Yasiel Puig currently trails Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman in the voting for the final spot on the NL All-Star roster. However, other Braves players are apparently tired of watching the exposure thrust upon the Dodgers phenom while they get no shine. More importantly, they worry that if Puig catches Freeman in the voting, closer Craig Kimbrel will be the only representative of the NL East leading Braves.
On ESPN.com’s website Sunday, a link to the Final Vote story initially urged fans to “Vote him in” referring to Puig, and later said, “He belongs.”
“Nobody has a chance” against Puig for that spot, Braves second baseman Dan Uggla said. “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. 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.”
There's no way the Braves would have any bias, right? We can understand where Uggla is coming from, though. They watched Justin Upton get burned over the weekend after Bryce Harper got the starting outfield, despite the Nats outfielder missing a month of action while Upton's in the midst of a career year. Rookie Evan Gattis also saw his name mentioned in All-Star conversations, but those whispers have died down since he went on the DL with an oblique injury in mid-June.
“I don’t think anybody deserves it for a month,” Gattis said of the All-Star talk. “Even though fans do want to see him play, that’s good for baseball and everything, but I don’t think anybody deserves it after one month. I don’t think I deserved it.”
When a reporter asked Freeman late Saturday about competing with Puig in the Final Vote competition, Freeman smiled and said, “Good luck with that, huh? He’s already on the lede ESPN ticker.”
However, this isn't a political campaign. Homefield advantage in the World Series is on the line, but MLB doesn't have an equal-time rule. On the plus side, the more time ESPN spends on Puig, the less time for ESPN to discuss the Pats third string superstar quarterback. At least Puig is making an impact in his sport. The Braves don't have a 24-hour sports media conglomerate to match up with Puig and the bevy of ESPN networks, but their grassroots cardboard effort will have to do for now.