Sunday, July 06, 2008

Nate McLouth: All-Star

During the Brewers thumping of the Pirates this afternoon, the All-Star rosters were announced. Being a Pirate fan means that the intrigue is limited to wondering which one Pirate gets the honor of being the team's token representative in the Midsummer Classic. The Pirates almost always have one or two players actually worthy of the spot, so the question is usually, "Will the guy that deserves it get it or will it go to Mike Williams again?" With Matt Capps on the DL, it was pretty obvious that the Buccos representative had to come from the outfield, so the only question was which outfielder it would be. As usual, the powers that be (in this case the players) got it wrong and Nate McLouth is the Pirates' All-Star.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big McLouth fan. His first half has been the kind of stuff Pirate fans pray and hope happens every year. That doesn't make the guy an All-Star. He's been dropping precipitously in the last month and of the three Pirates outfielders (all of whom have better numbers than every starter on the NL team), he's the least deserving. Jason Bay is on pace for the second best year in his quietly stellar career and Xavier Nady is having what is far and away a career year. Neither one of them is really showing signs of slowing down and it's a pretty safe bet that they're both going to finish the year with much better numbers than Nate. Somehow, the headlines generated by McLouth's hot start got him the nod over two guys that deserve it much more.

Regardless, part of me says, "Screw it, who cares?" McLouth seems like a good guy and making the All-Star team and going to Yankee Stadium will be the thrill of a lifetime for him. What kind of jackass would I be to lobby to take that kind of thing away from him? This game will mean more to him than it would to Bay, who won't ever top the All-Star experience of starting when the game was at PNC Park. It sucks for Nady, who's a nice guy and may never get this close to realizing Dave Littlefield's career dream for him ever again, but someone has to get screwed when it comes to the All-Star Game. Maybe he can go get drunk with Cole Hamels during the game.