During the Atlanta Braves’ 3 to 1 loss to the Miami Marlins on Monday, Andrelton Simmons lengthened the distance between himself and other defensive players with a play that defied logic. Whether you have seen it or not, the fact that every single person around MLB thinks of the Platinum Glove winner, Simmons, as the best defensive player in baseball is widely accepted. Why then is the best defensive player in the game not considered All-Star caliber?
Nobody is suggesting that Simmons should be an All-Star starter until the system votes him into that role. Clearly the system worked well in choosing Troy Tulowitzki as the starter this season. Tulo was the best on offense and extremely good defensively as well. It could be that Simmons does not fit into the All-Star role and that might be fine. I am simply asking why the situation is that way and if that is right.
Most fans of the Braves are perfectly fine with Simmons just like he is even if he never improves any more on offense. He is so good that the Braves would trade the historic rights to Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine easier than they would be convinced to trade him. If he is that good and he is, and he is a game changer on defense and he is; why is that he and other wonderful defensive players do not make the best of the best team each year?
The only answer that makes sense is that while people of the game and around the game know how valuable players like Simmons are around MLB, the popular culture of the game is too in love with offense to care. Whatever the cause of that shift, it might be no big deal. It might be no big deal that kids at the game who would be scoring the game a couple of decades ago are now texting the kid two seats down. All of that might not matter at all. Then again, it could be a trend that is taking the culture of baseball fans away from the factors that actually made the game special in the first place.