Sunday, July 06, 2008
THE MIKE SHARPERSON MEMORIAL ALL STAR AWARD
There is a rule in selecting All Stars for the once relevant Mid Season Classic that says each team needs to be represented.
This rule is of course insane because sometimes a team simply doesn't have an All Star worthy player... but it also means that every year there is a player that has no business playing in an All Star Game that gets to make the trip.
I am naming this honor after the late Mike Sharperson, the lone representative of the 1992 Los Angeles Dodgers.
That team, that lost 99 games, had a lot of familiar All Star names (Darryl Strawberry, Eric Davis, Orel Hershiser, Brett Butler, Tom Candiotti, Jay Howell, Juan Samuel, Mike Scoscia, John Candelaria) but Sharperson, who batted .300 in 128 games got to make the trip to San Diego for the All Star Game.
He came into the game in the 8th inning, and struck out in the 9th against Dennis Eckersley.
He was basically a utility infielder starting 33 games at second and 39 games at third. The rest of the time he was a pinch hitter.
That's right, the Dodgers lone rep for the All Star game was a bench player.
Some people think MLB needs to change this rule because it is silly to see the Robert Ficks, Randy Winns and Mark Redmans of the world supposedly representing the best of the best.
But I like it.
It's a funny quirk that to me allows us that inevitable moment where you shriek "[INSERT MEDIOCRE PLAYER NAME HERE] is an All Star?"
This year there is no glaring Sharperson candidate.
The Finalists would be
NATE McLOUTH of the Pirates.
BRIAN WILSON of the Giants.
I'd probably have to go with McLouth.
The official award will be handed out on the eve of the All Star Game.
I'm sure they will be thrilled.
I just can't wait to see the parade in New York where greats like Frank Robinson and Yogi Berra will be waving to the crowd along with A-Rod, Manny and Pujols.
How many people will be screaming "OH MY GOD!!! NATE McLOUTH!!!"?