The NL's, and even arguably the leagues, best offensive team was embarrassed by the Giants' pitching staff. The Cards are even arguably the league's best defensive team (I still believe that is a long shot), yet they committed some costly errors when playing against the Giants, three in the last game. The Giants have the second fewest errors in the league and are known for their solid defense. So, why... WHY do the Cardinals have five players going to the All-Star game and the Giants only two, maybe three?
Alright, not that it matters, but it would be nice to be having a bigger representation. The Giants were jipped from Gold Gloves last year (again won by the Cards) where they probably had one of the best defensive teams. I'm not taking anything away from the Cardinals, they ARE a good team, offensively and defensively, but how can a team that's barely nicked above a .500 beat out a team that's over .600, especially since this great offensive team was shut down by the "not so great" offensive team?
The answer: fans like the long ball. The Cardinals can whack and smack the heck out of baseballs. They've got power, which leads to the excitement of the fans and players when these power hitters stand at the plate. When voting for the All-Star Game, fans want to have players there who can give them that adrenaline, who can make them jump to their feet and cheer out loud with the rest of the fans because someone hit a ball over the fence.
The Giants just aren't that kind of ball club. They play fundamental baseball: getting base hits, stealing bases, bunting, great pitching, and playing smart defense. Outside of Bonds (who is the only non-pitcher Giant voted to go to the All-Star Game), the Giants are very much a base hitting team, scrapping a few runs here and there every inning. They're not a homerun team even though they do have a few other worthy names with power.
So the only question that remains now is this: Should the Giants be happy with where they're at, sending only two, maybe three, players to the mid season bonanza while the Cardinals, a team they shut down five out of six times, are sending five? HECK YES THEY SHOULD BE, and they very much are. What more can you ask for, with the talent combined with the rookies and veterans on a team that has one of the top offensive games, and, yes I dare say it, the best defensive game.
The bullpen's doing well, the players are coming out of slumps, and the Giants are sitting comfortably atop the NL West. Smile, guys, you're all All-Stars to us!
Sara Kwan was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. She currently writes game recaps, other articles, and is the Giant Prophet for SFDugout.com. Any comments or questions about the article, baseball, or the meaning of life can be sent to Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org
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