Tuesday, February 9, 2010
All Stars: choose the best, not those who are hot early in the season.
The NBA is getting heat because the fans have voted Allen Iverson a starter on the all star team despite the fact that he was retired early in the season and has played in fewer than half the games. Plus, he is well past his prime. The same type of logic is usually applied to MLB. I think it is incorrect. The best players should be chosen as all stars, not the players who happen to be hot in the early months of the season. The classic case is that of Joe DiMaggio in 1949. Joe was injured most of the first half of that season. He did not hit his first home run until June 28 when he climbed out of his sick bed and went to Boston to personally demolish the Red Sox. Joe hit two more homers June 29 and another June 30, all in Fenway Park. The 1949 all star game was played in Ebbets Field on July 12. Fans had just started to select the players in 1947. "From 1935 through 1946, the manager of each All-Star squad selected the entire team." (wikipedia) Joe DiMaggio was selected, obviously not because of what he had done in 1949 but because he was a great player who was again available to play. Joltin' Joe started in CF. His younger brother Dom moved to right to make room. Joe rewarded that decision by going 2 for 4, including a double, scoring one and driving in three. After Joe's double in the sixth, Larry Doby pinch ran for him. AL won 11-7. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NLS/NLS194907120.shtml Maybe to make the point we should vote for Joe DiMaggio to start in CF on the AL all star team this season. And Babe Ruth in RF.