Matt Vensel Thinks the All-Star System is Flawed

But for the wrong reason.

Ty Wigginton’s 2010 season is an inspiring tale of perseverance.

Really?  Hamilton has a good story, recovering from drug addiction to fulfill his potential.  Wigginton just wants to keep getting paid millions of dollars to play a kids game.

The 32-year-old journeyman hoped to earn a spot in the starting lineup in spring training, but was relegated to the role of pine-riding utilityman and high-five specialist when the Orioles signed Miguel Tejada and Garrett Atkins. He didn’t start the Orioles’ first four games.

Kind of where he should be.  On any other team in baseball he’d be a utility guy, maybe a little more.  But on our shitty ass team, he stands out like a shining star.

Then Wigginton got his chance when Brian Roberts went down, and the stocky slugger spent much of April and May bashing baseballs into the bleachers.

And mashing potatoes, part of his carb-only diet.

On Sunday, Wigginton was selected to his first All-Star Game — despite a frigid slump that has stretched from June into July and dropped his batting average to .251.

Most players don’t have season long hot-streaks.  Baseball is a game of ups and downs.

Is Wigginton a great story? You bet.

On a slow news day in a slow sports city?  You bet.

Worthy of a spot in the Midsummer Classic? Not really.


After an All-Star-caliber first quarter, Wigginton has hit just one home run in his last 36 games. And though his 14 homers and 44 RBIs are tops on the Orioles, they are well short of the league lead.

To be fair, he was leading the league in HR’s for a decent chunk of the first half, but like you said, he’s cooled off a bit.

Still, he will be the Orioles’ lone representative at the 2010 All-Star Game — the ninth time in 10 years they have sent just one — on July 13 in Anaheim, Calif. Even Wigginton said he had doubts about his qualifications.

“I was just shocked, actually,” he told The Baltimore Sun. “I feel like at this point, there are some guys having better years than me, both on the team and around the league. But obviously, we know somebody has to go from here, and it feels good that it’s me.”

And it should be Wigginton.

And that’s my biggest beef with this whole process. Somebody has to go from here, even though the last-place Orioles had 25 wins at the midway point and no one on the roster performed like an All-Star in the first half (except for maybe Jason Berken, but middle relievers don’t get much love).

Middle relievers are failed starters so no, they shouldn’t get rewarded for their failures in life.

It’s like the bassist from Nickelback winning a Grammy because he didn’t suck as badly as his bandmates.
Every team must be represented, so Wigginton and his feel-good story got the nod by default.

Finally someone agrees with me that Mike Kroeger is one of the all-time bassists.  I put him right up there with John Entwistle.

Seriously though.  I place the full blame of Matt Wieters second year issues on the fact that he comes to the plate to Nickleback.  Are they the worst band ever?

Meanwhile, five players who have better numbers and are contributors on winning teams — Paul Konerko, Nick Swisher, Delmon Young, Michael Young and Kevin Youkilis — are battling it out in a fan vote for the final spot on the American League roster.

Aside from Konerko here’s a case why all these guys shouldn’t be on the team:

Nick Swisher – check out his twitter.  He’s a shameless self-promoter and a douche.

Delmon Young – Remember this?

Michael Young – hitter friendly park.  Check out his home/away splits.

Kevin Youkilis – how many more Red Sox do you want on the team?

And while we’re talking about the fan vote, I think it’s a cool gimmick. But they should be picking the 25th best guy in each league instead of the 34th. These rosters are beyond bloated at this point. It’s like the Village People expanding to eight macho, macho men by adding a park ranger, an architect and an optometrist.

Wrong, sir.  I guess you didn’t get the memo that all the starting players are voted in by the fans.  Have you been to a game in person?  They hand out all-star ballots.  Have you used the internet?  There is a website where you can vote.  I’m not linking to it because you need to learn how to use google eventually.

This is the real problem with fan-voted all star teams, in any sport.

Why do you think Ichirio, Jeter, and Big Poopie make the team every year?  Because Asians, Yankee fans, and Red Sox fans out-number real fans by a huge margin.

Fans tune in to the All-Star Game to see baseball’s very best. They want to see players such as A-Rod and Albert Pujols — not obligatory All-Stars like Wigginton.

He might play one inning.  At the most.  If at all.  Sometimes, despite the mangers best efforts, not every player gets in the game.

Besides, you say fans tune in to watch A-Rod and Albie.  I say casual fans do.  I’m an Orioles fan, and I personally want to see an Oriole out-perform Gay-Rod.

Despite the screwed-up system that helped sneak Wigginton into his first All-Star Game, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ecstatic for him.

Liar.  You might have thought, “good for him” for two seconds and then went back to making things up about sports you don’t know anything about.

And hey, at least he’ll give the Orioles fans, who appreciate his hard work and humility, a thrill at next week’s game — even if it’s for just one at-bat.

He has played for five teams in his nine-year career, including the Orioles, the Pirates and the Rays (before they dropped the “Devil” and their losing ways). This guy has paid his dues.

Wigginton may not deserve to be there, but how could you not root for him?

I thought the whole idea on this post was that you weren’t rooting for him.  Imagine this article in conversation format:

Matt:  Hey Wiggy.  You got in the all-star game.

Wiggin-ton:  I know.  I’m a little shocked!

Matt:  Me too.  You don’t deserve it at all.  In fact, Konerko, the brothers Young, Youkilis, and Swish deserve it more.

Wiggin-ton:  Alright.  Unnecessary.

Matt:  But I’m fucking super pumped for you.  I’ll root for you but only because I live in Baltimore and my coming out of the bandwagon closet is still a few years off when I proclaim I’m a Rays fan!

Wiggin-ton:  Thanks, I guess.



Filed under General Posts

5 responses to “Matt Vensel Thinks the All-Star System is Flawed

  1. Great edition of Fire Juan Samuel, guys. Glad you’re still laughing!

  2. Obviously the All-Star game is a joke. I have to say nothing more than Omar Infante for proof. Allowing the fans to vote on anything will kill it. Most baseball fans can’t even pick the best player on their own team correctly, much less the best players in the league.

    Obviously the large market teams with more fans get more players. Especially since every team encourages their fans to vote for their own players rather than picking the most deserving. The whole damn thing is a joke and I’m boycotting it again this year.

  3. Jjaks Clayton

    Nick Swisher is the man, not a douche. The only thing I have against him is the asshole team he plays for.

    • it doesn’t bother you at all that he is asking everyone to vote for him? it doesn’t bother you at all that he retweets his other famous friends saying nice things about him?

      i think it’s pretty douchey. i used to love the swish machine, but ever since discovering the internet and playing for the yankees, he’s become, well, douchey.

  4. Johnny Eutaw

    Swisher is most definitely a douche. He used to be cool, now he’s old news.

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