The fans, players and both managers have spoken. The rosters for the 2012 MLB All-Star Game have been announced. Only one spot on each team remains to be filled. And just like for the starting lineups, the responsibility for the Final Vote belongs to us, the fans. From now until 4PM Eastern Time on Thursday, July 5 at MLB.com you can choose from five candidates from each league to be the 34th and final man to go to Kansas City.
Before you head over to MLB.com to start voting, allow me to give you four reasons why you should give Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones your Final Vote in the National League:
1. Aaron Hill had a hot month, but was far from an All-Star the first two months of the season. After April and May, Hill was hitting just .263 before he hit .370 in June and produced almost double what he did in the two months prior. Chipper was beginning to get just as hot in May, hitting .365 before injury.
2. Don’t give into the hype with Bryce Harper. This kid will be a great player for a long time, but Chipper is more deserving right now. Yes, Harper is a spark plug and hustles, but he is not the reason the Nationals are leading the NL East. That is the result of their outstanding pitching staff, which has been deservedly represented by Strasburg and Gonzalez on the All-Star Game roster. Chipper is hitting for a better average, gets on base more often and strikes out WAY less.
3. Michael Bourn is having a phenomenal year, but having two Braves in the final vote means that you have to choose one or the other in order to avoid splitting the vote and hurting both of them. Bourn is one of the best leadoff men in the game and one of the best center fielders as well. But you can’t deny that the Atlanta Braves go as Chipper Jones goes. They’re eight games above .500 in games he plays and four games under .500 when he doesn’t.
4. Chipper is a no-doubt Hall of Famer, possibly even first ballot (I think so). He deserves to play in this game for all the reasons I listed above and because he is a baseball icon. Kauffman Stadium is the only current ballpark he has yet to play in. He’s deserving of the same treatment Cal Ripken, Jr. got in his final season.
So be sure to head over to MLB.com right now and take advantage of your chance to send a future Hall of Famer to his final All-Star game with this year’s Final Vote. And if you don’t agree with me, choose who you think deserves it, but tell me why! Tweet me @SkippinsYNN or @MLBFanCave, or leave a comment below.