OK, that’s not exactly what Current TV’s Keith Olbermann had to say, but MLB Network’s Jerry Manuel defended Giants skipper Bruce Bochy’s selection of P Ryan Vogelsong to the NL All-Star squad, an honor Olbermann considers undeserving for “the 14th or 15th best starter in the NL”, the former Mets manager’s observatons were deemed less than trenchant. From Non-Metallic K.O.’s MLB.com blog :
To paraphrase Manuel he said he’d love to be getting the criticism Bochy is getting for picking three of his own starting pitchers, because it meant – no duh – that he had won the pennant last year instead of getting fired.
But more importantly, Manuel observed, it would mean that he had done right by “his guys” – that given the choice between a completely neutral decision about the eight best starters in the league this season, and not offending his own starters, he’d take not offending his own starters, every time.
Jerry’s never been given credit either for his acumen or his honesty. But his point is honest, and damning, and explains why now the time has come to take the defending pennant-winning manager (and all the managers) out of a decisive role in selecting All-Stars. If it has devolved into a popularity contest – as in, I want to stay popular with my own players – then it must be discontinued immediately. And the selection of Vogelsong over Atlanta’s Tommy Hanson suggests it has.