Jorge L. Ortiz USA TODAY Published 2:57 p.m. UTC Jul 9, 2018 Even with All-Star Game rosters shrinking from 34 to 32 players last season, outrage over those left out should be tempered by the likelihood that some of the “snubbed’’ stars will find their way in as replacements for players who are injured or otherwise unavailable. In 2017, seven players gained All-Star status this way. Still, every year there are some curious choices, either by the fans, players or the commissioner’s office, that leave some deserving candidates off the Midsummer Classic’s initial rosters. MORE ALL-STAR GAME COVERAGE All-Star Game rosters Why Bryce Harper belongs in the Midseason Classic Here’s a look at some who may have a legitimate beef: NATIONAL LEAGUE 1B Jesus Aguilar, Brewers: Reputation clearly matters, and before this season the Milwaukee first baseman didn’t have much of one. Aguilar leads all major league first basemen with 22 home runs and 63 … [Read more...] about MLB All-Star Game: Eight biggest roster snubs
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Bob Nightengale USA TODAY Published 12:38 p.m. UTC Jul 9, 2018 The All-Star Game doesn’t really count for anything anymore. The experiment of playing for home-field advantage in the World Series is gone. The idea of league pride disappeared with daily interleague play, along with the constant shuffling of players switching teams and leagues. Gone are the days when Bob Gibson and Nolan Ryan refused to talk to hitters in their own All-Star clubhouse for fear they might get to like them and not drill them with a pitch when necessary. Still, with so much tradition seeping out of the game, we still love the Midsummer Classic, although considering that we’ll be so far beyond the season’s halfway mark by July 17, we should change the nickname to the 5/8th Classic. It looks like again this will be our only chance on a national stage to see Mike Trout, now seven full seasons into his major league career with seven All-Star nods to match. All-Star Game: Rosters, reserves … [Read more...] about MLB All-Star Game: Yes, Bryce Harper deserves to be there — because it’s all about enjoyment
Scott Boeck USA TODAY Published 12:12 p.m. UTC Jul 9, 2018 The first half of the Major League Baseball season was dominated by a trio of American League powerhouses, and that was reflected in rosters for the 89th All-Star Game that were revealed on Sunday. The East-leading Boston Red Sox and defending World Series champion Houston Astros each placed five players on the AL squad, while the similarly dominant New York Yankees have four representatives - including a young star not yet three months into his career. While there are still plenty of moving parts as players are replaced due to injury and other circumstances before the July 17 game at Washington's Nationals Park, here are the starters and reserves named (statistics through Saturday): American League starters C Wilson Ramos, RaysAppearance: Second. Age: 30Why he's an All-Star: Ramos, the former National who tore his ACL a week before the 2016 NL Division Series, returns to Washington as an … [Read more...] about MLB All-Star Game rosters: Red Sox, Astros, Yankees dominate AL; upstart Braves get 4 NL stars
Gabe Lacques USA TODAY Published 3:19 p.m. UTC Jun 25, 2018 The New York Mets' free fall is well into its third month, the heady early days of April and their 11-1 start now looking like a hallucination in a season gone terribly awry. The 10 weeks since have exposed the Mets' flawed roster, odd organizational culture and created the sense this is a squad stuck in the middle - far from contention, not inclined to rebuild. And now, there's no stopping the momentum as they sink toward the bottom of the major leagues. The Mets rank a season-low 26th in USA TODAY Sports' Major League Baseball power rankings, and while it's amusing now to consider they reached as high as No. 4 back in that glorious April, it's jarring to ponder the teams now above them. Thanks to the Mets' six-game losing streak and the Cincinnati Reds' seven-game winning streak, the Reds vaulted the Mets in our rankings, despite a payroll some $50 million less than New York's opening-day … [Read more...] about MLB power rankings: Just how low can the New York Mets go?
Bob Nightengale USA TODAY Published 11:56 p.m. UTC Jun 20, 2018 It’s a shame Eddie Gaedel isn’t with us anymore. This is his time to shine. You remember, Gaedel? He was the 3-foot-7 slugger hired by St. Louis Browns owner Bill Veeck as a publicity stunt to bat against the Detroit Tigers in the second game of a doubleheader in 1951. He walked on four pitches in his only major-league plate appearance that afternoon, giving him a lifetime 1.000 on-base percentage. He couldn’t hit. He couldn’t run. He had no power. He certainly would have struck out if he ever took the bat off his shoulders. But, oh, how he could draw a walk. Gaedel would have fit right in today’s game of baseball, where fans are staying away in droves, scouts are covering their eyes in disbelief, and baseball executives are running for cover. MORE MLB NEWS Mike Trout: Is he approaching Angels twilight? Cubs closer injures himself changing clothes Giants closer injures himself punching … [Read more...] about There’s no ducking the numbers: MLB has a bad baseball problem that’s only getting worse