With the MLB betting All Star Game festivities set to begin later this week, fans and media alike couldn’t be more disappointed with the rosters. As the AL and NL battle it out determine home field advantage in the World Series, the two managers for the game have let personal interests cloud their judgment on using the best players available. For this reason, many people we included wonder if the commissioners office should be in charge of the rosters. Today we will look at some of the snubs that have fans and media outraged.
Edwin Encarnacion of the Toronto Blue Jays, and Josh Reddick of the Oakland Athletics have each had excellent first haves of the season. However, rather then include both players on the American League roster, Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington has elected to allow five of his own players to be on the team instead. In fact, the fifth possible member, pitcher Yu Darvish is currently in the lead for the 34th man fan vote, while neither Encarnacion nor Reddick are even on the ballot. Conversely, in the National League, former manager turned honorary ASG manager Tony LaRussa elected not to include Cincinnati Reds stars Johnny Cueto or Brandon Phillips on the roster. For LaRussa, many media outlets believe that he is holding a grudge against the Reds, for past transgressions in the rivalry with the St. Louis Cardinals.
In both the American and National League’s it doesn’t seem fair that the managers are being given as much control as the commissioners office has awarded them. After all, you want the best players on each roster, not the manager’s core players. The exclusion of Edwin Encarnacion in particular, has many teams around the MLB sportsbook realm confused. For example, during the New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays broadcast last night, the YES network held a poll asking fans who was the biggest shock to miss the playoffs, Edwin Encarnacion led the voting. The results may have been a combination of factors, from genuine disbelief, to the fact the Yankees arch rival the Boston Red Sox are sending DH David Ortiz to the game. Statistically speaking, Ortiz has the better batting average, but Encarnacion has the better overall offensive numbers, including home runs.
But how do fans and media have their voices heard by the MLB? There’s been a lot of suggestions, from doing away with each team needing a representative, to fans no longer being able to vote. Yet, the one area that hasn’t been discussed, is limiting the managers roles in the decision making process. Essentially, what we would suggest is that the MLB determine the rosters, in a draw, and then the managers formulate the starting lineups accordingly. In this scenario, the managers wouldn’t be able to play favorites necessarily. Rather, they could make the starting line ups all their own players, but then move other stars in and out of the lineup accordingly.
By using this approach, the MLB could at the very least establish the belief that the managers have nothing to do with who makes the team and who doesn’t. There are actually clauses in the CBA, which disallow from the managers to use any bias in snubbing certain players. One clause is the Sunday rule, which prevents managers from avoiding picking pitchers because that pitcher was scheduled to pitch on the Sunday. In this scenario, the pitcher can choose if they want to play in the game or attend as an honorary member of the team.
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