When Bryce Harper replaced Giancarlo Stanton for the 2012 All-Star game, it left the Miami Marlins without a representative for the event. Each team traditionally sends one All-Star and Marlins president David Samson believes the rule should still apply in his players case.
I just think that all teams are supposed to be represented and if our guy had to have surgery, he had to have surgery," he told Sporting News. "Obviously it has been a disappointing first half.
That said, there are plenty of other teams that have had disappointing first halves and have plenty of All Stars."
Unfortunately for the Marlins, they dont have a clear second All-Star. Stanton is hitting .282 with 19 home runs and 50 RBI. Samson suggested outfielder Justin Ruggiano to be selected but he has only played in 31 games this season.
Harper was picked by N.L. manager Tony La Russa and is the youngest position player to be named an All-Star. His numbers compare favorably to those in the Marlins lineup, aside from Stanton, and there is no rule preventing the manager from excluding a team. Still, Major League Baseball will have its All-Star showcase with one team left out.
In Samsons defense, there are six teams in the National League with worse records than the Marlins who still have players going. The Phillies for instance have three All-Stars this year and they are five games back from Miami in the N.L. East. The problem is, however, the rosters were set before Stanton backed out. When Stanton withdrew, there was only one spot left and team manager Tony La Russa must have determined that Bryce Harper was more deserving than anyone else on the Marlins.
Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez became the first former Nationals player (2005-present) to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday. He was inducted in his first year of eligibility, marking the 52nd first-ballot hall of famer in history.
Rodriguez, who was the first free agent signed by current Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, played the final two seasons of his career with Washington in 2010-11. During his time in D.C. he hit .254 six homers and 68 RBI. Pudge's greatest contribution to the Nationals came from his leadership and work ethic. He guided Stephen Strasburg through his rookie season and also helped develop Wilson Ramos so he could pass the torch to him.
During his 21-year career, Pudge made 14 all-star teams, won 13 gold gloves, won seven silver slugger awards, led his league in caught-steeling percentage nine times, and was named American League MVP in 1999 with the Texas Rangers. He became a World Series champion in 2003 with the Florida Marlins. Pudge's 13 gold gloves are the most ever by a catcher, and his 2,844 career hits are the most ever by a player who appeared in 50 percent or more of their career games as a catcher.
In addition to Rodriguez, former Montreal Expos great Tim Raines was inducted to the Hall of Fame. Raines is the franchise leader (Expos/Nationals) in walks (793), runs (947), stolen bases (635) and triples (82). Raines was an all-star seven times and he won a silver slugger in 1986 with the Expos. He is the only player in MLB history with at least 100 triples, 150 homers and 600 RBI in a career, and the only player to steal at least 70 bases in six consecutive seasons.
Related: Bryce Harper wants Nationals to spend money on players, not team store
Bryce Harper isn't one to keep his opinions to himself. The Nationals slugger is outspoken about what he wants, whether that's to "Make Baseball Fun Again" or to make at least $400 million on his next contract.
On Wednesday, he gave his take on how the Nats should be investing their money this summer. Here's Harper responding to a tweet from ESPN's Jim Bowden.
Harper's message: Players over everything else. Sorry, gift shop.
It's plain to see where the 2015 NL MVP is going with this. Obviously, he wants as much talent around him as possible for a chance to win the World Series.
Matt Wieters, a four-time All-Star catcher, and Greg Holland, a two-time All-Star closer, could be significant additions to Washington's roster.
Harper is set to become a free agent in 2018, at which point an organization like the New York Yankees will be prepared to offer him both a massive salary and a massive investment in the players around him.
The slugger probably hopes his current team will try to surround him with winning pieces in an effort to keep him. But if a report about the Nationals' reaction to his contract demands proves accurate, they may have another agenda.
There's Harper drama around the Nationals? Just a regular Wednesday here in Washington.
MORE NATIONALS: Nationals avoid arbitration with Harper, three others