Joey Votto is ruining everything, as Canadians are wont to do. There has been a surge in Brandon Belt All-Star voting, see. The Giants first baseman is now fourth in the voting. If Joey Votto did not exist, Brandon Belt would be just over 200,000 votes away from starting in the National League All-Star Game. I don't know why this fascinates me, but it does. It's not as if him starting would prove some sort of point. It would just annoy the crap out of the rest of the league in an outlandishly glorious kind of way.
Alas, Votto does exist. And he's the best hitter in baseball. He's a bajillion votes ahead, and he absolutely deserves the start the All-Star Game. And that crack about Canadians was totally unwarranted. He's the Voivod of Canadian hitters. Larry Walker was already the Rush, just because he annoyed half of the people who'd heard of him, and he'll never get into the Hall of Fame, even if he deserves to.
With the Brandon Belt dream dead, we can focus on what really matters. The All-Star Game, for one. It's a super-serious exhibition that decides who wins the World Series. If Brian McCann doesn't single off … what … Matt Thornton? … maybe the Giants don't win the World Series. Also, Matt Thornton was in the All-Star Game. A very, very important exhibition.
Can you read the record-store-clerk sneer in that last paragraph? 'Cause that's what I'm going for. The All-Star Game isn't serious. It's fun. To a point. But I can't stand the arguments about snubs and who should start and yeerrrrrk. I can't care that much. Do you remember last year, when there was a vocal minority of Braves fans having conniption fits because Roy Halladay started for the National League over Jair Jurrjens? Doesn't that read like dystopian science-fiction to you now?
Yet I can't get over the idea of Buster Posey starting. He's currently leading the voting. I've decided to inject that idea full of meaning and weight and importance. As a baseball writer, it's literally my job to assign importance to arbitrary things that really aren't that important. When it comes to the Giants, even more so. You can get off the trolley if you'd like. I wouldn't blame you.
But if you stick around, you're going to read the same stupid mention of the Giants' position-player drought that I've been bringing up since this site was started. You've been warned. Matt Williams started the 1994 All-Star Game. He was the last position player drafted or developed by the Giants to start the All-Star Game. In 1996, he was the last homegrown Giants position player to make the All-Star Game at all before Pablo Sandoval last year.
Oh, you shouldn't feel sorry for the Giants. Barry Bonds was an All-Star fixture, Tim Lincecum and Jason Schmidt both started the danged game, and Rich Aurilia might not have been drafted by the Giants, but he sure felt homegrown.
Think about when Matt Williams was a prospect in the late-'80s. That was the last hitting prospect with whom we were right to dream big. Since then, the standard was Bill Mueller. He was the pinnacle of hitting-prospect success. Marvin Benard was next. I think Pedro Feliz comes after that. You can see how it's easy to make a big deal of this.
Posey is already a success. He's already caught a perfect game and a World Series-winning team. It's not there needs to be any more external validation. Buster Posey doesn't need other people to justify his existence; other people need Buster Posey to justify their existence. Him starting for the National League would feel like a coda to the whole misery of position-player development that the Giants went through over most of the last two decades. Remember how excited you were about Tony Torcato? Todd Linden? The reward for your patience is Buster Posey.
And when he starts his first All-Star Game, I'll shut up about the Mueller-Benard Epoch of Player Development. I'll mention it only once a year, tops. Maybe twice. If more than that, there'll be a good reason. Or at least an average reason. But Posey starting would shut some kind of door in my subconscious. It's not like it would let me live a worry-free life or enjoy baseball more. It'd just close that door. Maybe put a tie around it so everybody else knows not to bother it.
I'd enjoy a start from Melky Cabrera, and even though that's tongue-in-cheek stuff up there about Belt starting, I really do want as many Giants in the game as possible. Hell, here you go, Theriot. Do something we can GIF. But a Posey start would mean something, dammit. At least, it would if you allow it to.
Plus, there's that whole thing where we thought his career was over for a few hours, and instead he could be starting the All-Star Game about 14 months later. That makes it just a wee bit easy to root for him getting the start. You know. The little things.
I'm still focusing on the idea that he was supposed to be the Giants' savior after a bad season in a wretched stretch of bad seasons, and look at that, he was. I want him to be an All-Star who caught a perfect game and a World Series-winning team. Let's get greedy with that resume.
(Also of note: He'd beat out a Molina for the starting spot, too. LAYERS UPON LAYERS OF SIGNIFICANCE.)