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Bruce Bochy Really Wanted Sergio Romo on the NL All-Star Team

Bruce Bochy used a blatant bias when he picked the NL All-Star team. It’s something managers do and we understood it. What wasn’t cool was giving all his starters the night off while burning everyone else’s pitchers, but that’s a separate point. What is of concern is the disgusting depths of his homerism.

While pitchers like Tommy Hanson, Jordan Zimmerman, Daniel Hudson, and John Axford were left off the team AND fan vote, Bochy was busy considering adding his reliever Sergio Romo to the squad. Check out his little crib sheet that shows the players he considered for the fan vote (as shown during Showtime’s premiere of The Franchise):

Bruce Bochy for you, ladies and gentlemen. Bochy made no secret that he was going to reward his players, but I had no idea he would take it that far. He had meetings with Romo and Javier Lopez to let them know he tried to get them on the team but couldn’t make it work. Now we really know that’s a fact.

When we did our list of NL All-Star team snubs, Romo was not mentioned. About 20 other pitchers were on the list, but not Romo. This is the NL All-Star team, Bochy, not the All MLB Facial Hair Team. Get real.

Why Didn’t Bruce Bochy Use Any of the Giants’ Starting Pitchers in All-Star Game?

You know how we roll at LBS. When we seem some b.s., we call b.s. And Giants manager Bruce Bochy naming three of his starting pitchers to the NL All-Star team was a total homer move. It’s not the first time a manager has picked his own players to join the All-Star team when other players were more deserving, but it was a pretty blatant abuse of powers. Even though two of the Giants were on our list of NL players who should have been left off the roster, we lived with Bochy’s decisions. But the crap he pulled managing the NL squad was inexcusable.

In case you missed it, Bochy did not use any of his starting pitchers during the game. That’s right, he put 60% of his starting rotation on the squad and didn’t use of one of them. Naturally you’re asking if his pitchers had proper rest to be able to pitch. Here’s the breakdown:

    - Matt Cain pitched Sunday, so he was ineligible
    Tim Lincecum pitched Saturday, he could have gone an inning
    Ryan Vogelsong pitched Friday, he should have been able to pitch an inning

For comparison, let’s look at the starters of other NL teams he decided to use instead:

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Justin Timberlake Tells Us He Loves Beer in All-Star Game Interview (Video)

We aren’t at liberty to say whether or not Justin Timberlake was drunk at the 2011 MLB All-Star Game, but we can tell you with confidence that he had fun screwing with the FOX crew.  J.T. agreed to do an interview by the outfield pool at the All-Star Game and for those of you who like awkwardness he put on a show.  For starters, Justin completely patronized Joe Buck, who already had a major flub in the announcers’ booth earlier in the telecast.  When he was through with that, the pop star went on to tell Mark Grace — who was recently arrested for DUI — that his favorite ballpark snack is beer.  Check out the Justin Timberlake All-Star game interview video:

It doesn’t really matter if J.T. was drunk or just felt like being a comedian, because he covered all bases with that short interview.  Considering he’s usually emotionless and we have reason to believe he no longer enjoys baseball, no one in their right mind would actually think Buck is the laughing or crying type.  Thus marks the end of Justin Timberlake’s MLB All-Star game interview career.  It was fun while it lasted.

Derek Jeter Skipping All-Star Game Because of Exhaustion: Right or Wrong?

For those of you who have not heard, Derek Jeter is passing on the All-Star Game.  The 37-year-old likely Hall of Famer was voted in as the starting shortstop by the fans because of popularity, not performance.  According to FoxSports.com, Jeter has chosen to skip the Midsummer Classic due to “emotional and physical exhaustion from his pursuit of 3,000 hits.”  Our question for you is simply this: Is there anything wrong with Jeter’s decision?

On the one hand, we don’t think Jeter’s absence is a big deal because, frankly, he doesn’t deserve to be there anyway.  If you are a believer in on-field performance having the most weight on an All-Star selection, you probably don’t think Jeter belongs in Arizona.  In that sense, it’s nice that a player who is more deserving will get a shot to play.

