I will be first to tell you that the All-Star Game is a meaningless exhibition that should have no bearing on the real MLB season and that it receives a highly disproportionate amount of attention for such a contrived affair. I could normally give less of a crap about who makes the All-Star roster, but what is going on in the voting this year has me frothing at the mouth.
The first returns from the All-Star balloting are in and Angel players are almost totally absent from the tallies. Not a single Halo is listed in the top 5 at any of the infield positions and the top Angel vote-getter is Torii Hunter who checks in at a pitiful 10th place in AL outfielder voting. That’s it, no other Angel hitter is even on the radar. For a team that is fourth in attendance in the Majors, that is a sorry showing at the voting booth.
I am a firm believer that fans should only vote for deserving players and not just blindly punch their ballot whenever they see their home teams name, so I am not about to ream the Halo faithful for not voting repeatedly for the likes of Howie Kendrick. But Hunter deserves your votes, heck, he deserves the votes of your unborn children. If Manny Ramirez can get busted for roiding up and still wind up fourth the National League outfield voting, surely Hunter can get a little love as well, no? Maybe he just needs the grungy dreadlocks.
Hunter is currently ninth in the AL in OPS, is a human highlight reel in centerfield and the early-season MVP of a major-market franchise that is most likely going to win another division title (sorry, Texas, I’m still not buying it). And since this is ultimately a popularity, let’s not overlook the fact that Torii is a great teammate and a charismatic fan favorite. He plays every game like it is his last, sacrificing his body on a nightly basis to make plays for the team. How many more walls does he need to crash into? Will you not be pleased until he actually leaves a body part on the field? I just don’t see what the problem is here. Are Californians just tired of voting after the recent special election? I know that the state budget is still a mess, but don’t take that out on Hunter.
From a practical standpoint, I realize that it is unlikely Hunter is able to crack the top 3 in AL outfield voting and earning a starting spot, but if the Angel fans can rally and get him into the top 6, he should have a good shot at making the team as a reserve. Time to rock the vote, Angel fans. Can we get Torii into the All-Star Game? Yes, we can! (sorry, that was so six months ago)