Anybody watch the Home Run Derby last night? I didn't, but it sounds like Yoenis Cespedes killed it again. I was rooting for one of the A's (him or Josh Donaldson) to win, so I guess I can't complain. The A's are a great franchise and have a few former Friars on them right now (Kyle Blanks and Luke Gregerson), so I'll be pulling for them come playoff time.
But, onto the All-Star Game! I was pretty disappointed when Tyson Ross was chosen to be the Padres representative for the All Star Game in Minnesota. For one, he's not even the best pitcher on the team (don't get me wrong though, that's because the Padres have one of the best pitching staffs in the majors - look it up), and secondly, because of the way the rotation was shaping up, he was going to pitch on Sunday, an therefore be ineligible to pitch in the game.
I can see why he was chosen, as he has posted a 2.85 ERA and has 126 strikeouts in 129 innings. He has a slider that is straight up nasty, but has gotten very poor run support from the hopeless Padre offense, leading to his 7-10 record. This is also the only card that I have of Tyson Ross as a Padre.
Still, it's been three years since a Padre actually played in an All-Star game, as Everth Cabrera didn't make it in last year, and Huston Street rode the pine the year before. Heath Bell (2011) and Adrian Gonzalez (2010) were the last to Padres to take the field at the ASG, so I'd like to change it up a bit.
Fortunately, National League All Star manager Mike Matheny chose another Padre to take his place.
In my opinion, Street should've been the first choice anyways. While he doesn't have the dominant fastball that Aroldis Chapman has or the eye-popping strikeout numbers that Craig Kimbrel has, he is still one of the best closers in the game, saving 24 of 25 games and posting a 1.09 ERA. He still has over a strikeout per inning (34 K's in 33 innings) and hitters have a .158 average off him.
One of these days, the Padres will have more than just pitchers to represent them a the All-Star game, but until then, I'll hope that they get a chance to face the best hitters in the AL, and continue the history of ace closers in San Diego (e.g. Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Mark Davis, Trevor Hoffman, Heath Bell).
I'll end with a question. Who are you rooting for in the All-Star Game? The Padres are an NL team, so I usually root for them, but in terms of teams that I "hate", almost all of them are in the NL! If I root for "my team", I'm also rooting for Yasiel Puig, Buster Posey, Zack Grienke, and Carlos Gomez. That feels weird to do. But if I root for the AL, then I'll have to listen to people say how the AL is the superior league, and while it may be true, it's not something I want to hear, since I root for an NL team.
Maybe that's more than regular people ever think about it, but those are my thoughts.