Regional hero: Freese
Why not an almost local hero? David Freese isn't from Kansas City, but he plays for the Cardinals and grew up outside of St. Louis, about a four-hour drive to Kansas City. He led the Cardinals to the title last year and he has more than helped fill in for the departure of Albert Pujols in the offseason.
Freese's numbers are way better than Bryce Harper's and Chipper Jones'. They are slightly better than Michael Bourn's and Aaron Hill's. Freese has hit 13 home runs, he's driven in 48 and his average is .279. On top of that, he has made just four errors at third base.
I love the sentimentality of picking Jones, but Freese is more deserving and he'd get to play in front of a relatively home crowd. Vote Freese.
Back Bourn on this one
Los Angeles Times
Let's back into this one and start with who it shouldn't be: The answer to that is clearly Bryce Harper.
Yes, he's only 19. Yes, he has helped fuel the Nationals' strong first half. Yes, he plays hard. And yes, he's a good player who might develop into a very good player.
But his numbers — a .274 batting average, eight home runs, 22 runs batted in — just don't cut it as an All-Star.
Chipper Jones was part of the fan vote, but now he's already on the team. He was tabbed Tuesday to replace the injured Matt Kemp. So Braves fans should now unite and back Michael Bourn. He has the highest batting average of the group, .304, and is among the league leaders with 53 runs scored and 23 stolen bases.
Harper fine, Bourn better
Juan C. Rodriguez
I get the argument for Bryce Harper and would not take issue if he wins the fan vote for the final NL roster spot.
The AL has Mike Trout, its 20-year-old stud on board. Why shouldn't the NL counter with 19-year-old Harper, who has provided almost as big a boost to the Nationals as Trout has for the Angels? It would make Fox happy. Harper will be at plenty of All-Star games.
By no means would Tony La Russa's NL squad be handicapped with Harper on the bench. But strategically speaking, if the need arises late in the game for a pinch-hitter or pinch-runner, Michael Bourn is the better weapon — and he deserves to be there.
Series hero worthy
Dave van Dyck
The original choice was easy: Chipper Jones, in his last go-round, was the sentimental — and the deserving — choice.
With Jones picked without the final vote, it becomes a much harder choice. Or easier, if you are a real fan of one team.
David Freese would be my first choice, but only because of the memories he created in the World Series. And then comes Aaron Hill, who has hit for the cycle twice in the last month. Can you imagine a cycle in the All-Star Game?
As for Michael Bourn and Bryce Harper, they should have plenty of opportunities to become real Stars. And if they don't, then they weren't deserving anyhow.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times