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Saltzer's Shots: MLB and Bochy Got it Right on Puig

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By David Saltzer, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer

I know that we are an Angels fan site and that we aren’t toofond of that team up the freeway from us. And, topics concerning that teamaren’t treated to well around here. But, sometimes things happen in baseballthat are worthy of discussion, even if it concerns the Dodgers. For example,this season, I had to learn to say “Let’s go Dodgers” because my son played onthat team, and I was one of the coaches.

Yesterday, Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers’ rookie sensation, wasnot voted onto the All-Star team by the fans or selected by the NationalLeague’s manager Bruce Bochy. In discussing the teams around the stadium, twoschools of thought emerged. One, was typical and common amongst reporters and otherpeople around the ballpark which was that the All-Star Game is played for thefans, so the players picked for the team should be those players that the fanswant to see the most. There have been players picked in the past whose numbersweren’t All-Star caliber because they were popular players. With a.407/.435/.683 line, there’s no doubt that Puig’s numbers are All-Star worthy.And, since he has only been in the Major Leagues for a short time, not as manyfans have had the opportunity to vote for him who might have, had the Dodgerspromoted him earlier. More importantly, recent voting trends seemed to show anincreasing demand for his presence on the team.

However, several former players Around the ballpark, had avery different perspective on leaving Puig off of the team. They pointed outthat Puig has only been playing for about a month (123 ABs so far), and thatthere is a reason why the All-Star Game occurs past the mid-point of theseason. According to the former players, they believed that many players canhave a great month or so. For example, in 99 ABs an Angels’ player posted thisline .364/.400/.778, but we’d all agree that Juan Rivera didn’t deserve to beon an All-Star team (in spite of having an incredible July, 2006). But, inorder to be on the All-Star team, players should be putting up solid numbersfor the whole season to date, not just a short portion of it. After all, Angelsfans would say that Tim Salmon was an All-Star many times in his career, but,because of his propensity for slow starts, he never was selected once to playin the All-Star Game.

Torn between these opposing viewpoints, what should MajorLeague baseball do?

In this case, I believe MLB and Bochy got it right. Bochypicked Puig to be one of the last players to be selected by the fans in anonline vote. If the fans really want him, he can be voted onto the team bygoing online and voting here. If enough fans vote him on, he will get his shot.If not, he won’t. Ultimately the game is for the fans, and all of the playersleft for the Final Ballot are deserving and will help the N. L. squad duringthe game. This decision walks the tightrope between those two opposingviewpoints, and leaves the decision ultimately up to the fans.

Now, it’s up to you Angels fans. Sound off. What do you say?Did MLB and Bochy get it right? Should Puig have been put on directly by Bochy?It’s your turn to sound off.

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Done perfectly by Bochy.  He/people felt that one month isn't enough time to warrant being an all star, but his hot start couldn't be ignored.  The game is an exhibition for the fans (not a game to determine home field advantage), so let them decide

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