The All-Star game is for the fans. It is the midsummer showcase. An opportunity to see all of the best and brightest stars that baseball has to offer in one in place.
And after about a month in the big leagues, Yasiel Puig is a star. Well, at least so far.
But that much we know. The 22 year outfielder has been on the receiving end of many accolades since the Dodgers called him up to the major leagues. We know all about how unreal his fast start has been.
Puig’s talent is real, that much we know. Of course, the question is, how long will it last? So far in his young career, the outfielder is batting .442, but even more remarkable is his BABIP of .513.
Again though, that is not the issue at hand here. There is no questioning his performance, just as you cannot dispute that Puig possesses loads of talent. The problem though, with the All-Star game looming, is whether Puig deserves to make the trip to Citi Field in two weeks.
Whether or not Puig should be All-Star, will likely be the most controversial question surrounding the All-Star game. Now of course there might be a snub or two to go with some deserving players that don’t make the cut, but a lot of the discussion will be centered around the Dodgers’ phenom.
Now what fans love the most is a young player having what will likely be the best month of his career. Puig also comes with a pretty interesting backstory to say the least. By now we have heard all about the multiple attempts Puig made at escaping Cuba, so there is no reason to reiterate them here. But a story like that, is what fans will eat up. The fact that Puig plays in one of the biggest markets in the country, only makes this story bigger.
Jonathan Papelbon made his opinion known very clearly Tuesday when appearing on Sirius Radio that Puig is not deserving of a spot on the All-Star team. And he is not alone. There are other players, media members, and fans that feel the Cuban outfielder should not be making the trip to New York.
I certainly understand the logic. Anyone can have a hot month. Here today, gone tomorrow. It has happened to a lot of players leaving them never to be heard from again. We know Puig has talent, but there are still a lot of questions surrounding him and his long term outlook. So if that is the case, then why should he take a spot away from a deserving player who has proved himself over the course of the entire season thus far. I get that, and I’m perfectly alright with that.
However, that does not mean I don’t think Puig deserves to be All-Star. Also, Puig plays in Los Angeles which means a lot of games start at 10 pm on the east coast, so a lot of fans don’t get to see him play aside from the highlight shows.
And for cases like this, that is why the fan voting portion of the All-Star game is perfect. A month is not a long enough time to warrant Puig making the All-Star team, but that does not mean the fans shouldn’t be able to see him if that is what they want.
The solution to this, is to include Puig as one of the candidates to be voted into the All-Star game. If the fans really want to see him there, then they can vote him in. This way, no one has the right to complain and everybody gets to see one of the games brightest stars and biggest stories of 2013. I know he is certainly getting my vote.