With the All Star game right around the corner, it seems relevant to talk about it. And since this is an Astros fan site, well...
How interesting the Astros are this year? They lead the AL West by an impressive 3-1/2 games and are but a small hop away from 50 wins. The Astros are 2nd in the AL in runs scored, first in home runs, 5th in starter ERA (thanks, Fauxsto), and 2nd in bullpen ERA.
But they have two All Stars. That's bogus.
It appears the stigma of strikeouts (or merely being associated with the recently-epithet'd "Lastros") is enough to marginalize individual performances.
Not that there's any particular player you can point at and say they were snubbed (except Preston Tucker, on principle), but still, it's kind of amazing that the record has been achieved through a team effort.
Still, the MLB leaders in home runs hit will not be represented in the All Star game home run derby, and that's a shame. So I've decided to conduct my own.
George Springer versus Preston Tucker: The club presents Springer with the Home Run Derby trophy up-front, recognizing that he would have won if he hadn't broken his wrist. Tucker moves on to Round 2.
Chris Carter versus Luis Valbuena: Carter whiffs on the first nine lobs from a representative from the Houston Area Girl Scout Brownies troop number 13, then (after relief pitcher Chad Qualls takes her place), hits fifteen consecutive homers on the golden ball. Valbuena hits 17 home runs, but Chris Berman comments on how he's not really a power hitter. Valbuena moves on.
Evan Gattis versus Jose Altuve: Gattis swings so hard on the first pitch (a 900 foot home run hit off a ball that bounced twice in the dirt before arriving at the plate) that Altuve falls down and withdraws from the competition in fear.
Carlos Correa versus Colby Rasmus: Correa hits infinity home runs. National commenters congratulate themselves on how they predicted Correa would be the best shortstop since Honus Wagner, even though they all said that Addison Russel was better as recently as three months ago. Rasmus says, "Aw, shucks," knocks a couple bombs, then goes cow tippin'.
Preston Tucker versus Luis Valbuena: Valbuena hits ten home runs without swinging. Tucker hits twenty, and then is immediately disqualified when judges realize that he has swapped places with his little brother Kyle.
Carlos Correa versus Evan Gattis: Gattis hits infinity home runs. Correa hits infinity and one.
Carlos Correa versus Luis Valbuena: Valbuena goes first and sprays the field with line drives and just-foul bombs. After hitting no home runs, he disconsolately wanders away from the field mumbling about, "Danged BABIP," and "team defense." Correa, whose arms are tired by now after hitting infinity squared (plus one) home runs, telekinetically creates an invisible mass-less bat from the entropy of the great ether, and hits one home run, which is now parked in geosynchronous orbit around Uranus' moon Belinda.
And thus, Carlos Correa is crowned "runner-up" in the first Astros Home Run Derby!