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Around the Diamonds

National League Final Vote Candidates

There’s simply no pleasing baseball fans. The rosters for both the American and National League currently sit at 33 players, or eight more than an everyday MLB roster, but apparently that’s not enough for an exhibition game a week from today in Minnesota’s Target Field.

While fans, baseball writers and analysts will inevitably complain about players being snubbed, Major League Baseball and the infomercial that is the All Star Game have taken matters into their own hands and given the power back to the fans to right the wrong of these snubs through the Final Vote.

This isn’t like a real election where every person gets one and only one vote; fans are encouraged to keep voting for their favorite player as if the Final Vote process was American Idol on steroids. I’m sorry, although Commissioner Selig has worked tirelessly to remove PEDs from the conversation this is exactly what the #FinalVote is–a popularity contest akin to electing a pretty prom queen–only this prom queen has an abundance of facial hair, an entire city’s fan base behind them, and can crush a fastball.

Each of the N.L. candidates poses a very strong argument for inclusion in the All Star Game, here’s the list with their stats and some reasons for and against voting for them. Players are listed in alphabetical hours in order to not play favorites.

Casey McGehee (Marlins) .322 AVG, 1 HR, 53 RBI, 1 SB, .785 OPS

The Marlins masher is a great comeback story and I love his nickname (Hits McGehee) but does the National League really need another non-power hitting batter in a pitchers’ ballpark? Add in the fact that the Marlins have one of the least passionate and loyal fan bases and McGehee won’t be heading north anytime soon.

Justin Morneau (Rockies) .315 AVG, 59 RBI, 0 SB, .861 OPS

Another great comeback story, Morneau has provided veteran leadership and a strong bat for a young Colorado club that’s been decimated by injuries and poor pitching. Morneau played the majority of his career in a Twins uniform and would no doubt receive the greatest ovation of any player at the All Star Game. He would also be the third Rockies player selected to the game, which seems like at least one too many considering the club’s miserable record.

Anthony Rendon (Nationals) .284 AVG, 13 HR, 52 RBI, 8 SB, .832 OPS

Rendon has really held Washington together this season as Bryce Harper has struggled with injuries and immaturity issues. If selected, Rendon will be the fourth string (and fifth if we count Matt Carpenter) second baseman, which sounds like an almost certainty he won’t see the field.

Anthony Rizzo (Cubs) .274 AVG, 18 HR, 47 RBI, 2 SB, .873 OPS

The Cubs only solid run producer, the young Rizzo will make several All Star appearances over the course of his promising career, but do we really need another Cub?

Justin Upton (Braves) .275 AVG, 17 HR, 50 RBI, 7 SB, .855 OPS

With only three other outfield reserves (Giancarlo Stanton will be the DH) the National League squad could use the talent of Upton, however Justin better hope that voters and fans don’t think they’re selecting his underwhelming teammate and brother B.J. Upton otherwise he’ll be toast.

The All Star Game voting and managerial selection process (a middle reliever are you kidding me?) isn’t going to change anytime soon, so we might as well embrace it and vote early and often (voting ends on Thursday, July 10 at 4 pm ET) otherwise you’ll be giving the power to a rival team and their fans.

Vote right here and tell Today’s Knuckleball why you chose the player(s) that you did. Be Seen, Be Heard, Be a Fan!

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