Monday, July 7, 2008

The Lone Star

Edinson Volquez, he of the 11-3 record, 2.36 ERA, and 116 strikeouts against 54 walks, will be the lone representative of the Cincinnati Reds in this year's mid-summer classic. I am happy for the young pitcher who was acquired in an off-season trade with the Texas Rangers for CF Josh Hamilton. I'd be even happier if the Reds could have pulled the trigger on that trade while retaining Hamilton, he of the .309 BA, 19 HR, and 84 RBI. As much as I've enjoyed Ken Griffey Junior being a Red, I wish it was he instead of Hamilton wearing a Rangers uniform. But I digress.

Volquez has certainly earned this All-Star appearance. Griffey just missed being voted to the NL starting line-up, and I'm glad that he missed the cut. Like I've said plenty of times before (
here, here, and here for example) I think that Griffey is one of the greatest players ever. Period. But he is not anymore, and to have him start the All-Star game would have been unjust; kind of like Kosuke Fukudome even being an All-Star, let alone a starter.

The only other Red who deserves to be an All-Star is Brandon Philips. Click
here to view Philips' hitting stats versus other NL 2B, and click here to compare the fielding stats. They don't track the most spectacular plays, but if they did Philips would lead all 2B in that category. Chase Utley and Dan Uggla have each hit a lot of homers this year, and their teams are doing better than the Reds. Each is deserving of an All-Star selection; just as deserving as Brandon Philips.

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