As Paul Konerko pointed out in his pre-game interview on Sunday, selecting an All-Star team is no easy task. It’s easy to call Konerko’s absence from the initial All-Star roster a snub – because it is – but it’s also easy to understand why he was left off.
Adrian Gonzalez leads the American League with a .353 batting average and 74 RBIs. He has 16 home runs and 46 extra-base hits.
Miguel Cabrera is hitting .326 with 17 homers and 56 RBIs. His on-base percentage is .445 and his OPS is 1.018.
Konerko is at .317/21/62. His on-base percentage is at .387 and his OPS .954.
It’s really a coin-flip when it comes down to PK and Cabrera, but you can’t knock the result. At least Mark Teixeira (.243/25/65) was left off as well. If he made the team and Paulie didn’t, then he might really have an argument.
I will say this – what you can’t find on any stat sheet is the presence Konerko has on the field for the White Sox, or the fact that he’s carried the offensive load on his back AGAIN this year. Also, the Tigers had ample representation on the team with Alex Avila, Justin Verlander and Jose “Papa Grande” Valverde.
Konerko is among the five finalists for the A.L. Final Vote, which he absolutely should win.
Phil Humber, Sergio Santos and Alexei Ramirez were all left off the team, making way for the fifth-most (at best) deserving White Sox player to represent the team in Arizona, Carlos Quentin.
Quentin, who was voted in by the players, is hitting .253 with 17 homers and 49 RBIs this year. It’s not his best year, but also not his worst.
Suffice to say, CQ was truly surprised when notified of his selection, as was just about everyone around the White Sox lockerroom when the announcement came Sunday morning.
Quentin, though grateful for the honor, acknowledged who should really be representing the Sox and cited “mixed feelings” about being selected.
This likely came down to a logistics thing, needing another outfielder on the roster while trying not to crowd the infield. Trying to fit so many players into so few roster spots can be compared to the NCAA Tournament. Some people will be happy, others will be pissed and the rest will just be scratching their heads.
The team unveiled its “Paul Star” shirts as they launch a campaign to get Paulie selected. It’s no “Punch AJ,” but the Sox PR department only has so much to work with.
In terms of the Humber snub, you can only hope that as the big-name starters begin to drop out, his name will be called. It was a surprise to see CC Sabathia snubbed as well, so I would guess that Humber is the second or third pitcher in line to fill-in.