Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Nobody likes a cheater.

From the seedy middle-school classmate you used to spot sneaking notes during a meaningless quiz, to those in the professional world who fudge their résumé to get ahead, cheaters will always irk the (relatively) honest people among us.

It’s no surprise, then, that New York Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez was snubbed from the 2015 MLB All-Star Game. First it was by the fan vote that determines starters, second by players and coaches who determine the reserves, and yet again in the final vote. In fact, A-Rod wasn’t even a candidate for the final American League spot. That distinction falls to Xander Bogaerts, Yoenis Cespedes, Brian Dozier, Mike Moustakas and Yankee teammate Brett Gardner.

American League Final Vote Candidates | PointAfter

Note: Gardner has since been named an injury replacement for Alex Gordon.

All of those guys are worthy of All-Star consideration, but the fact that A-Rod has been completely snubbed of recognition throughout the process smells of bitterness and double jeopardy.

Did he cheat? Yes. Did he disgrace the game of baseball and himself? Yes. Did he need to use steroids in order to perform at a high level? Unquestionably, no. He was one of the most gifted talents of his generation before giving in to the pressure of a massive new contract.

The fact is, though, Rodriguez already paid for his crime. He was forced to sit out the entirety of the 2014 season, and yet he’s come back at age 39 with an inconceivable bounce-back campaign.

Rodriguez: Batting Average and Home Runs by Season | PointAfter

With 16 home runs through July 8, the slugger has already matched his total from 2011 and only needs two more bleacher shots to tie his output from 2013. His 16 dingers also ranks him second on the team behind Mark Teixeira—who’s having a resurgent year in his own right—and first among designated hitters. Perhaps most extraordinary of all is the fact that the 20-year veteran has been hitting his homers to all parts of the ballpark.

Alex Rodriguez’s 2015 Spray Chart | PointAfter

It’s nothing short of remarkable that the right-hander has been able to look so comfortable in the box after a year off from facing live pitching.

Alex Rodriguez 2015 Yankees Stats | PointAfter

Expanding further, A-Rod’s .880 OPS is his best mark since 2009 and slots him No. 11 in the American League. The 10 guys above him? All of them are All-Stars.

American League Top 11 in OPS | PointAfter

Rodriguez has also walked an impressive 45 times (tied for fourth in the AL) and his WAR of 2.0 is nipping at the heels of fellow DH Prince Fielder (2.1)—though Fielder’s average and OPS lead A-Rod quite comfortably.

It’s worth noting as well that these numbers include a bit of a funk that has plagued Rodriguez since the start of July. During the voting process, A-Rod’s numbers were even more impressive.

Alex Rodriguez: 2015 Monthly Splits | PointAfter

Regardless, the soon-to-be 40-year-old has played a huge role for the first-place Yankees during his comeback year.

It’s not at all shocking that the fans, players and coaches all snubbed A-Rod. He’s a bonafide pariah in MLB circles. But shouldn’t his numbers do the talking for him? If we’re strictly discussing the stats, and not A-Rod’s sordid past, he’s done enough to deserve an All-Star nod.

Not playing a position in the field anymore may have hurt his case, but his reputation was the true death knell. The baseball community isn’t one to forgive and forget (cut to Pete Rose nodding sadly), but even A-Rod’s haters have to acknowledge that what he’s doing right now—at his age—is astonishing.

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