How to vote for the All Star team

Sickels on Jesus Montero
Ugh

Personally, I can’t stand the idea that the All Star Game counts for something. The game itself is nothing more than a glorified exhibition contest designed to showcase some of the best talent around while celebrating the game. The voting is nothing more than a popularity contest.

So every year, when the voting comes around, it’s a bit laughable when the true All Stars aren’t the ones getting the vote. What makes this year’s voting more ironic — at least from the Yankee/Red Sox perspective — is that the fans of the Red Sox, the AL’s front-runners right now, are voting for their own players when it would behoove their chances for that home field advantage in the World Series to vote for the Yankees (and a few non-Yankees). I wonder if Boston fans can handle that cognitive dissonance.

Let’s take a look at the most recent voting results, starting with the first basemen.

Name Team Votes VORP
1. Youkilis, K. Red Sox 1,187,909 21.9
2. Morneau, J. Twins 897,199 20.2
3. Giambi, J. Yankees 608,952 24.7
4. Pena, C. Rays 368,640 4.9
5. Konerko, P. White Sox 365,592 -1.3

So Kevin Youkilis isn’t a bad choice for All Star, but Jason Giambi is clearly the AL’s VORP leader at first base right now. Take out that bad three-week start, and Giambi is utterly crushing Youkilis and Morneau.

Name Team Votes VORP
1. Pedroia, D. Red Sox 1,027,788 8.5
2. Kinsler, I. Rangers 816,793 27.2
3. Cano, R. Yankees 649,558 -7.3
4. Polanco, P. Tigers 434,256 13.7
5. Roberts, B. Orioles 296,260 23.2

Really? Dustin Pedroia? Yankee fans, I know we all love Robinson Cano, but he is not an All Star this year. Vote for Ian Kinsler; he has a chance to unseat Boston’s bald little second baseman, and he’s actually the All Star this year.

At this point, we can skip a bit because the Yankees are winning. Alex Rodriguez is your clear All Star at third base, and while Michael Young is doing somewhat better than the slumping Derek Jeter this year, Derek Jeter will be the de facto All Star until he retires or moves from short stop. So we’ll turn to the catching slot, and it’s here that I begin to think no one really pays attention.

Name Team Votes VORP
1. Varitek, J. Red Sox 896,022 4.5
2. Mauer, J. Twins 855,200 20.2
3. Rodriguez, I. Tigers 642,786 5.0
4. Posada, J. Yankees 587,693 10.7
5. Pierzynski, A.J. White Sox 395,093 13.1

That’s not a mistake; all four of the other AL catchers in the top five are having better seasons than Jason Varitek. Even the Yanks’ own Jorge Posada, out for five weeks with a shoulder injury, is a better All Star choice than the man who fights with his mask on. Joe Mauer is a close second, but he should be a distant first.

As the DH vote goes, it’s not even worth it to reproduce the numbers. David Ortiz is out-polling Hideki Matsui by nearly 800,000 votes while Matsui’s VORP is 22.1 compared to Ortiz’s 14.2. But Ortiz is injured, and Matsui will become the All Star DH by default. Milton Bradley’s VORP of 38.0 would make him, by far, the best choice, but MLB has him slotted in that disastrous group of outfielders.

Name Team Votes VORP
1. Ramirez, M. Red Sox 1,539,753 24.1
2. Hamilton, J. Rangers 1,352,372 32.3
3. Suzuki, I. Mariners 882,712 19.3
4. Guerrero, V. Angels 757,881 12.0
5. Abreu, B. Yankees 711,588 11.0
6. Damon, J. Yankees 616,045 25.4
7. Ordonez, M. Tigers 613,753 17.1
8. Bradley, M. Rangers 562,923 38.0
9. Drew, J.D. Red Sox 560,610 26.0
10. Cabrera, M. Yankees 553,746 2.4

Even the Red Sox fans, generally so generous with their votes, must hate J.D. Drew. The AL’s top-hitting right fielder is barely out-polling Melky and his 2.4 VORP. Meanwhile, Johnny Damon isn’t getting nearly enough All Star love while Ichiro and Manny are getting too much. Your top AL outfielders should be Josh Hamilton, Johnny Damon, and as much as it pains me to admit it, J.D. Drew. As I noted, Bradley should be considered a DH.

So this exercise, largely futile, proves a point that few would debate: The All Star game is a popularity contest. This year, the results seem particularly egregious and biased toward the team with the most bandwagon fans right now. As the Midsummer Classic approaches though, I have to laugh a little bit as I realize that the Red Sox would be much better served in the long run if they voted the Yankees on to the All Star team. Funny how things work out when, this time, it counts.

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Sickels on Jesus Montero
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  • Ivan

    Red Sox players are getting more and more overhyped everyday. Even Callis said that he will take Lester over Hughes. I understand Hughes wasn’t pitching well and he’s hurt but come on Jim. Hughes is a better pitcher period once he gets acclimated to the league. I hate the sox.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

      Did he really say that? What the fuck is going on in this world? Why is it so “in” to trash anything Yankee?

