played an entire season, and has a chance to be one of the final vote-getters. That's not fair to guys like, you guessed it, Phillips and Cueto.
That' all I have to say about it. It's frustrating. Trust me, I know. I've been to a ton of Reds' games this year, and almost never miss watching or listening to the game. I can only hope this bulletin board material for Johnny Cueto and Brandon Phillips, because they have been "Royally" (get it? the ASG is in Kansas City..I'm so clever) screwed.