Three of our panel members slide in under the wire in time for this week’s edition of the MLB Round Table. We take a casual look at the Home Run Derby and its place in today’s baseball world as well as the All Star Game and other issues. Hope you enjoy.
MLB RT 8 July 8, 2014
1. When fan favorites Miquel Cabrera and Mike Trout and other players of their caliber “opt out” of participating in the Home Run derby then it is time to do away with the derby all together. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
ARCHIE: In my honest opinion the Home Run Derby has been a waste of time for several years now. It is only for the fans but when the actual sluggers do not participate I feel we only get the also-rans participate. I do not care to see guys that hit 20-25 dingers per season or maybe even 30 in their best year wear themselves out swinging for the fence.
JOE: I agree… I have never liked the HR Derby any way. And, I think it does more to hurt certain players because they get into a swing for the fence mode when their game really is suited to that style. I think its hurt some players when they went back to play the real games after the All-Star game.
SANDY: I agree, the fans want to see the big stars hitting HR’s. Most only want to be selected, maybe something in their contracts like selection to the All-Star game.
Doing away with it seems a little much. It has been a tradition of the all star game festivities for as long as I can remember. Players have that right to opt out of the event. It is supposed to be a break for these guys, who already play in 162 games. Besides, there are many of the top Homerun guys out there that are in the derby this year, so I think it will be just as exciting as in years past.
2. How well do you think the Player Balloting for the All Star game reserves work out?
ARCHIE: I guess we will never have a satisfactory selection process no matter how MLB tries to conduct the process. However, to me Baseball is more about the stats than any other sports. So what the hell is wrong with using them for the ASG. Give a cutoff date of July 3rd and those players leading in the appropriate columns go to the game and everyone else takes a break.
JOE: Usually, I think it sort of balances things out. But, no matter what you do there are always going to be somebody who gets “snubbed”. I think all of us have said this before… GET RID OF THE FAN’S VOTING.
It won’t fix it all and there will still be players who get “snubbed” but it will be a lot more representative of those players who are most deserving of being called All-Stars.
But the All-Star game has turned into nothing more than a silly exhibition game that is stupidly tied to home field advantage in the Worlds Series. In my opinion, it no longer really has that competitive feel to it that I remember watching when I was a kid.
Everyone needs to get into the game. Can’t hurt anyone’s feelings… blah, blah, blah…
Back in the day, first team players would sometimes play an entire 9 inning game and they would play hard. The mangers managed as if it were a regular season game. That is no longer true of today’s game.
There is an old saying… be careful what you wish for. Well, MLB wanted a more so-called fan-friendly event and fan-involved All-Star game… guess what? That’s essentially what they got. Whatever
SANDY: I guess it worked okay, although most probably picked friends, like fans voting for favorite players.
STEPHAN: As good as the fan vote is. I think the players have a better sense in who deserves to be there. It is much less of a popularity contest for players over fans.
3. After all the voting, player balloting and manager selections; how do you feel about the AL and NL rosters for this year’s ASG?
ARCHIE: Realizing again that there are the so called snubs every year, this year is not different. I am a Braves fan and IMO Freeman, Gattis and Kimbrel are the only All Stars from that team. Gattis is hurt so actually the two that are going is okay by me. I feel McGehee from the Marlins should be there but somehow I think the Players did not vote for him due to his time in Japan. Either that or his lack of power.
JOE: Tell the truth, I have only scanned the rosters but for the most part I think they are ok. But, since I have no intention of watching the game from start to finish because it is no longer a real game… see my previous comments… I’m not sure that I really care.
Except, part of me still does believe being called an All-Star means something and that if I were a player I would think that it would be nice to get the recognition for what I do on the field.
But… Get rid of the fan’s voting!!!!!!!!!!! And, manage the game like a real damn game and peeps like me might care about the All-Star game again.
SANDY: think they should just call it the mid-summer classic. Some non-stars get got voted in by fans and some lesser known stars got snubbed or at least they think they got snubbed.
STEPHAN: Not too bad. I think all the right guys got in and there were very few “snubs.” Though I think it was ridiculous that Chris Sale of the White a Sox was a part of the final vote. Had he not gave been voted in. It would have been an injustice.
4. Who is juicing? Who do you feel is still on PEDs?
ARCHIE: Let’s not kid ourselves. Just last season Nelson Cruz served a 50 game suspension. He is right back this year slugging the hell out of the ball. I still have my eye on him for one. I have always had suspicions of Jose Bautista ever since he hit 54 homeruns in 2010. After eight seasons and never breaking 25 homeruns all of a sudden he hits 54? The next season 43. Rookie Sensation Jose Abreu is not your typical rookie since he is 27 and played on the Cienfuegos of the Cuban National series. But he would not be the first foreign player to shoot up just to make it to the big show.
JOE: Hmmm… good question.
I have always had my suspicions about Albert Pujols and Jose Bautista, so, if, either of them were caught I would not be shocked.
And, I hate to say it, but, is Edwin Encarnacion really this good?
Other players that would not shock me if it came out they were juicing are Victor Martinez, Casey McGehee, Justin Upton, Carlos Gomez, Andre Beltre, Josh Donaldson, Mark Teixeira, Nelson Cruz, Zach Grienke, Mark Buehrle and John Lackey.
And, I really hope I never find out that Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, Clayton Kershaw, Felix Fernandez, are juicing but hey… ya never know and I have thought about it.
Sad that I think this way, but, there have just been too many shockers in the past and, now, there is always a question when a player performs really well.
SANDY: I think there are some still juicing, I don’t know who, but I tend to think past abusers could still try again. The whole PED era makes me suspect everyone.
STEPHAN: I don’t think anyone big is using them right now. Lately we are hearing a lot of minor league players testing positive. I think honestly test the PED issue has subsided and the stars are not using them.
5. Pujols just hit number 512. How many do you think he will finish with?
ARCHIE: Albert is now 34 years old. I give him another 5 years. Even if he averages 30 per year for that time from he is going to finish somewhere around the 650-660 mark. I think that is being more than fair on the estimate.
JOE: Well, I figure he has about 4 to 5 years left for his career… barring any serious injuries… and, if, he averages about 25 to 30 he winds up with between 120 to 150 more… I’ll be kind and middle the numbers and give him 137 more; which, means he winds up with 649.
SANDY: Depends on how long he plays, don’t know if he will play out his contract but if he plays 4 more years I’d say maybe 600, if he can stay healthy.
STEPHAN:I figure Albert Pujols has 6 seasons left in him. He is not showing signs of slowing down much, and as he gets older the DH option is there. So I feel he will average 30 home runs over 6 seasons giving him 692. I think ill round that up to an even 700 for Pujols.
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