Statistics, fairness don't seem to figure when it comes to picking All-Star teams


July 07, 1991|By PETER SCHMUCK

There are a few things you have to remember about the All-Star selection process:

The right choices: Tettleton (starter), Harper (reserve).


Ken Griffey Jr. has captured the heart of the baseball public, but his numbers don't justify his status as the American League's top vote-getter. Dave Henderson is the only legitimate choice for the starting lineup, thanks to a tremendous all-around performance in the first half. Rickey Henderson made the starting lineup because he is one of the most loved and hated players in the game, but this is one year he could have been left off the roster. The cream of the outfield crop might be Texas

Rangers outfielder Ruben Sierra, who ranks among the league's top five in batting average, RBI, hits, multihit games and total bases. Joe Carter went into yesterday's play third in the league in home runs and RBI. Both made the squad as reserves along with Baines, Kirby Puckett and Danny Tartabull. Baines might look like a managerial prerogative, but he has had an outstanding season at the plate and should not be penalized because the A's already have two outfielders on the roster. The big loser is Winfield, who has turned back the clock in a big way and ranks among the league leaders in home runs and RBI.

The right choices: Dave Henderson, Carter, Sierra (starters); Winfield, Baines, Griffey, Puckett, Tartabull (reserves).

Starting pitchers

This is always the toughest category to narrow down, because there is room on the roster for only about six or seven starting pitchers. The most notable omission is California Angels pitcher Chuck Finley, who entered the weekend tied for the league lead with 12 victories and will (bet the farm) win the Cy Young Award this year. The most questionable inclusion is Chicago White Sox pitcher Jack McDowell, who has fewer victories and strikeouts, but is leading the league in complete games with six. But McDowell and Finley could have made the team if La Russa had chosen three relievers instead of four. There is a less deserving starter than either one -- Scott Sanderson -- but even the Yankees have to be represented by at least one player. The remaining choices -- Jimmy Key, Roger Clemens, Mark Langston and Jack Morris -- are above repute.

The right choices: Clemens, Langston, Finley, Morris, Key, Sanderson, McDowell.

Relief pitchers

La Russa and Brown chose the four relief pitchers with 20 or more saves, which is as good a criterion as any. If there is a second-guess here, it is the decision to go with four relievers instead of three (NL manager Lou Piniella chose two). The one-player-per-team rule doesn't apply here, because each team represented elsewhere, so La Russa could have passed over Jeff Reardon or Rick Aguilera without incurring the wrath of Schmuck. Angels stopper Bryan Harvey has earned his place on the team. He has 22 saves and an impressive 0.95 ERA. Dennis Eckersley belongs there, based on his performance this year and his status as one of the most effective short relievers of all time. The choice between Aguilera and Reardon -- if you accept the notion that three relievers is enough -- goes to Reardon, but it's almost a toss-up.

?3 The right choices: Harvey, Eckersley, Reardon.

Schmuck's All-Stars


Peter Schmuck's selections for the All-Star Game:



Mickey Tettleton, Detroit, C

Cecil Fielder, Detroit, 1B

Julio Franco, Texas, 2B

Cal Ripken, Baltimore, SS

Wade Boggs, Boston, 3B

Dave Henderson, Oakland, OF

Joe Carter, Toronto, OF

Ruben Sierra, Texas, OF


Brian Harper, Minnesota, C

Wally Joyner, California, 1B

Roberto Alomar, Toronto, 2B

Ozzie Guillen, Chicago, SS

Paul Molitor, Milwaukee, 3B

Harold Baines, Oakland, OF

Ken Griffey, Seattle, OF

Danny Tartabull, Kansas City, OF

Kirby Puckett, Minnesota, OF

Dave Winfield, California, OF


Roger Clemens, Boston

Dennis Eckersley, Oakland

Chuck Finley, California

Bryan Harvey, California

Jimmy Key, Toronto

Mark Langston, California

Jack McDowell, Chicago

Jack Morris, Minnesota

Jeff Reardon, Boston

Scott Sanderson, New York



Benito Santiago, San Diego, C

Will Clark, San Francisco, 1B

Ryne Sandberg, Chicago, 2B

Barry Larkin, Cincinnati, SS

Howard Johnson, New York, 3B

Tony Gwynn, San Diego, OF

Felix Jose, St. Louis, OF

George Bell, Chicago, OF


Craig Biggio, Houston, C

John Kruk, Philadelphia, 1B

Juan Samuel, Los Angeles, 2B

Ozzie Smith, St. Louis, SS

Terry Pendleton, Atlanta, 3B

Chris Sabo, Cincinnati, 3B

Bobby Bonilla, Pittsburgh, OF

Brett Butler, Los Angeles, OF

Ivan Calderon, Montreal, OF

Andre Dawson, Chicago, OF

Paul O'Neill, Cincinnati, OF


Tom Browning, Cincinnati

Rob Dibble, Cincinnati

Tom Glavine, Atlanta

Pete Harnisch, Houston

Mike Morgan, Los Angeles

Dennis Martinez, Montreal

Ramon Martinez, Los Angeles

Lee Smith, St. Louis

Frank Viola, New York

All-Star rosters


Elected starters

Sandy Alomar, Cleveland, C

Mark McGwire, Oakland, 1B

Roberto Alomar, Toronto, 2B

Cal Ripken, Baltimore, SS

Wade Boggs, Boston, 3B

Ken Griffey Jr., Seattle, OF

Dave Henderson, Oakland, OF

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