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Don't Blame Infante For Being an All Star


Dharma Initiative
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It was shocking when it was announced Sunday that Braves utility man Omar Infante, who was tied for 167th in the National League in OPS, had made the All-Star team ahead of, among others, Joey Votto, who was leading the NL in OPS. Even Infante thought it was a joke. How can you make the All-Star team without starting for your team?

To place all the blame on Infante is preposterous. To ridicule him is unfair. He has done nothing wrong. He is who he is: a 28-year-old utility guy, "a good player,'' said Braves manager Bobby Cox. Infante is hitting .305 this season. He has played second base, third, shortstop, left field and right field. In the post-steroids era in which teams are looking for new ways to score runs, and defend better, every team has someone like Infante, but most teams don't have anyone who does what he does as well as he does: play the middle infield and the corner outfield whenever called upon, and get a hit coming off the bench in a key spot.

If there is blame to be assigned, blame Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who will manage the NL All-Stars. But Manuel's motives were pure and understandable: He needed a backup shortstop, and now that the All-Star Game counts, and now that there's a re-entry rule, Infante is the perfect guy to keep available until the late innings in case a defensive replacement is required in the infield or the outfield, or a pinch runner is needed. If there's blame to be assigned, blame Major League Baseball. It could have determined that each team must select a utility player in case a team ran out of players, as happened in the 2002 All-Star Game in Milwaukee when the game was called a tie after 11 innings.

Infante is going to the All-Star Game. He shouldn't have to apologize for that. This is his eighth major league season for Detroit and Atlanta, he has a career .267 average and a reputation for doing whatever it takes for his team to win. He will now have one more All-Star appearance than Kirk Gibson, but Gibson has one more MVP, and Infante will join Omar Vizquel as the only players named Omar ever to make an All-Star Game. Let him enjoy it.

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They really need to reduce the rosters back to 25, do away with the "every team must be represented rule", and get rid of the World Series tie-in.

Why? Besides the roster size, I actually find those other things to be a positive on the game.

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Why? Besides the roster size, I actually find those other things to be a positive on the game.

1. Reduce roster size to make the game more elite.

2. Forcing undeserving players on the team in place of deserving players is, if anything, unamerican.

3. It's an exhibition game, with fan voting. WS home field advantage is an important thing to play for, and it should be played for in games that actually matter.

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Why? Besides the roster size, I actually find those other things to be a positive on the game.

One of the ESPN writers said it best:

(paraphrased) "Do you really want a base hit by a pittsburgh pirate in the 8th inning in anaheim in july to be the reason your team doesn't get homefield advantage in the world series"

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Who is blaming Infante? I haven't heard one single person, fan or analyst or otherwise, blame the player himself... Everyone knows it's not his fault...

Fact is though, he shouldn't be there; he's simply just not an All-Star quality player... I don't care that they were told to pick a utility player or whatever; when it comes down to it, he's not one of the top players in the game, period...

But it's not his fault he's there, and I don't think you'll find anyone who will place the blame on him... Like you guys have said, there do need to be changes made to the format, but there will be arguments every year around this time no matter what occurs...

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Who is blaming Infante? I haven't heard one single person, fan or analyst or otherwise, blame the player himself... Everyone knows it's not his fault...

Fact is though, he shouldn't be there; he's simply just not an All-Star quality player... I don't care that they were told to pick a utility player or whatever; when it comes down to it, he's not one of the top players in the game, period...

But it's not his fault he's there, and I don't think you'll find anyone who will place the blame on him... Like you guys have said, there do need to be changes made to the format, but there will be arguments every year around this time no matter what occurs...

On this very page: Topic titled "Infantie could be the worst all star pick ever"

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1. Reduce roster size to make the game more elite.

2. Forcing undeserving players on the team in place of deserving players is, if anything, unamerican.

3. It's an exhibition game, with fan voting. WS home field advantage is an important thing to play for, and it should be played for in games that actually matter.

+ 1.....100% c/s on this^^^

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you cant reduce the rosters, they are continuously expanding them because you dont want your allstar pitcher, i.e. highest paid player on the team... to attempt to go 9 innings shutting down the best hitters in the majors and overextending himself in what amounts to an exhibition game. Let all the pitchers pitch 1 inning, 2 at most, let all the players aim for the fences and dont take the game too seriously.

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you cant reduce the rosters, they are continuously expanding them because you dont want your allstar pitcher, i.e. highest paid player on the team... to attempt to go 9 innings shutting down the best hitters in the majors and overextending himself in what amounts to an exhibition game. Let all the pitchers pitch 1 inning, 2 at most, let all the players aim for the fences and dont take the game too seriously.

Sure you can. A 25-man roster would still have room for 11 pitchers. Everyone gets an inning or two and you still have room left over for extra innings. If the game is tied after 14 innings, it's a tie game. You make that a rule ahead of time, there won't be the drama like there was a few years ago.

As you say, it's an exhibition game. A game for the creme de la creme of baseball to have fun and showcase the best talent.

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