As happy as the Orioles are that rookie left-hander John Means was selected to represent them in the MLB All-Star Game on July 9 in Cleveland, the either-or nature that comes with choosing a player from the team with the worst record in baseball meant a candid level of disappointment that star outfielder Trey Mancini didn’t join him.
Mancini, who got the full weight of the team's promotional efforts during the fan-voting portion and ranks among the league leaders in several offensive categories, wasn't among the American League reserve outfielders announced Sunday to back up starters Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels and George Springer and Michael Brantley of the Houston Astros.
Reigning AL Most Valuable Player Mookie Betts and his Boston Red Sox teammate, J.D. Martinez, lead the outfield reserves, along with Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Austin Meadows and Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo.
"I'm disappointed," manager Brandon Hyde said. "I thought, and we all think, that Trey Mancini is an All-Star. I'm disappointed a little bit. I'm disappointed a lot, to be honest with you.
"I feel like he deserves to be on the team, and he's done everything he could. If you ask around the league, there's a lot of people that think he's an All-Star, and that was a tough conversation today also. I just feel like he should be on the team, and I hope this is motivation for our fans to get out and vote next year and get some of these Orioles in the game that deserve it."
Mancini finished outside the top nine in the new "primary" voting system and thus was not eligible for the final vote for starters. He was certainly qualified, however.
By traditional stats, Mancini was among the offensive leaders in the AL. His batting average of .302 entering Sunday was eighth among qualifiers in the AL and second among outfielders to Brantley.
Mancini's .907 OPS, tied for 10th in the league, was third among outfielders behind Trout and Martinez. His 17 home runs were tied for 18th, and his 19 doubles were tied for 14th.
Advanced stats were just as kind. Entering Sunday night, his wRC+ (weighted runs created) of 136 was tied for eighth-best in the league among qualifiers, and second-best among outfielders behind Trout.
Even with the disappointment, and the consolation that he could be named as a replacement if one of the AL players is not be able to participate, Means said Mancini was among the first players to come to his locker and give him a congratulatory hug.
"I really think Trey is an All-Star, too," Means said. "He's everything an All-Star can be, and I wish he could join me going. He was, I think, one of the first people to come up and give me a hug, and he's really, really happy for me. But that guy is exactly what an All-Star should be."
Baltimore Sun reporter Giana Han contributed to this article.