Maybe the snubbing of Justin Upton as an All-Star starter in the outfield for the National League will spur the Atlanta Braves onward to bust out a long winning streak. When I saw Bryce Harper was voted in as a starter I couldn’t believe it. Harper missed a ton of time with an injury and in no way has better stats than Upton, much less the other guys he jumped over. The reason Upton has been so crucial to the Braves this year goes beyond his incredible start and he really deserves to be in that starting line-up.
I would never say that Upton deserved to be listed above Carlos Beltran or Carlos Gonzalez. Those two have killed it this year. Andrew McCutchen, Domonic Brown or even Jay Bruce might get a disappointing shrug from me but Harper hasn’t even played for half of the first half. Don’t get me wrong, I like Harper a lot. He is the catalyst for that team and without a doubt they started playing better when he came back off of the disabled list. If the All-Star game were held in August then maybe it would make more sense but right now it just doesn’t.
That is what happens when people decide who starts the game though. Of course that wouldn’t matter near as much if the all-knowing Bud Selig hadn’t made the winning team of the All-Star game the winners of home field in the World Series. The All-Star game is not a popularity contest; it is a game that now matters for a few reasons. Yet, popular vote still is the thing that puts people in the starting line-up. I just don’t get it.