Fans can’t change pitchers, send in a pinch-runner, or even request that the MLB offices in New York review a close play at the plate. What can fans do? Vote for the All-Star team. And this year, they’ve made it interesting.
Omar Infante of Puerto la Cruz is a fine second baseman–in a career that began in 2002, he has a lifetime .274 average and has been a solid, sometimes All-Star, infielder in both leagues. This year, Omar is struggling a bit at .237, and even his home town fans in Kansas City (not Puerto la Cruz) have lobbed Royals manager Ned Yost to bench Omar.
I suppose those aren’t the same fans who have voted for Omar more than THREE MILLION times to start at second base in the All-Star Game in Cincinnati next week.
Perhaps a more deserving candidate is last year’s ASG starter, and AL batting champion, Jose Altuve of the AL West’s first-place Astros. Jose started out slowly but has raised his BA up to .292, with 6 home runs and 21 stolen bases. Just Sunday night he made a wonderful running catch in short right-field to rob Alex Rodriguez of a base hit.
Infante and Altuve face off for the next three nights as first-place Houston takes on first-place Kansas City. May the best Venezuelan second baseman win.
Our recent prediction of a nearly-complete Venezuelan infield will likely be realized, thanks to Royals fans. Voting ends Sunday (log in now!) and Miguel Cabrera of Maracay leads at first base; Altuve and Infante are separated by 300,000 votes at second; Alcides Escobar of La Sabana leads at short, and Salvador Perez of Valencia will be the starting catcher.
It’s not out of the question that Felix Hernandez, leading the AL with 10 victories, could be selected to start, which would be a momentous occasion for Venezuelans in the big leagues–five of the six infield positions filled by criollo ballplayers.
The All-Star Game is a whimsical idea which was designed for the fans’ enjoyment. Maybe they should just have players and managers vote for an “All-Pro” team as footballers do, and have the game after the season is over–or have no game at all. One announcer proposed an “election night” format, with earlier rounds eliminating some candidates. But for 2015, while it’s still in your hands, get online and vote for who you want to–you know the votes are coming in strong and fast from the Midwest.
A bit of Venezuelan infield magic to wrap up tonight: watch Roughned Odor and Elvis Andrus of the mighty Texas Rangers turn two against Baltimore.