The Dodgers are sending four — for now — players to Miami for this year’s All-Star Game. It was announced on Sunday that Cody Bellinger, Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen and Corey Seager will all represent the Dodgers.
Yes, Justin Turner and Alex Wood were snubs. No, I don’t really care about it. If you do, that’s fine. Also, Turner is on the Final Vote, with his main competition being Kris Bryant. So, odds are he isn’t going to Miami unless he’s an injury replacement. And that’s fine.
Wood, on the other hand, might end up replacing Kershaw, who is scheduled to start on Sunday, which would make him unavailable for the game. Wood pitches on Wednesday in his final start of the first half, which means he’d be available to throw an inning a week from Tuesday. The only other National League starting pitcher who would have a legitimate claim to Kershaw’s spot is Jimmy Nelson, but he’s also slated to start on Sunday. So, see you in Miami, Alex.
Jansen was mad offline because Seager and Turner aren’t starting in the game, and he didn’t mince words when it came to finding blame.
Kenley Jansen on Seager and Turner not getting voted to start: "I'll say it loud and clear again. It's the Dodger fans' fault."
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) July 3, 2017
Damn, Ken. He’s not wrong, but the outcry over the TV blackout being the cause of this is utterly absurd (and it was started by a certain very bad columnist for the local newspaper last week). Yes, the fact the team isn’t on TV for the entire region is bad. It’s Year 4 of this, and it doesn’t look like there’s an end in sight, but that isn’t the reason Seager and Turner aren’t starting.
This isn’t going to be a big, in-depth look at how Dodger fans — not just in Southern California — have not voted well for their players for the All-Star team. Instead, this is more of a “get over it” look at it.
There have been many times Dodger players have deserved to start in the All-Star Game. There have been many times those Dodger players haven’t started because, ultimately, All-Star voting is a popularity contest. It’s why teams with rabid fan bases usually see their team’s stars start — Boston, Chicago, Kansas City (in recent years), New York and even San Francisco.
Guess what? It doesn’t matter. Sure, it matters to the players — and I understand their frustration — but in the scope of the 2017 season, it means nothing. Especially since the result of the game doesn’t matter anymore (and it never really did).
So, Jansen is well within his right to criticize the fan base, but there hasn’t been in-person voting since 2014. Almost everyone has a phone, access to social media and other forms of advertising for All-Star voting. To blame it on the fact the Dodgers aren’t on TV locally for 70 percent of the fan base is lazy and misguided.
Also, Turner isn’t starting because of lack of fan voting. But he also isn’t (as of now) going to Miami because the players voted Jake Lamb over Turner. Lamb is a good, young player, but he’s not better than Turner. The only thing he does better than Turner at present is hit for power and drive in runners. But, Turner did miss three weeks and the third base position in the NL is stacked, so his snub is at least somewhat justified.
There, that’s about as much emotion as I can muster on the topic. The fact Turner didn’t get recognized is kind of a bummer, especially since he’s one of baseball’s best third basemen. But we’re a long way from players and fans looking at advanced metrics to determine a player’s value and choosing whether to vote for a certain guy in All-Star voting.
Wood’s probably going to make it. Someone could tweak an ankle or hamstring this week and Turner could make it (if he doesn’t win the Final Vote, which, lol). But in the long run, it isn’t that big a deal for the Dodgers and their season. It’d be a nice bit of personal recognition for Turner, but also getting him a little extra rest might be more beneficial.