Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - They had their chance to add the big fish and let it slip away.
When Freddie Freeman said he'd be unable to play in tonight's All-Star Game because of a bad thumb, the opportunity was right there to add Yasiel Puig to the National League roster.
Freeman was injured Saturday and NL manager Bruce Bochy replaced him with Atlanta teammate Brian McCann.
Ooh, I'm all a quiver.
Come on, guys, Brian McCann?
Yes, McCann is all-star worthy and has been there many times. But he's not a game-changer, or in this case, a channel changer.
Picking Puig would have added a jolt to a game in desperate need of one.
The guy is the most exciting player in the game and putting him on the roster would have added an element worth watching.
For all he's done - the guy is hitting .391 and he's had 151 at-bats so the fluke angle is losing steam - and for all he could do, Puig should have been picked.
He's propped up the Los Angeles Dodgers and brought them back from the dead.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly seemed destined to be the first skipper fired this season and now, in huge part because of Puig, Mattingly might end up winning manager of the year.
But, because Puig plays on the West Coast, many of us on the East Coast haven't had a chance to see him play. We've just seen highlights.
Hmm, I wonder how baseball could have helped so many of us get a glimpse of its biggest rookie star in a long time (sorry Bryce Harper and Mike Trout)?
Hey, maybe they could have added him to the all-star roster. Nah, that makes too much sense.
Baseball shoots itself in the foot again. Idiots.
And speaking of idiots, all of those who said Puig hasn't done enough to warrant an all-star selection, please step to the back of the line.
Your game needs guys like him.
Your game craves guys like him.
Guys like him don't come around every day, every year or even every decade. And when they do, you need to take advantage of it by letting us see him play.
Remember, boys, the NFL season is coming soon and football's TV ratings for regular season games are going to clobber your ratings for playoff games.
This was a chance to infuse your game with some juice. A legit star on the rise.
But we get Brian McCann. Ouch.
I know what the purists say.
Puig could be a flash in the pan. There are others more deserving. A guy with only a handful of games played shouldn't be an all star.
I get it. I'm a purist, too.
I would get rid of the designated hitter yesterday if I could.
I love 1-0 games and despise the 10-9 affairs we get all too often.
But I also know star potential when I see it and Puig has it. As mentioned, he's up to 151 at-bats. And he's hit eight home runs and drove in 19 runs. And just watching him throw from right field is a treat.
The point is, instead of watching Puig do his thing, we'll get to watch some Marlins and Astros and Brewers do what they do. Yawn.
Baseball had a chance to do something cool and daring and do us all a favor.
But, by staying the course, the game stayed stuck in the mud.
They should have ridden the horse called Puig for all its worth.
I'd have put him in the home run derby to try and give that fossil a boost and I would have made sure, by whatever means (perhaps a hush hush phone call to Bochy from the league office), that he was a part of the game.
And if a group of veteran players and retired guys didn't like it, they could just turn the channel to something else tonight.
Something many of us will do.