In a move that any fan could see coming from a mile away, Daniel Nava got screwed.
Nava is the “Little Engine that Could” for the Boston Red Sox. He has had to prove through his entire career that he belongs to all of those who believe he doesn’t. He did it in high school when he was undersized. He did it at Santa Clara when he was effectively the water boy. He did it in the minor leagues, despite twice proving that he was an MLB hitter when he was called up to play in Boston.
I was talking to a couple of New York Yankees fans this weekend about what has happened to their team. I of course made fun of their dilapidated roster and their utter fall from grace. They asked me who the Red Sox had beside David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury. The first name I said was Nava’s. Their reaction was typical of most MLB fans: Who the is Daniel Nava?
I sounded like Nava’s agent because someone needs to advocate for this guy. It was announced earlier this week that Nava was not named as a reserve for the AL All-Star team. Neither was he listed as one of the five candidates for the final spot. I could understand if he was kept off the team because undeserving players were voted in, but that wasn’t the case. Jose Bautista, Mike Trout, and Adam Jones are all deserving.
But what I can’t understand is how the Detroit Tigers‘ Torii Hunter was chosen over him as a reserve.
Let’s just look at the numbers for a moment. Nava has more runs scored (49-48), twice as many home runs (10-5), and 12 more RBIs (50-38) than Hunter. Oh yea, and he did it in 44 less at-bats (322-278). The only statistic where Hunter is superior is batting average, but barely (.307-.295). To compensate for that, Nava is superior in OBP at .379 compared to Hunter’s .348.
So why then is Hunter on the roster and not Nava? Because like my Yankee friends, you’ve heard of Hunter before. You’ve seen his highlight-reel catches, even if they were 10 years ago in Minnesota.
This proves once again that the All-Star Game hype about “This time it counts” is all just a bunch of nonsense designed to sell tickets. If the goal was to put the best possible team on the field, then the Red Sox, who own the best record in the AL, should have more than three All-Stars. Instead they have only half as many as the six Hunter’s Tigers have.
You agree? Disagree? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments to keep the animated conversation going.