All-Star starters don’t always deserve to be (but you knew that, didn’t you?)

Hall of Famer Ripken, the all-time leader in undeserved All-Star Game starts.

Hall of Famer Ripken, the all-time leader in undeserved All-Star Game starts.

So. Aaron Judge lived up to his notices in the Home Run Derby Monday, inspiring speculation on whether he’ll take Max Scherzer over the fence in the All-Star Game tonight. (My call: Don’t bet against it too heavily.) At long last the All-Star Game isn’t going to determine World Series home field advantage. But I find myself transfixed on a remarkable article at FiveThirtyEight whose sub-headline is more arresting than the main one: “Cal Ripken made too many All-Star teams, Keith Hernandez not enough.”

You can’t (and shouldn’t) forget the ’86 Mets, no matter how hard you try

Hernandez---his 1983 arrival in trade began the build to the 1986 conquerors

Hernandez—his 1983 arrival in trade began the build to the 1986 conquerors

Their 30th anniversary seems to be more sober than an awful lot of the team was. But Allen Barra is right. Three decades ago, the New York Mets steamrolled the National League on the regular season, then wrung their way through to a World Series triumph the hard way, against a pair of tough enough teams from Houston and Boston. There was and remains nothing wrong with that. There was nothing like a pair of hair-raising postseason sets to remind people that even teams as good as those Mets have to work, good and hard, for their prizes.

Unforgettable, Though Many Try: The 1986 Mets

Their 25th anniversary seems to be more sober than an awful lot of the team was. But Allen Barra is right. Twenty-five years ago tonight launched the 1986 World Series, which the New York Mets would win in rather dramatic fashion. There was and remains nothing wrong with that. The 1986 Mets may have steamrolled the National League on the regular season, but there was nothing like a pair of hair-raising postseason sets to remind people that even teams as good as those Mets have to work, good and hard, for their prizes.