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MLB All-Star Game: The 5 worst All-Stars in Detroit Tigers history

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The Tigers have had a lot of legendary talents play in their timeless home whites. There have been some lean years too, though. Who are the worst All-Stars in Tigers history?

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My all-time favorite rule in all of sports is that every team is represented in the MLB All-Star Game. It provides us with legends such as Kevin Correia, Morgan Ensberg and Tom Pagnozzi. The Tigers have packed the American League roster for the last decade, but this was not always the case.

Finding a list of "bad" All-Stars is not an easy task. What makes a bad All-Star? Al Kaline made an All-Star team in 1974 when he was worth just 0.9 rWAR. However, when you are an icon on your way to the Hall of Fame, I can let that selection slide. So, when coming up with a list of the worst All-Stars in franchise history, you will not see guys like Kaline or Ivan Rodriguez, as their selections at the end of their careers were mostly ceremonial.

The criteria for this list is pretty loose. I went through each Detroit roster going all the way back through the last 50 years to 1965. I kept track of the "worst" All Star selections by rWAR. The order will not go strictly by WAR in that season. Enjoy!

5. Tony Clark (2001) and Robert Fick (2002)

The Tigers snuck in a mediocre "slugger" in back-to-back years in the early part of the millennium. Clark made the team in 2001, despite being ninth on the team in WAR. Shane Halter finished second, if that means anything to you about the strengths of the 2001 Detroit Tigers. Clark was powered by a monster first half in which he hit over .300 and slugged 13 of his 16 homers. He finished the season with a WAR of 1.7, good for 21st amongst first baseman that season.

Fick's selection in 2002 was also fueled by "big" first half of the season. Fick hit .290 with an OPS of .831 before the break, but limped to the finish with a 1.7 WAR on the season, same as Clark. Rob finished 58th amongst outfielders in WAR behind folks like John Mabry, Dustan Mohr and Timo Perez. Sadly, there really weren't any better options. Starting pitchers Jeff Weaver and Mark Redman were the only two Tigers higher in WAR. Weaver may have gotten the nod, but he was traded on July 5th, just ahead of the break in a move that got the Tigers moving towards the future.

4. Doyle Alexander (1988)

I don't remember the 1988 season all that well since I was only seven years old, but I would imagine that Alexander got the nod here based on his 1987 performance. The Tigers famously traded John Smoltz to the Braves for Alexander midway through 1987 and Alexander went 9-0 down the stretch with an ERA of 1.53. He started out 1988 fairly strong, posting a mark of 8-4 with an ERA of 3.15. However, he fell apart in the seasons second half and finished the season with a WAR of just 0.4. This was his only career All Star appearance and he was 37 years old. Good for him.

3. Jose Valverde (2010), Todd Jones (2000), Mike Henneman (1989)

Closers get a special category. Often, bad teams, like the Phillies this year, have nothing else going for them except for a guy who can save the few games they do win. Valverde, Jones, and Henneman all had the save totals that looked nice, but little else. In fact, Henneman finished the 1989 season with a WAR of just 0.1 and had a WHIP of 1.50. That WHIP is higher than the current mark sported by Kyle Lobstein and Angel Nesbitt. Henneman was lights out in 1988 and probably got elected based on that performance rather than his completely pedestrian marks of 1989.

2. Don Wert (1968)

Wert was never known for his bat. The righty hit just .242 with an 87 OPS+ in over nine big league seasons. He did rate out favorably by most metrics with the glove at third base. Wert's selection is not as easy to explain as previous players on this list. He did not benefit from a big first half (.220/.279/.340) and his second half ended up being much worse. He rated okay with the glove, but never won a Gold Glove in any season. The only thing that makes sense here is that the Tigers were just really good in 1968 and voters thought they deserved some extra representation. In the end, Wert's 0.4 WAR in 1968, ranked 24th amongst all third baseman.

1. Ed Brinkman (1973)

Brinkman played in all 162 games for the 1973 Tigers and that probably was not a good thing. Like Wert, Brinkman was never known for his bat. He played in 15 big league seasons and retired with an OPS+ of just 65. In fact, only one player in baseball history has played in all 162 games and had a lower OPS+ (congratulations, Alfredo Griffin!). Brinkman brought his usually weak bat to 1973, but his defense also regressed and he finished the season with a WAR of -0.1. He was below replacement level and yet Tigers manager Billy Martin ran him out there every single day. The Tigers finished 12 games out of first, so it's not like playing Brinkman did any serious damage, but still.

Who will this season's Ed Brinkman be?