Does Omar Infante Deserve To Be An All-Star?

Written by Thomas on July 5, 2010 – 3:12 pm

You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but…..

Omar Infante is a good utility player, but does not deserve to be an All-Star. Not even close. I know I know, he is a valuable member of the Braves’ roster and has the propensity to deliver clutch hits in critical situations such as last Friday against the Marlins. Great. So does Ryan Zimmerman…or Josh Willingham…or how about the NL OPS leader Joey Votto? Of course Zimmerman or Votto will likely be the last player voted in by the fans, but that still leaves two of the other three that are not on the roster while Omar Infante is.

Perhaps Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel was drawn to the fact that Infante can play virtually every position on the diamond. After all, that, and not his singles bopping bat, is why he is so valuable to the Braves. But with the expanded rosters totaling 34 players per team, the need for a utility man becomes nonexistent as Manuel already has at least one backup at all of Omar’s positions.

In all fairness to the Phillies’ skipper, his hand was forced by the rule that every team has to have at least one All-Star. As a result he was forced to select Marlon Byrd (Cubs), Chris Young (D-Backs), and Michael Bourne (Astros), all of which are outfielders. But he should have picked our old friend Kelly Johnson from Arizona over Young, giving the squad more infield depth. Then he could have selected Zimmerman over Infante, giving the NL three players at second, third, and short each (as well as seven outfielders). Instead Manuel decided to carry a below league average hitter with an OPS of .717 on his roster.

From a Braves fan perspective, this is bittersweet. It is great to see one of our unsung heroes get nationally recognized, but we also need the NL to win this game. There is a good chance Infante will not get into the game, but if he does, I will be wishing that a better, more deserving player were up at the plate or out in the field.


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4 Responses to “Does Omar Infante Deserve To Be An All-Star?”

  1. By clint on Jul 5, 2010 | Reply

    We go thru the debate every year as to who shoulda' been selected and who shouldn't have been selected. I really hate the tone of this column. Why not congratulate Infante on this honor and pray that he has a chance to play and deliver for the team? Why put the guy down? I don't know about most folks, but I love clutch hits off the bench. And I love a sharp single to center. I'll bet the author of this column would, too—if he were a manager.

  2. By Jonathan on Jul 5, 2010 | Reply

    I'm a homer, so I'm glad Omar got the call for the team. But on top of that, it's a tough spot to be a utility player for a team like Omar is. There is little recognition out there for people that play his role, so I'm glad that Manuel decided to give him the call. Whether or not he gets to play in the game, he still gets to say he was an All Star.

    Are there other choices, yes, but as far as I'm concerned, any of the guys that could have been chosen could have a good at-bat or bad at-bat at any given time. So, I'm going to play my homer card and be happy for Omar, but yes, there are other choices out there as well that could have been made.

  3. By Tony on Jul 6, 2010 | Reply

    The real problem isn't Manuel's decision on Infante, it's with Howard. Omar didn't take Votto's spot, Howard did.

    Check out Rosenthal's blurb on the whole thing (scroll down to "Behind Votto's snub — 11:30 a.m."): http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/MLB-latest-new

  4. By Thomas on Jul 6, 2010 | Reply

    That's right Tony, Howard cost Votto his spot. But there are several others that were deserving over Omar, such as Zimmerman (as was the case with my scenario above).

    As for you, Clint, I understand what you are saying. My article was trying to be critical of Manuel; I'm a fan of Omar's and love what he does for us. However, had he not made it would you have heard any complaints from the Braves organization? Unlikely. Having said all that, he deserves congratulations that someone in baseball is recognizing his hard work.

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