You’ve seen the commercials for months, and on Monday afternoon, after much speculation, the league announced the participants for the 2013 MLL All-Star Game, taking place in Charlotte on July 13.
If you haven’t seen the list, check out the league’s official announcement here.
We’ll have time to discuss the big event later, but for now, a few initial thoughts on the selections:
These Guys Should Have Been Invited
John Galloway – It doesn’t seem outlandish to think that if someone has been named defensive player of the week for 25% of the season, they should probably make the All-Star team. Where do you think the Rattlers would be right now with average or below-average goaltending? Besides, if you want an up-tempo, fast-paced game, stick Galloway in one goal and Schwartzman in the other – nothing but 70 yard clears all day.
Tommy Palasek – Palasek has 18 points, good for 18th-place overall, and is one of only two top-20 scorers who didn’t receive an invite to Charlotte (Matt Poskay is the other, and considering how many Cannons made the cut, that seems pretty reasonable). Who was holding down the fort with a five-point performance in week one, beating the Cannons long before the likes of Seibald, Gibson, Matthews and Pannell arrived? That’s right, Tommy Palasek. Plus the guy doesn’t even need to use his own stick.
Matt Bocklet – More ground balls than any non-FOGO, and a major factor in the Outlaws’ faceoff success. Did the selection committee reach a pre-determined quota, and Bocklet was the victim of having too many guys from one team already invited?
Would Have Been Cool To See…
John Grant Jr – Sure, everybody can’t be on the All-Star team, but if I told you to make a list of players you’d want to see in a game that didn’t really count, how far would you go until you got to John Grant Jr, the man puts the “fun” in “fundamentals are for nerds” (just kidding kids, hit the wall). Look at the mess he throws in situations that actually matter, just imagine what he’d do with absolutely nothing on the line. Show-TIME!
Chazz Woodson – Chazz had a slow start to the season coupled with an aching hammy (plus Ohio’s 1-7 record), but it’s a shame, because an All-Star Game isn’t quite the same without someone throwing down some legitimate dunk attempts. Someone’s going to have to pick up the torch in his absence; and that someone just may be Ned Crotty, who already has some dunking on his resume.
Locks For Next Year’s MLL ASG
Tucker Durkin – Taking on (and shutting down) #1 attackmen since he entered the league five weeks ago, the reigning defensive player of the week (not too common for a rookie, by the way) could have reasonably been placed this year’s team, although his opponents forearms are likely glad he was not.
John Ranagan – He’s third on the Rattlers in goals, and he’s only played in half the games. It’s real simple: he runs past everybody and puts the ball in the net, and he’s currently doing so at a 45% clip. Maybe he needs some more games on his resume, but so far, so good.
Eric Law – In this case, blame Law and his penchant for being on ridiculously good lacrosse teams. If the University of Denver hadn’t made it to the Final Four, and if the Outlaws weren’t currently slicing through opponents like they’re the Crazy 88s, he most likely would have stepped into the spotlight a bit sooner.
Where are the D-Middies?
When it comes to All-Star recognition, the exchange rate on good ol’ hustle GBs is ridiculously low, which is why pure short-stick defensive midfielders got no love from the selection committee. Short stick defensive midfielders except for Matt Abbott, that is. Well, kind of. See, here’s the thing about Matt Abbott:
2013 Matt Abbott isn’t really a d-middie anymore; he’s actually a midfielder who happens to be very good at defense. Does he line up on the wings like a d-middie? Of course. He also takes run on offense, inverts in settled situations and is third on the team in assists. Doesn’t sound very d-middie-esque at all, does it? Then again, he also covers some of the league’s top midfielders and runs full field clears by himself on a regular basis.
Basically, he performs a series of tasks that seem like way too much for one cardiovascular system to handle. If you’ve ever seen Matt Abbott tired, he was probably just pretending to be tired because he wants to fit in, and it’s something he saw humans do once.
Anyway, back to the d-middies, can’t we get a few guys like Kevin Drew or Matt Smalley to line up on the wings for some faceoffs? At least name them as alternates or Honorable Mention All-Stars? I don’t know, send them a Moe’s gift card or something; the point is, these guys deserve some form of recognition.
How did the committee do, any unforgivable errors (Mundorf and Danowski are unable to attend, hence their absence from the list)? Congrats to everyone selected, especially the 15 guys who are making their first appearances. The game’s less than three weeks away, so check back here for more MLL All-Star coverage, and we’ll see you in Charlotte.