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MLB All-Star Game: Is the One-Player-Per-Team Rule Outdated?


It’s finally July. This marks the midpoint of the baseball season and with that the All-Star Game.

There’s been endless talk of who got snubbed and as always, the debate of how voting should work is in the air. Along with it comes the debate over the rule of mandating at least one All-Star rep for each team.

Some say it’s tradition that every team is represented. Others say it needs to go.

I’m going to have to agree with the later. It just doesn’t seem right. The roster spots should go to the players most deserving of it, regardless of what team they play for.

Some years teams just don’t have a player worthy of All-Star status and the managers shouldn’t be forced to pick one for the sake of having a player from each team, especially when they’re trying to gain World Series home advantage.

2003 was the first year that the All-Star Game really began to mean something.  In order to provide additional incentive to win, MLB made an agreement with the players union to give home-field advantage for the World Series to the league champion that won the All-Star Game. Prior to that, home-field advantage in the World Series alternated between the two leagues each year. This provides an even greater argument for the need to have the best players of the league on the field in the All-Star Game.

Although it can’t be proven, home-field advantage could be the difference between winning the World Series and being the first loser in the MLB. Yes, it’s not the only factor, but in the last couple years the American League has won all the All-Star Games as well as the majority of the World Series.

If one team has several players worthy of representing their league in the All-Star game they should be the ones to represent the league. It would be nice to include a player from every team, but there shouldn’t be a hard-line rule set in place to see that it happens. 

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Philadelphia Phillies Add Utley and Polanco to the DL

After finally getting Jimmy Rollins back in the action and off the DL this past week, the Phillies took a hit, placing second baseman Chase Utley and third baseman Placido Polanco on the 15-day disabled list.

Utley’s out with a sprained thumb that occurred while sliding into second base in Monday night’s game against Cincinnati. He unsuccessfully tried to stretch a leadoff single into a double, staying in the game until the ninth. 

An MRI wasn’t conclusive about how bad the sprain is, so Utley is headed back to Philadelphia to get more tests done.  

Polanco may require off-season surgery for his ailing left elbow. He received a cortisone injection on Monday for his inflamed elbow that was provoked while diving last Friday. He’ll be a hard loss for the Phillies right now. Polanco leads the National League third basemen in fielding percentage and is third in the NL with a .318 batting average.

Polanco was hit by a pitch in April and has a bone spur in his left elbow that has bothered him ever since.  Despite two injections to help the healing it still seems to be  a bother and some rest will hopefully do the trick to get him well. 

Utley and Polanco were both candidates for starting spots in the All-Star Game in Anaheim, but those hopes are faded. Meanwhile, the Phils have to find players to fill their spots for the time being. It’s still up in the air how long they’ll be out.

So how are the Phils going to look without them?

With seven players now on the DL, if Utley and Polanco are out for longer than two weeks, Philadelphia might be looking to trade. 

The Phillies lost a huge part of their lineup with these two infielders, but this gives other players a chance to step up and make their mark.  

To replace them short-term, the Phils called up infielder Brian Bocock and utility player Greg Dobbs from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.  

Dobbs was outrighted to Lehigh on June 23 where we was 2-for-17 with one RBI. With the Phils, he’ll play some games at third base. With Lehigh Valley, Bocock was hitting .179 with 12 RBIs and one homerun in 65 games.

Let’s hope Utley and Polanco hurry back.    

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What’s Wrong With Chase Utley?

Where did the best second baseman in baseball go?

Chase Utley’s batting average continues to go down the tube. Starting at well over .300, it’s been a slow dissent to the .200’s. It doesn’t take much to notice he’s struggling.

In his last 10 games Utley’s only managed to squeak out a .206 average at his 34 appearances at the plate. Combine his four runs and seven hits with his four strikeouts and 0 stolen bases and it doesn’t add up to much.

Not only has he been having trouble behind the plate, but his field game is starting to be affected. In the June 15 game against the Yankees Utley cost the Phillies a double play, but didn’t pick up an error because they still managed an out. 

So what’s the deal? Why isn’t he performing? And if he’s not performing, why’s he still in there?

Some are leaning to the excuse that Utley may be hurt again. After the previous problems with his hip, it would be no surprise for Utley to keep his mouth shut and play through the pain. If he really is hurt, he needs to speak up and do what’s best for the Phils.

If he’s hurt, he needs to get out of there and get healthy, so he can contribute to the team and do what he does best. Lately, he just hasn’t been helping the Phils out. Utley’s been ending innings and grounding into double plays way too often at a time the Phils are desperate to put some points on the board.

On the other hand, it might just be a slump. Every player has them.

Either way, he needs to get healthy or get out of his slump. Fast.

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