Originally written on Full Spectrum Baseball  |  Last updated 7/6/12

The final vote frenzy to select the 34th man for each All-Star team was rife with sketchy alliances, bad slogans, and no small amount of angst.  Lost amongst the barrage of hashtags, team emails, and unofficial campaign managers was perhaps the biggest All-Star snub in recent history.  Michael Bourn quietly went about the business of playing baseball, and that is a darn shame.  The relatively amount of fanfare dedicated to Bourn was actually a little underwhelming.  Maybe the talking heads spewing forth their opinions about how unreliable defensive metrics appear to be had an impact on Bourn.  Maybe not.  Regardless, the point that one of the premier leadoff hitters and defensive outfielders in the game failed to make the All-Star team in any form deserves some scrutiny.

Just his slash line of .307/.360/.452/.812 merits him some consideration, but the 57 runs scored, 106 hits, 7 HR, 32 RBI, and 23 stolen bases should garner enough support to get him to KC in a National League All-Star jersey by itself.  If not, then the NL leading 24.0 UZR/150 should put him over the top.  Since this game counts, shouldn’t at least someone be interested in putting one of the most complete players in the league on the team?  Jay Bruce?  Really.  He doesn’t even make the top 25 in the NL among outfielders with his -7.1 UZR/150.  For perspective, that puts him behind the likes of Matt Holliday, Jason Kubel, and Drew Stubbs.

At anything close to his current pace, Bourn has a career year already in his sights.  The fact that his accomplishments will likely not be punctuated with an All-Star selection boggles the mind just a bit.  Let me tell you just how many NL players have produced more WAR this season than Bourn.

4

That’s David Wright, Joey Votto, Carlos Ruiz, and Andrew McCutchen.  34 players on the team, and they could not find room for Michael Bourn.  Did the support Chipper Jones received hurt Bourn’s chances?  Probably.  You can only spend so much time firing off one text vote after another before the battery in your phone demands attention.  Still, it seems like a complete breakdown of the whole system, and Bourn slipped through every crack possible.  The fans and the impressive moral ineptitude of the Giants as an organization screwed the pooch on the vote.  The electorate comprised of baseball’s players and coaches fumbled the ball away into the stands, and Tony La Russa just grabbed names out of a hat that apparently didn’t include the names Cueto, Phillips, or Bourn.  While I completely understand the first 2 missing out, I don’t get the omission of Michael Bourn.

La Russa had to know that Bourn had an ice cube’s chance on a Kansas City sidewalk of getting voted in at the last minute.  He had to know that the sympathy vote would put Chipper ahead of Bourn, and he had to know that Cardinal Nation would endure repetitive stress injuries to get Freese a metric ton of votes.  Can we get a “Commissioner’s Selection” in the 11th hour or something?  Rock, paper, scissors best 2 of 3 to replace Sandoval with someone who has played in more than 50 games.?  Among the land of the ridiculous, Bud Selig reigns supreme.  No greater indictment of his ego-addled brain exists than the current All-Star game selection system, unless you want to consider that an exhibition game counts for something.

Then again, it’s not a break.  It’s work.  Or so Hunter Pence would tell us.

Please, just someone tell me that the next time Bourn deserves a shot that the Braves will come out swinging with a “Bourn on the Fourth of July” slogan.  If not, then the #Barves hashtag should trend on Twitter from here to eternity.

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