09 July 2013

Why Yasiel Puig should be in the All-Star Game

One of the big storylines surrounding this year's MLB All-Star Game was whether Cuban sensation Yasiel Puig, who has taken the league by storm since making his major league debut five weeks ago, would make the National League club. Of course, he was not on the ballot, so his only chance was going to be through the "Final Vote" in which the fans can vote in the final player on the two rosters for next Tuesday's game through this Thursday. Yes, Freddie Freeman may have the lead on Puig as of right now in the voting, but it is clear, as least to this guy, that not only should Puig play in the game next week, we need him there.

Now, I have viewpoints on our national pastime that align themselves with traditionalist thought, such as opposing such things like the designated hitter, interleague play, evening the leagues and the Wild Card, but this is an aspect on which I differ from said traditionalists on whether somebody like Puig deserves to be in the game. Yes, he has only been in the majors for a month, but let's not act like it's been a week and a half. He has been up for a third of the 2013 season and there is a legitimate point to be made that he has been the best player in baseball during that time. If a guy has been a top player in the game for such a period of time, how can you not have him playing in the All-Star Game?

And let's be frank, the excitement factor is important as to why Puig should be on the National League team on Tuesday night in Queens. The reason why television ratings for the All-Star Game have sagged (and that is relatively speaking considering the overall depression of network television ratings, as the Midsummer Classic is still the most-watched broadcast of the summer) is that there just is not any excitement with the game anymore. A big reason as to why is interleague play, which is now year-round, as the game used to be the only time guys in each league would play their counterparts in the other. And let's be frank, Bud Selig's silly idea to grant the winning league homefield advantage has neither drummed up greater interest nor excitement, it has turned the best all-star exhibition into something a little shit of a sideshow.

Therefore, one way to generate greater interest is including the guy that everybody is talking about, and that is Yasiel Puig. Having Puig in the game will generate far more excitement that any of the other guys on the final spot ballot. It is not seen every year a guy that jumps from Double-A who a year ago had defected from Cuba and dominates the league at the bat, on the basepaths and in the field. Puig is finding himself quickly becoming a household name and he would help draw casual viewers that the other guys would never be able to do so. So how can you possibly leave him out?

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