Major League Baseball‘s All-Star Game requires a selection from each team and whether you consider the Houston Astros a big league franchise or not, Jose Altuve is headed for Kansas City. And like any good Texan, let’s hope he realizes the best thing about K.C. is I-35 South. The diminutive second baseman with a surprising amount of pop was voted in by his fellow players but likely would have been the Astros’ choice regardless. In fact, it appears his National League peers view the Venezuelan product with a healthy amount of respect.
It’s the first All-Star appearance for the 22 year-old who might be the only untouchable, well partly, asset on Houston’s roster. His stat line (.308/.351/.453) enhances the notion that he’s been the model of consistency on a fading club. Currently 32-46 and losers of three straight, the Astros left behind thoughts of contending in a weaker Central weeks ago. So what were fans in Minute Maid to do other than imbibe and make pointless bets like “how many oranges does the train cart hold?” Altuve’s performance mid-way through the season combined with shortstop Jed Lowrie’s kept patrons intrigued beyond where Houston might pick in the 2013 Draft or if Carlos Lee intends to accept a trade to Chavez Ravine. He’s short so there’s the obvious underdog factor but he’s also pretty damn solid, day in-day out at his job. Altuve plays hard, doesn’t complain and ticks off a million other cliches on the coachability list that only comes into the conversation when said team refuses to stay at .500 for longer than a month.
Congrats to Jose Altuve on his first All-Star Game. In somewhat shocking news to the rest of the league, they do play Major League Baseball in Houston. With a stadium and bats and everything.