Saturday, October 25, 2014
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Braves players take issue with All-Star Game selection process

The Atlanta Braves spoke out against the current All-Star Game selection process during their series against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park this weekend.

Braves players take issue with All-Star Game selection process

Freddie Freeman has a .382 on-base percentage and a .462 slugging percentage on the season. (Michael Perez/AP)
Freddie Freeman has a .382 on-base percentage and a .462 slugging percentage on the season. (Michael Perez/AP)

The Atlanta Braves spoke out against the current All-Star Game selection process during their series against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park this weekend.

The way it currently works is fans vote in the starting position players for each league's team, with MLB players and managers picking the rest of the roster. Then there is a "Final Vote" where fans decide the final player that makes each Midsummer Classic squad.

Fair enough? Not according to several Braves players, including starting pitcher Tim Hudson.

"I think it’s B.S.," Hudson told David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I mean, it’s pretty obvious what players certain media outlets want to have plugged in."

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Hudson may be referring to ESPN, whose web site campaigned for Dodgers rookie outfielder Yasiel Puig to get into the All-Star Game on Sunday with a link to the Final Vote page. Puig is among the five finalists for the final spot on the National League roster.

One of the players Puig is going up against: Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, who is hitting .306 so far this season with nine home runs and 56 RBI.

When a reporter asked Freeman on Saturday about competing against Puig for the final roster spot, Freeman smiled and said, "Good luck with that, huh?"

Braves second baseman Dan Uggla shared Freeman's sentiment, saying that "nobody has a chance" against Puig.

“He’s been getting covered since he broke in. And he should be getting covered; he’s an exciting story. But should he make the All-Star team? No, not this year," Uggla told O'Brien. "But he’s going to make it. Which sucks for Freddie and other (Final Vote) guys, because they’ve been doing it the whole year.”

Puig is hitting .409 with eight home runs and 19 RBI since joining the Dodgers on June 3. Add in his .437 on-base percentage and .677 slugging percent and you can see why many are pushing for him. But is one month enough to get a player into an All-Star Game?

“I don’t think anybody deserves it for a month,” said Braves catcher Evan Gattis, who is having quite the rookie season himself with 14 homers and 37 RBI.

One person who certainly agrees with Gattis is Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, who recently told MLB Network Radio that the Puig situation is "an absolute joke" and "really kind of stupid."

Hudson referred to fan voting as "obnoxious" and took issue with the game deciding which league gets home-field advantage in the World Series.

Uggla added that the league needs to change the All-Star Game so the result doesn't matter. "It just needs to be fun."

[Click here for David O'Brien's full story on the Braves criticizing the selection process.]

Brian McCardle Sports Producer
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