When I first heard that the Colorado Rockies landed just two players, Matt Holliday and Aaron Cook, on the 2008 All-Star Team, I guessed that this total had to be an historic low for a team that won the pennant the previous year -- but I was wrong. In 2005, the Chicago White Sox and the Houston Astros met in the World Series, and while the ChiSox placed seven players in the next year's All-Star contest, the 'Stros netted just two. The situation was even more extreme the next year. The Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals faced off in the 2006 World Series, and while the Tigers ended up on the short end of that match, five of their ballers made the 2007 All-Star roster, as opposed to just one Card, heavy hitting first baseman Albert Pujols.
The Rockies would have tied this last mark were it not for the intervention of Clint Hurdle, who will skipper the All-Stars thanks to his squad's performance last year.
Holliday earned his trip by virtue of fan voting, but Hurdle secured Cook's ticket by choosing him as a reserve. A few folks outside the area may debate the selection owing to Cook's not fairly average 3.66 ERA, but it's an entirely defensible pick. After all, Cook has eleven victories so far this season -- just one off the number racked up by league leaders Brandon Webb, of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Los Angeles Angels hurler Joe Saunders, with twelve apiece. Besides, Cook is credited with nearly a third of the 37 wins the Rockies have managed this season.
Nonetheless, filling just two All-Star slots after besting all competition in the National League the previous season is hardly a proud accomplishment -- although it's better than being fifteen games under .500. -- Michael Roberts
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