When Major League Baseball's All-Stars convened in Kansas City earlier this week, one notable name was nowhere to be found: Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez has been an All-Star 14 times, more than any active player. He leads all active players in career value, according to traditional stats (home runs, runs, RBIs) and advanced stats (WARP). Only a handful of players in history have done as much to help their teams win, but career accomplishments mean only so much.
To be considered one of the best players in baseball, you have to continue to play like one. And lately, A-Rod hasn't looked a lot like an All-Star.
Rodriguez won his third American League MVP award in 2007. Since then, his performance has declined in five straight seasons (see chart). Most players can expect to see their numbers take a tumble after an MVP season, but A-Rod's decline goes beyond routine regression. He's not coming back down to earth. He's falling off the face of it.