Friday, July 10, 2009

Simon Says - "You're an Idiot!"

Any All-Star sporting event that is fan-voter driven typically has the problem of fans voting players who do not deserve to be All-Stars due to their popularity or based on their career stats and not their current year production. The MLB All-Star voting generally is no exception. How many times has a player that has been injured the entire season gets enough votes to be an All-Star without even playing a single game! Five? Ten? Twenty? Honestly, I do not know the answer and frankly I do have the time to research that one, but you get my point.

I ran across this interesting tidbit earlier this week, I just have not been able to post it yet. Mark Simon in his "Simon Says" section noticed that the following players we're left off the All-Star rosters this year.

ESPN researcher Mark Simon digs deep, looking for the night's best baseball numbers.

Tonight, he takes a look at the All-Star rosters and notices a rather large omission. Not a single player in the top 10 for career home runs among active players is headed to St. Louis for this year's All-Star Game.

Staying Home Most HRs, active players
Ken Griffey Jr. - 621
Alex Rodriguez -567
Jim Thome - 554
Manny Ramirez - 534
Gary Sheffield - 509
Carlos Delgado - 473
Chipper Jones - 417
Jason Giambi - 407
Vladimir Guerrero - 396
Andruw Jones - 381

When I first read this, I thought Mark was trying to say that these players were woefully snubbed by being left off this list, i.e. how can you leave the Top 10 active HR hitters off the All-Star rosters? If this is the case then, Mark, you are one ignoramus fucktard! Upon reading a few times more, now I'm not so sure. Since I do not know what Mark's take is on the data he uncovered, it seems to be that he has found an interesting gem of data. One that shows that voting fans may be getting, not necessarily smarter, but more knowledgeable of the game.

Before anyone else objects to those players left off the rosters, let's look a little deeper shall we?

Four of the players on the list, Griffey, Jr., Thome, Guerrero and Andruw Jones, are all designated hitters in the AL and since the All-Star game is hosted in St. Louis, a National League city, there is no DH. So none of the players are going to get enough votes at a fielding position and have been left off the roster.

A-Rod and Manny's steroids issues relegated both of them to the cheap seats for the '09 All-Star game. Not many fans are very tolerant of steroids it seems anymore.

So that leaves us four of the top ten that had a viable chance of making the rosters this year.

Mets outfielder Gary Sheffield in 2009 is batting .259/.394/.455 with 5 HRs. Not horrible, but currently ranks below all of the other current NL All-Star outfielders.

Hawpe - .327/.401/.584 - 13 HRs
Pence - .300/.368/.485 - 11 HRs
Braun - .324/.407/.556 - 16 HRs
Ibanez - .312/.371/.656 - 22 HRs
Beltran - .336/.425/.527 - 8 HRs
J. Upton - .291/.369/.532 - 15 HRs

So I do not feel that Sheff was snubbed by getting left of the NL roster.

Carlos Delgado, the Mets 1B, (.298/.393/.521 - 4 HRs) may be All-Star worthy, but probably the unfortunate loser in that four other Mets are on the roster. Delgado lags way behind Pujols (.331/.459/.725 - 31 HRs) and Fielder (.309/.431/.611 - 22 HRs), but you might have an argument for Delgado against Howard (.252/.328/.520 - 21 HRs) and Gonzalez (.256/.398/.543 - 24 HRs).

Chipper Jones, 3B for the Braves, is also having a decent year like Delgado (.292/.408/.472 - 9 HRs). Unlike Delgado however, Chipper seems to be a victim of the fact that David Wright (Mets) won the 3B voting and the other 3B is Ryan Zimmerman, the "token" National to make the team, since all teams must be represented. Carlos and Chipper are probably the most All-Star worthy in the Top 10 among those that did not knowingly test positive for steroids.

That leaves us with Yankee 1B Jason Giambi (.195/.331/.371 - 11HRs). Do I really need to make a point on this one?

Frankly, I do not have a problem with any of these players getting left of the All-Star rosters. Congrats to the voters this year for not committing the "career player honoring" voting that tends to plague All-Star rosters.

OK, so Simon may not be an idiot...maybe...but it has shown us that the fans may not vote for just the most known person at that position anymore. Here hoping that the trend continues.

Have a great weekend all!

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