Joe Posnanski makes a great case for the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen to be in the 2011 MLB All-Star Game. Not that it would be hard to make a great case for McCutchen, since he blatantly deserves to be in the All-Star Game and it's truly perverse that he wasn't included, but Posnanski does it well. Perhaps his most salient poitn, alongside the other really good ones about, y'know, McCutchen being one of the best players in baseball so far this year and stuff:
McCutchen was one of the best young players in baseball before the year began, though I suspect few across the country knew it since he plays in Pittsburgh. Now, though, the Pirates are shocking everybody by actually winning games. They are a couple of games over .500, and as you know the Pirates have not finished above .500 since Charles and Diana separated. They are in actual contention in the National League Central. Maybe it's a fluke. Maybe it won't last. But maybe it will, and this is the very height of baseball happiness, a great and long suffering baseball town is finally in it, led by a brilliantly gifted 24-year-old centerfielder who can do everything. If the All-Star Game doesn't celebrate that, well, why even HAVE the All-Star Game.
Right. Exactly. The Pirates have been one of the best stories in baseball so far this year. I don't care if you're a Yankees fan and you couldn't care less about the Pirates. That's just a fact, or it should be. And Major League Baseball couldn't find a way to honor their best player, and one of the best players in the whole game. There's a poverty of imagination there that's just disturbing. As Posnanski implies, the reason we have the All-Star game is to highlight stories like that of the Pirates and players like McCutchen.