On the other hand, Jeter only made the All-Star roster because of the fans, so you could certainly argue he owes it to them to make an appearance.  What if Derek’s first half performance in 2012 is even worse than his 2011 start and the fans decide to leave him off the ballot?  Skipping the final All-Star Game of his career because of “exhaustion” would not be a picturesque way of going out.

Regardless of which side of the argument you find yourself on, Jeter’s excuse proves even further that he is aging quickly — despite what the Yankees may believe.  Approaching and eclipsing the 3,000 career hit mark (get your DJ 3-K gear here!) was undoubtedly a taxing experience, but anyone who uses being tired as an excuse to stay home in the middle of the season obviously has some miles on their body.

Let us know what you think, LBS readers.  Derek Jeter’s decision: well-deserved or messed up?

2011 MLB All-Star Game Snubs: American League

Compared to the National League All-Star team, the fans did a poor job voting on the American League team. Most of the reasonable complaints regarding snubs are from the AL team. We already gave you the All-Star Game snubs from the National League.

Here are the American League All-Star team snubs:

Jhonny Peralta over Derek Jeter at SS

This is a no-brainer. The fans vomited on themselves with this one, probably because a) Jeter is so popular and b) most of them don’t know who Peralta is. Asdrubal Cabrera made the team as the backup shortstop and he should be starting. Peralta should be the backup.

Paul Konerko over Michael Young as 1B/INF

Paul Konerko being left off the team is the biggest snub of MLB. He has a .954 OPS which is fourth-best in the entire AL. It’s a joke that he’s not on the team and it’s criminal that Ron Washington stuck him in the fan vote. Instead of carrying three catchers, Washington should have put Konerko on the team over either Martin or Wieters. At the least, he should be there over Young who is good but can’t mash the way Konerko can.

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MLB All-Star Game Snubs: National League

The fans really nailed the NL starters for the All-Star Game. I only had one complaint with the fan vote, so they must be commended for getting it right. All my other complaints are really nit-picking because the NL All-Star team was well selected. Manager Bruce Bochy was too much of a homer and included a few too many Giants pitchers, so that’s the only other issue I really have. Here are the NL All-Star team snubs (written as the player who should have made it over the one who did):

Aramis Ramirez over Placido Polanco, Chipper Jones at 3B

Fans got all the starters right except for Placido Polanco at third base. There was no real standout at the position this year but Ramirez is having the best year of all NL third basemen. He should have been the starter over Polanco and the backup over Chipper Jones. It should have gone Aramis and then either Chipper or Chase Headley as the backup.

Andrew McCutchen over Jay Bruce in OF

McCutchen misses out on his second straight All-Star game in favor of a Pirates reliever. He deserved to go last year over Evan Meek and deserves to go this year. Bruce had a major power surge in May that captured everyone’s attention but h’s cooled off since then. McCutchen, with his 12 home runs and 15 stolen bases, has been the better overall player.

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Justin Upton Wants to Participate in the Home Run Derby

This year’s MLB All-Star Game will be played at Chase Field in Arizona, home of the Diamondbacks. While the captains for the Home Run Derby teams have already been selected (whatever the heck that means), the rest of the rosters have yet to be determined. So who will join Prince Fielder and David Ortiz in the Derby in two weeks? Home town favorite Justin Upton would love to be a part. The youngster who infrequently updates his twitter account posted this note Thursday evening:

With so many athletes who whine that the derby messes with their swing, it’s great to see an athlete who wants to participate to entertain the fans. And you know what? Upton would be the perfect addition.

Justin has hit the second-longest home run of the season, a 478-foot blast at home. He routinely hits some of the farthest home runs we’ve seen this year, right up there with Prince Fielder and Mark Trumbo. According to ESPN’s Hit Tracker, Upton has clubbed four of the longest 22 home runs of the season, far more than anyone else in that top group.

Though it’s a different sport, we saw what happened when a top youngster participated in the Slam Dunk Competition at NBA All-Star weekend and how exciting that was. Justin Upton could add a similar spice to the MLB game.