Those in sports media love to jump all over decisions and events immediately in their aftermath and dissect them ad nauseum. They’ll second guess a coach’s decision to go for it on 4th and 1 or debate whether a rumored trade will work before it’s even completed. It’s a biological imperative and it was never more clear in regards the San Francisco Giants representatives on the National League All Star team.
In the final weeks before fan voting closed down, Melky Cabrera was duking it out with Ryan Braun for the 3rd starting OF spot and people were grumbling that Braun deserved it due to his better season. When Posey pulled away from Yadier Molina for the NL catcher spot in the final week, there were even more grumblings. Those don’t even compare to the response when the starters were announced and Pablo Sandoval ended up winning the vote for third base. Fans and writers, Mets ones in particular, went ballistic when Sandoval got the nod. They started frothing at the mouth talking about how horrendous it was, that it was a disgrace to the All Star Game, how fan voting needs to be eliminated and how unfair it was that Giants fans stuffed the ballot box. Not to mention the deluge of articles hammering these points home. Was Wright having the better season? Absolutely. Did he deserve to start over Sandoval? Not at all, and that’s coming from a Giants fan, but that’s just how the process works.
As if Sandoval over Wright wasn’t bad enough, RA Dickey was passed over as the NL starting pitcher for Matt Cain. This sent the New York media into convulsions and introduced another set of articles from all over detailing why Dickey was more deserving. There were also some Tony La Russa conspiracy theories.
Maybe they all should have waited until the All Star Game was finished, eh? The 4 Giants starters were the deciding factor in leading the NL to an 8-0 shutout. Cain threw two shutout innings to start the game and outduel the great Justin Verlander. He got some help from his Giants teammates. A Sandoval three run triple that scored Buster Posey led a 5 run first inning against Verlander, while Cabrera’s 2 run home run in the 4th helped get him game MVP honors.
The Giants All Star starters who were so grilled in the national press for ‘undeservedly’ getting voted in, silenced those critic in a major way. One would hope this would instill a bit of patience in those writers who jumped to conclusions, but haters will always hate. The greatest irony will be that if the Mets somehow make it to the World Series, they’ll have those Sandoval, Cabrera, Posey and Cain to thank for it.