There are a lot of objections to be made regarding the MLB All-Star Game, to include the voting procedures and the game's role in determining home-field advantage in the World Series. But regardless of those concerns, I think it's time to recognize Matt Wieters for the star that he is and vote him into the 2012 All-Star Game.
The last time the Orioles had any players voted into the ASG was 2005 when Brian Roberts and Miguel Tejada started at second base and shortstop, representing a team that spent most of the first half of the season in first place. Joined by reserves Melvin Mora and B.J. Ryan, it was also the last time the Orioles had more than one representative.
But back to Matt Wieters. Here in Baltimore we know that he's awesome. His reputation is on the rise as he was selected as a backup in last year's ASG and he was awarded with both the 2011 Gold Glove and Fielding Bible awards for his defense. He hit 22 home runs last year and so far in 2012 he's hit 5 HR and put up an OBP of .382 thanks in part to 7 walks in just 55 plate appearances.
I often try to temper my enthusiasm when individual Orioles play well, but I truly believe that Matt Wieters is the best catcher in the American League. That doesn't mean he'll be a lock to be voted into the All-Star Game; it'll be a tough task. Casual fans recognize the name of Joe Mauer, but at this point he's not better than Wieters. Mike Napoli is on the ballot at catcher and he's in the midst of his second straight fantastic year for the Rangers, who of course were in the World Series last year. But he's only played about half of his games at catcher this year, and when you factor in defense, Wieters tops him easily. And of course there is Alex Avila, last year's starter in the ASG, but he's gotten off to a slower start this year than he did last year.
So, go vote for Matt Wieters! You can vote 25 times per email address, so make sure you max out. Maybe you think the ASG is dumb, but do you think Matt Wieters is dumb? Do it for him! Help him get the recognition he deserves.
It's been a long time coming, but the O's finally have someone worth voting in as a starter. Let's make it happen.