Last night, MLB announced the rosters for the 2016 All-Star Game. Not included: Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler. All Kinsler has done since coming to Detroit in the Prince Fielder trade is quietly build what some have called a Hall-of-Fame career.
The last time I wrote about Kinsler, I noticed that, after his rookie season (2006), he had made the All-Star Game in each even-year season and been left out each odd-year season. Basically, Kinsler is the San Francisco Giants of All-Star Games. While Kinsler’s omission from the AL’s initial ASG roster places that streak of sorts at risk, hope for its continuation remains in the form of the “Final Vote,” in which fans now may vote for one of five candidates in each league for the final roster spot on that league’s roster.
That means that anyone reading this, along with the many, many people who are not reading this, can make Kinsler an all star by voting online here or texting “A1” to 89269 on your variable-intelligence mobile telephone. It’s pretty easy, minimally invasive, and needs to be done, if at all, before 4:00 pm on Friday.
Continuing his even-year All-Star game appearances is an arguably neat reason to vote for Kinsler, but he also deserves to be there. Since the ship has sailed on his opportunity to make the roster in the first round of general voting, I’ll skip the argument that he’s better than the AL second basemen who beat him: Jose Altuve and Robinson Cano. Instead, Kinsler now deserves your vote because he’s been better than his Final Vote competition: Evan Longoria, Dustin Pedroia, Michael Saunders, and George Springer. Here’s a quick look at their 2016 statistical profiles:
Maybe Kinsler’s not definitively the best of this bunch, but he isn’t the worst, and hey, remember that cool streak thing? That’s a good reason to vote for him. And while Kinsler still may be named to the roster of one of the other players begs off with a case of ASGitis even if he doesn’t win this vote, it probably isn’t worth leaving the matter to chance (where “chance” is defined according to the whims of AL All-Star manager Ned Yost). Just ask Miguel Cabrera, Detroit’s only 2016 All Star at the moment, who knows that snubbing Kinsler would be “[vaca excremento]”:
Catching Fire: Night of a thousand feet of home runs – 6/21
Catching Fire: Pelf on the shelf – 6/16
Catching Fire: When is it okay to stop short? – 6/15
Catching Fire: Heading for the exit velocity – 5/17
Catching Fire: Boy, the starters need to carry that weight a longer time – 5/3
Catching Fire: Who’s Number Two? – 5/2
Window Shopping: Ian Kinsler’s Walking, Not Running
Statements both obvious and only slightly less obvious about the Detroit Tigers’ finances
Shift the shift: Victor Martinez and counter-strategies
Feel like they never tell you the story of the Gose?
Getting to know Jordan Zimmermann in context
Highlights from MLB Network’s visit to Detroit Tigers spring training
2016 Detroit Tigers Season Preview: They’re Not Dead Yet