Joey Votto is hitting .314 with a .417 OBP and is slugging at a staggering .595 rate. He ranks #1 among all NL first basemen in these 3 categories. Better than Pujols, better than Howard, better than Gonzalez. So then you really have to wonder, why wasn't Votto selected before the final vote when he is the best player thus far in 2010? It's not like he's even playing for a bad team; he's playing for the #1 team in the NL Central. But I digress...
Ryan Zimmerman is the best all around 3rd basemen in the NL, and quite possibly in baseball. David Wright is a quality 3B, and Rolen is having a great season as an older player, but the fact remains that Zimmerman is the reigning Silver Slugger and Gold Glove winner. Unfortunately for Zimm, he plays for a Washington Nationals team that's in last place in its division. And has been for most of the team's short history. It's also team that, besides Stephen Strasburg references, barely gets acknowledged by local, let alone national, media. So although Zimmerman is 2nd in on-base percentage and 3rd in slugging percentage among qualifying 3rd basemen, he was left off of the list for Omar Infante, a utility player for the Atlanta Braves. That's right. A utility player.
I would like to be outraged by this development, but I'm simply not surprised. The Washington Nationals front office didn't exactly do an ideal job getting out the vote for any Nationals players this year. I saw ushers passing out ballots once all season. Meanwhile, in Baltimore, ushers were passing out ballots to everyone in the seats.... The Nats got outshined by the worst team in baseball. But in all reality, it probably wouldn't have mattered. When you have an average paid attendance of barely 20,000, you're not going to compete with teams like the Yankees and the Phillies that have average attendance over 45,000. That's more seats than exist at Nationals Park.
So 2011 is another year, and maybe if the Nationals are respectable this year and get the dream rotation that Boswell wrote about, the team will be visible nationally, and more Nats players will get a serious chance at making the All-Star team. Guys like Zimmerman, Dunn (RE-SIGN HIM!), Willingham, and possibly even Strasburg could make a run. But until then, let's hope that Matt Capps can help the National League win a game that they hasn't won since 1996. That game was hosted by the Philadelphia Phillies... at Veterans Stadium... and the MVP of the game was Mike Piazza. It's time to start a new baseball legacy for the NL... one from this millennium.