All-Star selections full of surprises

Updated: July 8, 2003, 11:34 AM ET
By Jim Baker
Even in Pittsburgh -- especially in Pittsburgh, the choice of Mike Williams for the all-star team is meeting with resounding incredulity. After all, the writers and fans there see the team play every day and have a very better idea than most that he is not deserving of a slot even if the National League roster were expanded from 32 to 64 players.

Brian O'Neill of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette points out that Williams is the only closer who has more walks than strikeouts. OK, so maybe striking guys out isn't his thing. Perhaps he keeps them off the bases in some other, more beguiling fashion. No. Not really. They are hitting .287 against him -- even higher with men on base and in scoring position. O'Neill reminds us that Williams pitched very well in last year's All-Star Game. It will be interesting to see if Dusty Baker even brings him into this one. With more pitchers than innings, Baker is under no obligation to run everyone out there.

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at