Sports Opinion & Analysis

Where’s The Love For Aaron Hill?

In MLB on July 4, 2012 at 12:58 am

Let me get this straight, Aaron Hill is the first player in 81 years (since Babe Herman) to hit two cycles in a single season, and he’s still not on the All-Star team?

“How you like me now, Toronto?”

Before we go any further, let’s be clear on something: the All-Star game isn’t an avenue where the best, most deserving players are only voted for. Otherwise, Freddy Sanchez, who hasn’t played a game all season, wouldn’t have received the fourth-most votes for all second basemen. The All-Star game, at its core, is a popularity contest. You get a bunch of friends together (or go to AT&T Park), and vote online for every player on your team a few hundred thousand times.

“My mommy says I’m the All-Star.”

And because of that, every now-and-then you get players who deserve  to represent the best-of-the-best in baseball, but are instead snubbed by fans who vote for players unwarranted of any consideration at all.

I could go into a whole spiel over how All-Star voting needs to change (as well as the winning league receiving home field advantage in the World Series…), and how methods need to be put in place so jokes like Sanchez and Pablo Sandoval starting over David Wright can be prevented from ever happening again, but that’s not what is important right now. That’s a consequence of the discussion, not the actual discussion itself.

Right now, what’s important is that Aaron Hill is still not on the All-Star team. And what’s even more important is how that needs to change.

“Hell, I don’t understand it, either.”

For the next few hours, if you log on to MLB.com, you can vote for which player you think deserves the final spot on the team.

Before last night, the chances for Hill (who is hitting .300, with 11 home runs and 38 RBI’s), were slim, as he was up against future Hall-of-Famer, Chipper Jones. The Atlanta legend has already said he will retire at the end of the season, causing most votes to be cast in an effort to send the 19-year-veteran on a final All-Star farewell. But then Jones was selected to replace the injured Matt Kemp, and the market for the final spot opened up for Hill.

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking, and I don’t like it either. The idea of playing into the hands of a bunch of fans who took advantage and abused the system doesn’t sit right with me either. I don’t know how a bunch of San Franciscans found so much time to vote so often when they have a $2,500-per-month rent to make for their apartment. On the other hand, I know you probably have jobs to work, and a family to support, and actual responsibilities to manage. You’re an adult.

But think about of this; for 81 years, no Major League Baseball player has ever hit two cycles in the same seasonThere have only been 294 cycles since 1884, which may sound like a lot, but there have only been 272 no-hitters, and we all know how rare those are. A cycle is a rare feat, and it was done by a player whose numbers warranted him a spot on the All-Star team anyway. Having him sit out would be an injustice to baseball.

But if you don’t want to vote, that’s fine too. No pressure. No one’s going to fault you. No one’s going blame you for anything. You’ll just single-handily be responsible for giving victory to a fan base that thinks it’s okay to stuff the ballot box for undeserving players, and dress like this to a ball game.

It would almost be better to have no fans than these guys.

And is there anything worse than that? You know, besides the first player in 81 years to hit two cycles in one year, not get a chance to play in the All-Star game?

I didn’t think so.

If you missed it before, click on Aaron Hill’s smiling face to vote for him for the last All-Star spot. Voting ends 1 PM PST on Thursday, so vote now.

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