Although it stinks that fans across the nation haven't noticed what a great ballplayer Yadier Molina is, at least we can rest easy knowing there's virtually no way he'll be snubbed out of an All-Star berth.
After all, Molina's biggest cheerleader is former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa. And La Russa just happens to be managing the National League All-Stars in a last hurrah for his career as a major league skipper. It's the former Cardinals skipper's say who makes the starting roster beyond the starters who are voted in by fans. So what if Molina ranks second by a long shot in the balloting to Giants backstop Buster Posey. If La Russa doesn't name Yadi to the NL All-Star squad, they ought to take his number 10 down from the wall at Busch Stadium.
While Posey leads the balloting behind the plate and Philadelphia catcher Carlos Ruiz is having a ridiculously good season with a seemingly impossible .361 batting average, it's more than likely that the All-Star teams will carry at least three catchers. And there is no argument that Molina deserves to be among the top three.
Yadi is batting .317 and leads NL backstops with 12 homers and 44 RBI's. He was named the best defender in baseball last season with the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award -- and he's provided his usual NL best defense again in 2012.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
There's really no logical argument that he shouldn't be included on the National League squad. And if anyone bothered to make a sour grapes complaint, why should La Russa care? After the game is over he can settle back into retirement and not have to worry about it.
Other Cardinals chances for an All-Star invite:
Carlos Beltran is second in the outfielder voting by a pretty solid margin. So it appears to be a lock that he'll be among the starting three flychasers for the Senior Circuit. It's well deserved because of his strong production number across the board: .312 BA, 20 HR, 47 R and 58 RBI.
Matt Holliday is sixth in the outfield voting. But Fox Sports projects him to make the All-Star roster thanks to a .304 first half of the season with 12 homers and 47 RBIs. Matt Kemp is considered doubtful to play in the Mid-Summer Classic because of nagging leg injuries. So, if he is out, Holliday's chances will go from better than average to highly likely.
Rafael Furcal isn't even mentioned in the Fox Sports story as a candidate to play shortstop in the All-Star game. That publication thinks Houston's Jed Lowrie and Chicago's Starlin Castro should represent the NL. But Furcal leads in the voting by 250,000 ballots over injured Rockies infielder Troy Tulowitzki and nearly a million over Castro. Lowrie, likely damaged by the lack of interest in the Astros this year, isn't even in the top five vote getters for his position. Despite the Fox snub, Furcal has played great defense in 2012 and he survived an uncharacteristic slump to rebound to a .287 batting average with 51 runs scored.
Lance Lynn cast some doubt on his All-Star worthiness by clunking through his last two starts. His inability to get a win in one of those games dropped him from a tie for the NL lead in victories to being part of a five-way tie for second. So his best argument for a spot has grown much weaker. I wonder if the Redbirds would prefer Lynn stays home. A reliever for much of last season, he's racked up a lot more innings in 2012 as a starter. So he might benefit from a couple of days of extra rest.