While the ire of Wilpon’s angst can be understood, the targets he took shots at coincidentally might turn out to be All-Stars this year.
Excluding fan voting, I have come to the conclusion that the Mets should definitely field two players on the NL squad in the “Midsummer Classic,” and possibly a third.
If you haven’t already guessed, the locks would be Jose Reyes and Francisco Rodriguez (K-Rod). Reyes and K-Rod have been marvelous in their return to form this season, and they rank very favorably amongst their peers.
Reyes leads NL shortstops in hits (66), runs (29), stolen bases (17), triples (6) and is second in batting average (.316). Reyes will get competition from burgeoning star Starlin Castro and from the slugging Troy Tulowitzki.
While Castro is a budding star, Reyes is way better with his glove and should have the seniority edge.
As for Tulowitzki, while he does lead all shortstops in home runs (11) and RBI’s (29), he does just sport a .244 bating average.
For the complete package, Reyes deserves to be the starting shortstop. He will be on the squad nonetheless.
As for K-Rod, hardly anyone compares to him this year.
K-Rod has only one blown save this year thus far (in his first chance). The only pitchers to not blow a save with a minimum of ten attempts are ironically ex-Met and the once forgotten J. J. Putz (14 for 14) and the surprising Joel Hanrahan (13 for 13) of the Pittsburgh Pirates (he might just be their lone representative).
There have been many good performances by closers in the NL this year including Leo Nunez (18 for 19), Craig Kimbrel (14 of 18) and of course the mainstays in Brian Wilson (13 of 15) and Heath Bell (10 for 11).
While some of these aforementioned closers have been perfect or have accumulated more saves, all fall way short of the microscopic ERA K-Rod has registered.
K-Rod has a sterling and minuscule 0.76 ERA in 23.2 innings pitched. The only closer who pitches regularly who comes somewhat close is National’s closer Drew Storen (1.48), who is a whopping 72 points behind K-Rod.
Sure, K-Rod walks the tightrope seemingly each game while putting too many runners on base, but he rises above it and always gets the key outs.
Another possible All-Star could very well be Carlos Beltran.
Beltran has an outside shot at the squad since he leads NL outfielders in doubles (15), is ninth in total bases (86) and is among the top ten in slugging percentage (.548) and OPS (.930).
Ike Davis had a shot at being named an All-Star, but his time on the DL makes his quest for inclusion seem far-fetched.
Conspicuously missing among all these candidates is David Wright. You know, the non-superstar who has been on the NL All Star team for the last five years.
And unlike Davis, Wright wouldn’t have made it, regardless of injury. I won’t delve into Wright’s numbers as they have been disturbing and well-chronicled.
Again, this is excluding fan voting. Who know how many votes Wright will get from the fans.
Don’t get me started on that. Letting the fans vote has become a tiresome and tacky way to determine the game’s best players. Any way you slice it, there is no way Wright deserves to be an All-Star this year.
With his back problems and ineffectiveness, I’m actually hoping the fans don’t vote him in so he can use the break for rest and clear his conscious. However, perusing the list of candidates at the Hot Corner in the NL, Wright may very well be selected.
There are hardly any sexy choices to pick from. Placido Polanco definitely deserves the nod, but does his name register with the casual fan? The only other possibility could be Chipper Jones, who might get the sentimental vote.
So in summary, the Mets could have up to three to four All Stars, depending on what happens in June and with fan voting.
With what Wilpon recently said, it’s also conceivable all these guys could be gone by the time the 2012 All-Star comes around. By that time, the Mets could have only one and guaranteed representative. Maybe that’s when Davis makes the squad.
If that doesn’t get you excited, hey at least the Mets will likely host the 2013 All Star game. Here’s hoping Davis is around to see that.