Once again, none of the Minnesota Twins were voted onto the All-Star roster by the fans. Even though we have the reigning MVP and Batting Champ. No, I'm not bitter about the fact that people WILL NEVER STOP VOTING for Big Papi (who isn't even a first baseman) because the big market names saturate the sports media. Don't even get me started on Barry Bonds- treating the fans and the media like crap while cheating his way to breaking the biggest baseball record of all time. But people still vote for him year after year rather than sending him a message. It's a popularity contest, of that I am certain. I'm happy that the reigning AL MVP and Cy Young winners made it onto the team by way of player votes and manager selection. Likewise with Torii Hunter who is having an outstanding year. Some would say that's the bigger honor- they know a little more about baseball than the casual fan. Still, the last time a Twin was voted on by the fans was Torii Hunter in 2002. Before that it was Kirby Puckett in 1994.
Twins bullpen pitcher Pat Neshek is on the ballot for the final vote. This is a special achievement for a number of reasons. First, it is rare that a bullpen pitcher who isn't a closer should make it on to the All-Star team. It is a highly overlooked and often thankless position. Pat Neshek has been excellent in that role this year after only being called up last year. Second and most important, he is a fantastic guy. He grew up in Minneapolis following the Twins and waiting behind the Dome for autographs like so many other kids and he doesn't forget that for a second. He still collects autographed baseball cards and will trade with you if you offer him something he doesn't have. He will always sign cards for you during Spring Training practices and is very easily engaged in conversation. He is still new to the game and might lose his easy-going nature, but as of now he treats his fans unbelievably well. Lastly, he is a fellow blogger! He started PatNeshek.com while in the minors and chronicles his still-short career, including his still wide-eyed excitement about playing major league ball for the Twins. It has become a cult phenomenon for fans and autograph collectors, and if you read the message board long enough you will likely see several posts made by my dear husband, an official member of the Pat Neshek Fan Club.
So if you have time (which I know you do because you are surfing blogs) please go to mlb.com and vote for Pat. He deserves it!