ARLINGTON -- A legitimate All-Star case could have been made for White Sox pitchers Freddy Garcia and J.J. Putz, and definitely for first baseman Paul Konerko, one of the final five on the American League's 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint.
But the biggest South Side snub is center fielder Alex Rios, who wasn't chosen for the Midsummer Classic or put on the Final Vote ballot.
Rios, who has a chance to produce the first 30 home run, 30 stolen base single-season effort in franchise history, is hitting .303 with 45 RBIs, 49 runs scored, 22 stolen bases and 13 home runs. The mild-mannered veteran, playing Gold Glove-caliber defense, seemed completely unfazed by being passed over in the process.
"There were people who deserved to go to the All-Star Game more than I did. It's just the way I feel," Rios said. "I'm not mad at something or anyone. It's just what happened. I didn't care that much. It's all good."
Putting Rios on the Final Vote ballot with Konerko basically would have canceled out either player's chance to win the competition, which is what happened to Konerko and Frank Thomas in 2004.
Basically, good players having high-quality first halves will get snubbed, and there's no exact science in the All-Star selection process to avoid such a problem, according to the White Sox captain.
"I don't know if anybody has a better way of doing it. I'm sure there are a lot of smart people who have come up with the system and how it goes," Konerko said. "If there's a better one, they would apply it. As long as there's a fan vote, and a player vote and every team has to be represented and all those things are involved, it's just going to be tough to make it work.
"I've seen it happen to other teammates, other guys around the league. That's why you don't get emotionally involved with it. It's good for your family and your friends. It's cool for them. Anything beyond that, you can't get attached to it because you don't know how. ... Performance might be the third or fourth thing on the list in making the game, which is ironic in itself."