Athletics

Why Marcus Semien deserves more All-Star Game votes than he's been given

Why Marcus Semien deserves more All-Star Game votes than he's been given

The MLB All-Star break is vastly approaching and voting for the festivities in Cleveland is underway. 

Familiar names pop-up in the recent American League update of superstars that could be selected this time around, but a name remains missing: Marcus Semien. 

The A's shortstop has put up a sensational campaign this season, slashing .274/.357/.431 with nine home runs and 34 RBI. He accumulated 70 RBI across the entirety of last season, so he's well on his way to doubling those 34 come the end of the season. As a matter of fact, he's on pace to best last year's totals in hits, homers and runs almost drastically.

His defense has also improve thanks to some coaching assistance from former A's coach Ron Washington, who practically rebuilt Semien's confidence.

So why the absentee name? 

As far as the AL is concerned, no surprises surround the names of Mike Trout and George Springer. Alex Bregman has also made a name for himself as one of the more dominant third basemen. And naturally, I can't forget to mention the A's hot corner enthusiast Matt Chapman, who will grab anything within a mile radius of him; he's fifth in All-Star voting among AL third basemen for the time being.

Semien is not even in the top 10 in his respective category. And, it could be because those don't view the Green and Gold as one of those ... "sexy" teams.

MLB.com's Will Leitch calls Semien one of the underrated players in the game in a recent article, but compliments him by highlighting the fact that he's "one of the quiet reasons the A's keep being a little better than you think they're going to be."

Oh, and that phenomenal seven days he recently had that earned American League Player of the Week honors:

But here's another, and important observation he brings up ...  

He has fewer votes than Chris Davis. THE CHRIS DAVIS WITH THE "C."

I will not argue with Jorge Polanco leading the way in AL shortstop voting -- the dude is hitting .339 with 10 long balls and a .973 OPS -- he deserves that spot. As does Carlos Correa and Tim Anderson, to name a few ... but, c'mon. 

[RELATED: Mark Canha putting together elite stat season]

Voting is not that difficult people -- you literally just have to Google it this year. And if you don't understand, try Googling it. You can also click here to do it. I've done most of the work for you, the rest is up to you.

Every vote counts, or whatever it is they say.

Semien is not going to be the guy pimping out home runs or telling Madison Bumgarner to go fetch a ball in the ocean, but he's the perfect candidate to at the very least to be considered. 

Roy Steele, A's 'Voice of God' and legendary PA announcer, dies at Auburn home

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Getty Images

Roy Steele, A's 'Voice of God' and legendary PA announcer, dies at Auburn home

One does not easily earn the "Voice of God" moniker, but when it came to Roy Steele, nothing else would do. 

The long-time public address announcer for the A's passed away Thursday at his home in Auburn, leaving behind a tremendous legacy as one of the most recognizable voices in the history of the game. The A's released a team statement acknowledging his vast contributions to the history of the franchise.

"As the PA voice of the A’s for nearly four decades, his booming baritone filled the Coliseum from the Mustache Gang to Billy Ball, the Bash Brothers and Moneyball," the statement said. "Beloved by all, he touched the lives of generations of A’s fans. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones."

Steele began his tenure as the A's PA announcer starting in 1968 and remained in the position through 2005, though he did make occasional appearances during the 2007-08 season. He covered over 3,000 A's games, including six World Series and an All-Star Game. Throughout his 38 years at the helm, he only missed five days of work.

[RELATED: A's might have to delay targeted 2023 ballpark opening]

His death comes during a sad week for the Oakland franchise. On Sunday, Chester Farrow, who operated the scoreboard at the Coliseum for over 50 years, passed away at the age of 77.

Whenever MLB resumes, one would imagine both longtime employees will be honored.

A's might have to delay targeted 2023 Howard Terminal ballpark opening

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Oakland A's

A's might have to delay targeted 2023 Howard Terminal ballpark opening

The A's have publicly said they plan to open a new ballpark at Oakland's Howard Terminal ahead of the 2023 season.

Those plans could be delayed.

An A's spokesperson admitted to The San Francisco Chronicle's Scott Ostler on Thursday that the team "might have to push back" their targeted opening date. Ostler wrote that "growing political and logistical hurdles," "[coronavirus]-related delays" and a recent federal court ruling could endanger the 2023 target, as could a recent federal court ruling. 

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Oakland's ban on transporting coal through the city in a two-to-one ruling Tuesday. The Sierra Club told Bay Area News Group that there are plans to file another appeal, as they and community leaders have argued that coal dust would add to West Oakland's polluted air. Howard Terminal, which already requires environmental certification before the A's can ever begin construction, is fewer than two miles downwind from the site where Utah coal companies planned to transport coal prior to the city's now-struck-down ban.

[RELATED: Why Braden vehemently opposes MLB's proposal to players]

A's owner John Fisher, who Forbes currently estimates has a net worth of $2.1 billion, announced in a letter to fans Tuesday that the team would cease paying minor leaguers a weekly $400 stipend starting in June and that the team had "implemented a significant temporary furlough of staff positions, and reduced compensation for staff members who are not furloughed."

The A's previously said in a statement to NBC Sports California earlier this month that they deferred their annual $1.25 million rent payment for use of the Oakland Coliseum because the Coliseum Authority "has been unable to make the Coliseum available for use by the A's" during the coronavirus pandemic. Henry Gardener, the Coliseum Authority's interim executive director, told Bay Area News Group that the A's told the stadium authority they "had no ability to pay."