Rays outfielder Tommy Pham doesn’t think it’s fair that New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner is ahead in All-Star Game voting.
There’s a line from “The Big Lebowski” that applies here. Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Tommy Pham has a point. However, calling out guys like Jackie Bradley Jr. from the Boston Red Sox and Brett Gardner from the New York Yankees isn’t going to fix anything.
“We won’t get credit, man,” Pham told Josh Tolentino of The Athletic. “It’s always unfair. Big market vs. small market. It’s never going to be fair. With Avisaíl [Garcia] and me, when I saw the ballot of the guys ahead of us – Jackie Bradley Jr. and Brett Gardner – and they’re hitting around .200 or lower. That tells you it right there.”
For the record, Bradley is hitting .199 and Gardner is currently hitting .228. Pham, who is hitting .288 with nine home runs and 26 RBI, probably has a point about deserving an All-Star vote more than those guys.
But love it or hate it, the fans are going to have a say in the selection process. As a result, big markets like New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and Chicago are going to have an immediate edge over smaller markets.
Tampa Bay can barely fill the ballpark for a team that is going to compete for a playoff spot. Unfortunately, the players are already at a disadvantage for individual accolades like the All-Star Game.
That being said, it could be much worse. In 1957, Cincinnati launched an all-out assault on the ballot box and seven of the eight starters for the National League came from the Redlegs. Shockingly enough, no Rays made the American League All-Star Game roster in 1957.