The All-Star rosters will never be perfect, not with the nebulous criteria involved in determining who belongs. Yet every year there are a few outright clunkers on the rosters, usually resulting in some great players getting snubbed because they didn't do enough in April and May to satisfy the voters -- fans or players. Sometimes it's excessive fealty to old, outdated stats like saves or batting average; sometimes it's the rule that every team has to have one representative; sometimes it's just inexplicable nonsense.
Here are the five biggest mistakes that I saw on this year's rosters, looking at who was included and who should have been in those spots instead. Bear in mind that I believe the All-Star Game is about more than just performance in the first 60 or so games of the present season. This is a big marketing event, and the point is to have all the stars on the field at the same time on one national television broadcast. Missing some of the players I mention below is a big lost opportunity for the sport.
I don't think any stupidity found in this year's selections can top an NL All-Star roster without reigning NL MVP Kris Bryant, who happens to be among the most recognizable stars in the game and is in the midst of another All-Star-worthy season. His exclusion seems to defy any rational definition of All-Star. If you don't have one of the game's best players, who also happens to be one of its biggest stars, why even bother to have the game?
The worst player on either roster by 2017 performance is DJ LeMahieu, whose selection must be a player overreaction to his fluky 2016 year -- the only year he's sniffed double-digit homers or an OBP over .360. He's an average regular, maybe, who had one outlier season. His selection meant the commissioner's office had to add Josh Harrison to get the Pirates a representative (and to put a utility man on the roster), so the last infield spot couldn't go to Bryant or Anthony Rendon.
If the players had voted Harrison into the game over LeMahieu, the commissioner's office also could have put Yangervis Solarte in as the token Padre; no San Diego player has a WAR over 1.1, with Solarte at 1.0, and while Wil Myers is their best candidate based on track record, the NL roster already has three first basemen, all deserving.