You’re on a Seattle Mariners blog, so it feels pretty obvious, but let me state for the record: This is, without apology, a Mariners-biased piece. And disgruntlement over the snubs of some does not in any way mitigate the sheer joy in the success of others.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way...
Ty France should be an All-Star in 2022.
J.P. Crawford should have been an All-Star in 2021.
“I don’t know,” France told MLB.com’s Daniel Kramer. “I still have not really processed it. But it is what it is. There are a lot of really good players out there, and not to take anything away from any of them, but I definitely thought I played my way in.”
Crawford echoed a similar disappointment last season. “I was hurt. I still am. I thought I had a shot to definitely be there. It’s a shame. I really wanted to represent Seattle.
All-Star honors are awarded for a number of different reasons, baseball skills being but a small point of favor. Voting processes are nearly as fluid and inexplicable as the college bowl system, so for context and clarity the three methods through which a player can become an All-Star are laid out below.
- Fan vote - How the starters are chosen. This year there was a general voting period, and then the top two vote-getters at each position faced off for a final round of fan voting. France was top-two at first base, but lost out to Vlad Guerrero Jr. Nine per team, natch.
- Player vote - Player ballot selections make up 17 of the remaining open slots per team. These appointments essentially serve as back-ups to the starters. Ex. Julio Rodríguez. This is also where France lost out to Luis Arráez.
- Commissioner’s choice - The final six spots on each team are filled by selections from the Commissioner’s Office. This is the point when an intern acquires 26 tortoises, affixes each with a post-it note containing the name of a current Cincinnati Red and lets them loose in Rob Manfred’s office. The first one he finds is named their All-Star.
- Special Selections - New this year, courtesy of the CBA, are two additional All-Star allocations - one per team and chosen by Manfred. Albert Pujols is the National League representative under this method of appointment, and I think that tells you everything you needed to know about it.
Riddled with more flaws than a Reliant Robin, All-Star Game selections are nonetheless meaningful to players and their legacies. Players in Seattle already tend to be overlooked given east coast bias and historic franchise futility, so the snubs of exceptionally deserving guys strikes a particular nerve. Last year, the party line for Crawford’s snub was that there were simply too many other exceptional players at his position. Which was true, certainly, but true and fair are not equals. J.P. was the true star of that 2021 team.
This year, the best that can be said for France’s snub is that it has sparked national outrage. And for good reason:
The lack of France in this year’s All-Star game is foolish and frustrating, but unfortunately not entirely unexpected. All we can do now, as Mariners fans, is make sure at each home game that France knows how thoroughly this city appreciates him - official All-Star selection or not.