Yasiel Puig has had an unbelievable start to his major league career.
In a month's time, Puig, the Los Angeles Dodgers' right fielder, has taken baseball by storm, doing stuff the sport hasn't seen in decades.
Still, Puig doesn't deserve to make the National League All-Star team.
No way, no how.
Sorry, to all the instant-fame fans out there. Those are the fans that don't want to see a superstar struggle, put in the work and finally break through to win a championship. They just want to add two other superstars, add water and stir to win a title.
Sorry, baseball isn't instant by any means. The honor of making an All-Star team should be earned, not handed out because someone is the flavor of the month. One month does not make a career, or All-Star season, especially in baseball.
For sure, Jonathan Papelbon's words come off a bit harsh. In a radio interview, the Phillies' closer said putting Puig – who entered Wednesday night's action batting .443 with eight homers and 17 RBI – on the team would be a "joke" and an "injustice" to veteran players.
Minus the bravado, Papelbon is right, though. "The guy's got a month, I don't even think it's a month in the big leagues, and just comparing him to this and that, and saying he's going to make the all-star team, that's a joke to me," Papelbon said to MLB Network Radio. "It's just what really happens in baseball when…to me it really does an injustice to the veteran players that have been in the game eight, nine, 10-plus years and it kind of does them an injustice because they've worked so hard to stay here."
Puig hasn't even been around the league yet, hasn't had to make the adjustment all players have to make in order to stay in the majors.
There have been plenty of that couldn't stick around after a hot start.
We saw fans quick to want to send players to the Hall of Fame in the NBA and in the NFL the past year or so.
Remember Linsanity in NYC? Even hardened and cynical New York Knicks fans – remember their team hasn't won an NBA championship since 1973 – went crazy over Jeremy Lin's 25 game-start to his career.
Not only did the Knicks not win the title in 2012 with Lin at the helm of their offense, he wound up in Houston the next season and all that Linsanity merchandise wound up on the clearance table 75 percent off at Modells.
Ask most Knicks fans now. They are probably embarrassed that they got caught out there on a great month or two of basketball by an undrafted kid.
The same goes for Tim Tebow fans. The miracle run in Denver was a mirage, a fluke. So much so that GM John Elway couldn't wait to move Tebow out, even after he beat Pittsburgh in a playoff game.
He came to NYC. Some poorly informed sports analysts predicted Tebow would have Mark Sanchez's gig four games into last season. That didn't happen. In fact, despite how poorly things went for the Jets' offense, Tebow still didn't even get a start at QB.
No one is saying Puig is going to be a one-month wonder or a flash in the pain. It's just that you can't jump to anoint a player to stardom from a great start.
Go back to Chris Shelton, the former Tigers' first baseman. In 2006, he had a first month that was better than Babe Ruth ever had, crushing nine homers in the first 13 games.
Remember, Red Pop? He got that nickname because of his red hair and ability to hit the long ball, but he didn't make the All-Star team despite his hot start and was sent back to the minors by July 31.
Of course, there are all the gimmick people that want baseball to play to the crowd in hopes of bigger TV ratings.
It's highly unlikely that baseball fans wouldn't watch because Puig wasn't selected. There have been plenty of deserving players that didn't make the team over the years.
And this idea that the casual fan will tune in just because Puig is on the team isn't fact, either. Sounds good, but highly unlikely.
Baseball has to keep it true, hold to the tradition that makes fans hold it to a higher standard than the other sports.
This All-Star Game still matters and it's something earned. Puig hasn't done that just yet.