Chris Young’s not making the All-Star team isn’t the worst thing ever.

Getting hurt in the All-Star Game and never being the same, ala Dizzy Dean, is the worst thing ever. Being injured in a meaningless outfield throwing contest, like Reggie Smith one year, or losing the power stroke almost completely after a home run derby, like Bobby Abreu another, is the worst thing ever.

Blowing a save in the All-Star Game and losing your league World Series home field is the worst thing ever. Getting Milton Bradley is the worst thing ever. But that’s another blog .

Perhaps being the one guy out of 750 big leaguers to be universally agreed upon as the one guy to get screwed by the system is good enough. Maybe that’s worth something to Chris Young, because he certainly is that one guy.

Even Carlos Zambrano thinks so. He came right out and chose Young, over himself. You don’t see that every day. Props to Zambrano for the humility.

Check just about every sports news outlet on the planet, and you’ll find Zambrano’s sentiment echoed. You’ll also find some well-stated arguments. Ken Rosenthal, of FoxSports.com, in labeling Young his “top snub,” says it best:

At least [Young is] one of five players on the fan ballot for the final NL roster spot. Heaven forbid that he would have been chosen over one of the six closers on the NL pitching staff — including Rockies lefty Brian Fuentes, who fueled his team’s recent eight-game losing streak by blowing four straight saves!

Fuentes was elected by the players, presumably before he started to crumble. NL manager Tony La Russa chose Closer No. 6, the Diamondbacks’ Jose Valverde. At least this way, La Russa will get to indulge in his usual matchup frenzy.

Regardless, Young belongs. He entered Sunday’s play third in the NL in ERA and second in fewest base-runners allowed per nine innings. Here’s one vote for him for the 32nd man.”

AOL Sports Larry Brown cites Young and Angels shortstop Orlando Cabrerra, probably the American Leagues most agreed upon snub, in wondering if “west coast obscurity” has anything to do with it. “West coast obscurity” is a great term, just generally, which is the as good a reason as any to consider it.

And here’s what Yahoo’s Tim Brown had to say on the matter:

“Then, there’s the snub-off, which once brought us the “Punch A.J.” campaign, which Michael Barrett took quite literally.

The NL snubs: Jimmy Rollins, Edgar Renteria, Chris Young, John Maine, Ryan Howard.

The conspicuously absent, and deservedly so: Barry Zito, Andrew Jones.

The throw-in: Freddy Sanchez.

The vote-in candidates: Tom Gorzelanny, Roy Oswalt, Brandon Webb, Young, Carlos Zambrano.

The deserved: Young.”

So it’s agreed. Young should be an All-Star, but he’s not. Get over it. There’s no vast right-wing conspiracy. If you want to gripe about All-Star rosters, argue the rule which requires all teams to be represented first.

Of course, even then you’ll still have controversy, which is just fine by Major League Baseball. They’re happy to have the thing debated around the water cooler. Just like the NCAA, with the BSC and the mythical national football championship. Take the debate away, and then what?

It’s a given that someone’s going to be left out, and an even greater given that some city will be pissed. Why, fans in Houston were still booing Tommy Lasorda in 1996 for leaving Joe Neikro off the 1979 team. As if there aren’t enough other reasons to boo Lasorda.

— HOWARD COLE

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