Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hey Now. You're An All-Star. But You Shouldn't Be.

Not sure how many of you have ever checked out, but it's a great site that highlights a lot of great sports blogs on the web, and it has a lot of original content that's not focused on any blog. There's a link to an article over there today, posted by a Sox fan from his blog SoxAddict, that lists the AL all-star team. There are 2 comments on the post that basically whine over Jeter being named to the team, stating that:

"It’s a crying shame that not only is Derek Jeter on the All-Star team with his lackluster season, he’s the starting shortstop, too." And "Ichiro and Derek Jeter are the biggest jokes on the starting roster. Maybe if the ASG was a stolen base contest then Ichiro might deserve it. As for Derek Jeter.. his numbers aren’t that much different than Ichiro’s."

Now, I take a little exception to the comments about Jeter, not because I'm a Yankee fan, but because I'm a baseball fan, and a logical person. It's not a crying shame or a big joke that Jeter's on the team. You can make a case that he's one of the 2 best shortstops in the AL. The fact of the matter is that no AL SS is having what I would call a great season. Jeter is 2nd ranked (behind Michael Young) in batting avg, 3rd ranked in OBP (behind Julio Lugo and Marco Scutaro) and 3rd in SLG (behind Jhonny Peralta and Michael Young), 3rd in OPS (behind Young and Peralta), and 4th in fielding percentage (behind Orlando Cabrera, Young, and Peralta). I wouldn't have cast my vote for him to be the starter, but I wouldn't call it a big joke or a crying shame that Jeter's on the team. My vote would have gone to Michael Young, for lack of a better candidate.

Now, if you want to get into big jokes and crying shames, let's look at the selections of Dustin Pedroia and Manny Ramirez. Pedroia is having a great season. You can't argue that. You can strongly argue that he's not having the best season. You can also argue that he's not one of the top 2 second baseman in the AL. Perdroia ranks 5th in fielding %, 4th in average, 5th in OBP, 3rd in SLG, and 3rd in OPS. Ian Kinsler ranks 1st in all of those categories except fielding %. Kinsler is far and away having a much better season that Pedroia. He pretty much beats Pedroia in every offensive category there is. I'd say Pedroia starting is a much bigger joke than Jeter starting.

Manny getting voted in is by far a bigger joke than anyone. Manny ranks 17th in average, 7th in OBP, 9th in SLG, 7th in OPS, 6th in RBI. I could go on but you get the picture. There are a lot more deserving people ahead of Manny, namely Johnny Damon, Carlos Quentin, Jermaine Dye, JD Drew, Grady Sizemore, even Hideki Matsui.

The biggest joke of all was at least averted. For a while, it looked like Jason Varitek was going to get voted in. How can anyone in their right mind cast a vote for that guy? He doesn't even rank in the top 10 in most offensive categories. JV is hitting .219 with an OPS of .661. That would have been a crying shame had he been voted in.

Fan voting should be abolished anyway, or used as part of the selection process. The time is going to come where a guy like Varitek gets voted to the team when he has no right to be, and then it trivializes being named an All-Star. Thankfully, they got it right this time.



SoxAddict said...

Michael Young and Jhonny Peralta are both better choices. Hell, you said it yourself, Julio Lugo has a better OBP than Derek Jeter. It's a joke.

Also if you're going to quote me, you might want to include the part where I agreed in that neither Pedroia nor Manny deserve to start. Kinsler is a better choice at 2B and Drew is a better choice in the OF.

Russell said...

The whole all-star selection process is virtually designed to ensure that the best players aren't selected.

Anonymous said...

The worst part is the players voting Varitek in, and giving A.J. the finger by doing so.

Yankeehottie said...

I love the title of this blog. Didt even have to read it and I knew who you were talking about. Fuck Varitek.

SoxAddict said...

yankeehottie: He wrote the post prior to the All-Star reserves being announced. You're an idiot.

J-Boogie said...

Addict- I don't care if you come by and call me names, but try to refrain from doing it to anyone that comments here. It's not necessary.

There are definitely a lot of bad calls with who made the team. The process needs an overhaul. Varitek making it. Pat Burrell and Xavier Nady not making it. There are a lot of deserving guys but with the way the process is now, a lot will be left off every year, which to me, ends up trivializing being called an all-star, especially when a .219 hitting catcher makes it.

Michael Norton said...

Like everything else in baseball, the big market and successful teams will be able to dominate any popularity contest. They sell more merchandise. They are featured on television more often. The names are more recognizable.

And after that comes the secondary methods of selection, which in many ways are even worse. But that reveals the true problem: how the hell would you select an all-star team? The managers? The press? Computer rankings

I blew off the whole All-Star thing years ago. That's my break from baseball during the summer.

Michael Norton
Apropos En Passant