I’ve seen a lot of funny stuff on the internet today. It’s Larry David’s 66th birthday, so I watched some of his best moments on YouTube. Then I read some tweets from a local sports talk radio host who used Scott Feldman‘s win-loss record as the reason he wasn’t impressed with the trade for the Orioles. But nothing was as funny as Jed Rigney’s article on Yahoo! Sports about why Albert Pujols should start the All-Star Game over Chris Davis.
Rigney used five ridiculous reasons in his article, so I’ll respond to each here.
1. Name recognition
They call it the “All-Star” game, not the “Some Stars” game. Pujols is having a down year, but he’s recognized worldwide. Chris Davis? I don’t know if he’s a baseball player or an accountant specializing in real estate equity. Pujols is one of the few iconic players of our time. No matter if you love Pujols or hate Pujols, he just makes for a better show.
If you don’t know who Chris Davis is at this point in the season, you probably won’t even bother turning on the All-Star Game. I was down in Florida wearing an Orioles hat at Disney World all last week and was stopped by numerous people who wanted to chat about Davis’ historic season. He’s an MVP candidate, everyone knows his name. The guy was freaking featured on BuzzFeed this morning.
Some people think that the All-Star game actually means something more than just an exhibition game. But, Jed, the winner gets home-field advantage in the World Series! Oh, my, that almost sounds like it makes a difference.
If it is so important, then maybe you want a guy in your starting lineup with experience handling the pressure — maybe someone with two World Series rings. Pujols. Certainly not just some guy having a fluky season, like Davis.
The All-Star game actually does mean something more than just an exhibition game. It’s not something that some people think. Like it or not, it determines home-field advantage in the World Series. It’s important to put the best lineup on the field, not the one with guys who had great seasons several years ago.
Sometimes being an All-Star isn’t about how many home runs you have on June 30, but what you’ve done over the last decade. Pujols is a guaranteed Hall of Famer. Before you get your shorts in a twist, just remember that last year Derek Jeter and Chipper Jones were All-Star starters — voted in by the fans.
Wrong. Being an All-Star has everything to do with what you’ve done the first half of the season.
Pujols went from being one of the most-liked players in the league to one of the most-despised because someone else gave him a bunch of money. So far, Pujols hasn’t lived up to the deal, but a good showing on the worldwide stage of an All-Star game could be the start on his road to redeeming himself. Good television. Or Pujols could fail miserably and his haters can have a parade. Great television.
Shouldn’t Albert use his performance in the other 162 games (or maybe even the postseason) as redemption for those that “despise” him? No one cares about what he does in the All-Star game.
5. That name
In addition to being a great ballplayer, Albert Pujols also has one of the greatest names in the history of sports. In this article alone, I have managed to mention his name over a dozen times. Just imagine the fun we’ll have listening to the announcers talking about the “struggling Pujols” and “aging Pujols” — that’s worth the price of admission right there.
It’s called the All-Star game and the teams need to have stars in order to promote the sport and delight the fans. It’s nice to acknowledge a player who’s having a breakout year by putting him on the team. But no one is tuning in to see Chris Davis. Give me Pujols.
Isn’t this the same point as number one? “Name recognition” and “That name” are the same thing. Am I reading Bleacher Report? Everyone is tuning in to see Chris Davis. He trails Miguel Cabrera by less than 400,000 total votes for the top overall spot in the AL, he’s the guy the fans want. Give me Davis.
Thanks to Twitter follower @JT__Orlando for pointing out this article.