Usually, I try not to feign outrage over All-Star voting, in any sport. It's too easy.

In the case of Brian Dozier being left off the American League All-Star team, at least pending the final five voting for the last spot on the roster, I think puzzlement, if not outrage, is appropriate.

A friend Tweeted that it was ridiculous that Dozier was left off the team because he had a good first half and because the Twins are winning.

That's the wrong way to look at it. If you pick players who are hot in June, you can wind up with flash-in-the-pan players who will embarrass you with future performances. True All-Stars prove themselves over time. At least for a year, and hopefully longer. And if you give weight to winning teams, you wind up with four Royals instead of the best individual players, which is what the All-Star game is for.

Dozier should be on the team not for those reasons, but because he fits my criteria for a true All-Star. He has played exceptionally well for at least a calendar year - in Dozier's case, for longer. His numbers offer substance (in the form of extra-base hits, slugging percentage, and runs scored) that outweigh shorthand staistics like batting average. He ranks first in slugging percentage, home runs and runs, and second in OPS. And he's excellent in the field, which matters to me because the baseball All-Star game separates itself from all the others because of defensive intensity and excellence.

Jose Altuve and Jason Kipnis are also excellent second basemen. But if the American League can fit Brock Holt onto the roster, the system erred. Dozier belongs on the team. He's one of the better players in the league.


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