Snubbed no more! How Anthony Rendon stopped being baseball’s Glenn Close

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Once again, the fans did not vote Rendon to be the starting third baseman for the National League (he finished fifth at his position). However, in a shocking break from tradition, the powers that be actually selected him to be a reserve. To paraphrase a 2017 quote from former Washington Nationals teammate Daniel Murphy, they must have finally gone to FanGraphs. As such, they knew that heading into Sunday’s announcement, Rendon ranked 12th in the majors in WAR among position players, and second among NL third basemen. In other words, Rendon has been one of the best players in baseball this year. Still, he gets no love from the electorate. This should come as no surprise.

Since the beginning of 2014, his first full season in the majors, Rendon has established himself as one of the best all-around players in the bigs. During that time, he has amassed a total of 27.9 WAR, which ranks seventh among all position players. The top 30 players on that list have combined to make 78 All-Star appearances over the past five seasons, and every one of them has been to the Midsummer Classic at least once — except for Rendon. Until this week, he was basically MLB’s version of Glenn Close.3

If you’re a baseball fan, you probably know Close from the classic 1984 flick “The Natural.” She played Iris Gaines, Roy Hobbs’ hometown girlfriend, a role that earned her a Best Supporting Actress nomination from Academy Award voters. It was the third time she was nominated, and the third time she lost. Since then, Close has received four more Oscar nominations (including earlier this year for “The Wife”), and all four times she’s whiffed. If you’re scoring at home, she’s now 0-for-7 lifetime and is arguably the greatest actress who has never won an Academy Award.

Unlike the Oscar voters’ repeated snubbing of Close, the fact that All-Star balloters have never voted in Rendon is only mildly surprising. After all, the fan balloting is typically dominated by players whose teams draw really well and/or have an intensely passionate following, and the Nats don’t really fit into either category. Plus, stat-stuffer guys like Rendon — versatile players who do a bunch of things well but don’t have one obviously eye-popping stat — tend to get lost in the shuffle. Especially when they’re pathologically quiet, like a certain Nats third baseman.