    • MJ

      Hughes is a better pitcher period once he gets acclimated to the league.
      =================
      Probably true but conjecture nonetheless (sp?). Lester has pitched well this year, even if Hughes was the clearly superior player based on minor league stats.

      • TurnTwo

        its hard to argue Hughes over Lester right now, considering Lester has come back from cancer to throw a no-hitter, and put together a pretty damn good season so far this year, while Hughes is sitting out, yet again, from injury.

        things could change, but at least Lester is putting up the numbers right now to make his case.

        • Chris

          This is clearly a ‘who’s pitching better now’ answer. Hughes is 2.5 years younger than Lester, which is a pretty huge factor.

          • TurnTwo

            like i said, things could change, but as a yankees fan, id still take Lester for now and the near future, until Hughes can show he can stay healthy, and pitch well for some extended period of time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

    Dustin Pedroia’s guttiness, grittiness and baldness overrules any logical argument for Ian Kinsler.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Plus, Dustin Pedroia has 4 really crucial sac flies, he has strategically kept his .269 batting average under Mike Lowell’s so as not to put too much pressure on the gentle star (which is the mark of a great teammate), and he once ate three 72 ounce steaks in one hour.

      He spend the first 45 minutes having sex with his waitress.

      Now THAT’S an All-Star!

      For Diamond Cutters, I’m Peter Gammons, ESPN.

      • J-Gao

        hahahaha

        stupid ESPN – not only are they a bunch of “Red Sox Nationites” but they’re not even on network TV, so I don’t have their channel. Good thing I’ve got FOX Sat. Baseball.

      • Slugger27

        hahahaha

  • Jeff

    Personally I like how the NFL’s Pro-Bowl teams are voted by the players and coaches, not by fans (I think?). It means a lot more to the players when their peers are the ones acknowledging them rather than having it become a giant nation(world)-wide popularity content.

    Just look at the numbers for Yao Ming every NBA All-Star game…with all the fans from China he’ll always be the starter even if he isn’t putting up the numbers of say…a Dwight Howard.

    Same goes for MLB voting their all-stars in from the fans. This year it’s all Red Sox, but in the past there was that year where seemingly the entire starting roster was from the Yankees (when Torre managed the AL team, on top of it). Is this the best way to acknowledge players’ first-halves of the season and the league’s top players? No. But it’s a way to get the fans involved, and the more you get the fans involved the more they’ll want to spend money on your league.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

      NFL does allow fans to vote for Pro-Bowl starters as well. The players and coaches vote for the reserves as does the MLB and the NBA.

    • Glen L

      I believe fans vote for the NFL pro-bowl teams, while the All-Pro team is taken out of the hands of the fans

      And I’m perfectly fine with fans voting for all-star teams, the game should be played for the fans … what I have a huge problem with is the TV execs forcing MLB to make the all-star game actually decide who gets home-field advantage in the playoffs to boost ratings

      people can bitch and moan about the DH being against the purity of baseball (I know I do), but the real travesities are things like this, corporate greed driving a completely misguided way of determing an advantage in the sports championship

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        The NFL takes fan voting, player voting, coach voting, and combines the three. Everybody gets a say. Dunno the weighting formula, but basically it’s a check against the idiot fans being… idiot fans.

        MLB shouldn’t take fan voting away (lord knows they can’t afford to further drive fans away from the game) but perhaps they should allow coaches or league offices to have a vote or a veto power of some kind. The fans want to see their stars, so I’m not in favor of going through shit with a fine-tooth comb and saying that Ortiz can’t be the DH over Matsui because Godzilla is hitting X number of points higher than Big Syringe-i, but overruling Dustin Pedroia is only going to piss off 3% of baseball fans, all of whom live in Worcester and will be too drunk off of Harpoon India Pale Ale to remember what happened.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          Despite its town of origin, ain’t nuthin’ wrong with some Harpoon IPA.

  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    i did my part. but look on the bright side: the more sawx there are playing an ‘exhibition’ game, the higher chance one gets injured… am i not supposed to say that?

  • Chris

    The first month of the season is the critical time when fans decide if someone is having a good year or not. After that, it takes a huge shift (and usually someone pointing it out) for a casual fan to notice that someone has changed their performance.

    I still remember a few years ago when Melvin Mora was leading the AL in hitting at the break and wasn’t voted onto the All Start team…

    • MJ

      Good point; I remember that too.

      I’ve always had a problem with baseball’s ASG precisely for the Pedroia factor. The yahoos up there are enamored with that little shitbrick and it pretty much devalues the ASG to have him starting over Kinsler. Heck, maybe even Brian Roberts has a better argument than Boston’s version of David Eckstein.

      • J-Gao

        At least Coco Puff isn’t in there. He, Verne Troyer, and Youkelele are the 3 players I can’t stand. First off, they get too much love for being schmucks. Troyer’s slap was gritty, Youkelele tyrants, and Puff’s just a punk. The big problem is there batting stance. Puff has more ticks than a dog, Youkelele’s got his ballet-stance, and Verne Troyer stands as tall as the crouching catcher.

  • J-Gao

    As much as I would never hope for someone to get hurt, I wonder how the voting would change once a star player (Red Sox) gets injured badly. Then, people might vote for rival teams, hoping that someone gets injured.

  • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Here’s the real question: How will the Roll Call work during the ASG? Just the Yankees get it, right? If Manny got some love, I wouldn’t be completely opposed to it.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      I say roll call ARod first, then Jeter, and then when it gets to Pedroia, chant his name loud as shit and when he turns to acknowledge, boo the shit out of him.

      Then do it to Manny next, he’d probably be dumb enough to turn around too…

  • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Ian Kinsler’s OPS+ is 145.98% greater than Dustin Pedroia’s.

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos

    Alright, my vote’s in.

    1B – Ross Gload
    2B – Juan Uribe
    SS – Julio Lugo’s crotch
    3B – Mike Lamb
    C – Gregg Zaun
    OF – Brad Wilkerson
    OF – Chris Denorfia
    OF – Brett Gardner (write-in)
    DH – Gary Sheffield’s reanimated skeleton

    This is the first time I’ve voted for the All Star game (other than going to the ballpark and getting and actual paper ballot handed to me). YOU GET TO VOTE 25 TIMES? What kind of bullshit is that? Makes me wish I was an unemployed dockworker in the Back Bay named Seamus O’Toole… I’d turn Dustin Pedroia into a superstar too if I can sign up for 50 fake email addresses and submit 1,250 votes.

  • A.D.

    The problem with the all-star game is the fans vote, how cal was the starting 3B every year even if he was way past it. In football it seems to have less impact. Put it in the hands of the players and coaches, or have the fan vote as a % but not the whole thing for starters.

  • Charlie

    Ah, the roll call – something to look forward to, for sure! I hope the bums announcing the game don’t talk over it..

    I didn’t realize the ASG voting was shifted so heavily to Red Socks.. It’s obvious there are tons of bandwagoners. Living over here in San Diego, it’s clear just by counting the number of Boston hats around this town. (enough to turn one’s stomach) What pisses me off is how many Boston sympathetic bars there are here, yet not one New York bar. Screw ‘em, it’ll be all the sweeter when we crush them in the coming weeks, and then (fingers crossed) in the playoffs.

  • http://blogginthebombers.wordpress.com Matt

    Pothetic, how many Sox there are. Funny how it’s basically all Yanks and Sox though.

    In other news, Yanks got Oneli Perez off waivers.

    http://www.realgmbaseball.com/.....f_waivers/

  • Mac

    Sidney Ponson say it ain’t so!

  • http://blogginthebombers.wordpress.com Matt

    Haha. Not that bad of a move though. No risk – high reward right here. We don’t give these 2 loads of cash, while they can be very good for us.

  • BigBlueAL

    Im not surprised when reading yesterday people talkin about the new Yankeeogrpaphy about the 1998 season and alot of you guys saying you were too young to appreciate those teams!!! That clearly illustrates why you guys are such haters towards the Red Sox, because in your time they have god-forbid been better than the Yankees!! You guys sound like Red Sox fans did during the late 90-s thru 2003, bitter as fuck!! You guys root as much against the Sox than you do for the Yankees to win, which is pretty pathetic. Red Sox fans, especially in the “old days” would be happy if the Yankees lost or something bad happened to them, nevermind the fact that the Sox didnt win shit at the time.

    As ive mentioned in the past, im an “old” 28 who was thankfully old enuff to cherish those years being in high school and a bit in college (before unfortunately dropping out, for u guys still in college, do whatever you can to finish and graduate!!!!) so i dont feel this level of hate and bitterness to the Sox, nor obviously as ive stated feel this loyalty to the freakin farm system and prospects like you guys do. Oh no some expert picked Lester over Hughes, pf course he did!!!!! Look at their freakin MLB numbers!!!!! But the main point is, who cares!!!!

    Anyway guys relax about Boston and all their All-Stars, i remember i believe in 2001 when the Yankees had 7 or 8 All-Stars and people were KILLING Torre for taking all those Yankees. They are the defending champs, so you have to give them their props and not sound so resentful like Sox fans have sounded for the years after the 26 titles the Yankees won w/o Boston answering back with one of their own. So the shoe is on the other foot for now, relax. The Yankees will win another championship in the next couple of years or so, if not hopefully even this year. Dont get me wrong though, Boston still SUCKS!!!

  • Colin

    CARLOS QUENTIN

    Sorry for yelling, but its ridiculous the season this kid is having and no one is paying attention. You didn’t even mention him in this post. I hope the players vote him in.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    Can I use this opportunity to complain loudly about getting All Star tickets?

    The purchasing for ticket licensees opened, supposedly, on Monday morning at 10:00.

    Now I have been buying playoff tickets via Ticketmaster since it went computerized (a few years now).

    I usually log on about an hour before and then go to the screen where it says purchase tickets about 9:50. I keep refreshing until I’m able to buy tickets. If you don’t get on within the first 10-15 minutes, there are no tickets.

    So I did it that this year…only at 9:00 I could not get onto to Ticketmaster (My Account with Yankees.com). It kept telling me that I was in the line and if I REFRESHED OR BACKED UP, I would lose my place.

    Okay, so I waited. By 10:00 it was still like that…10:10…still like that…10:20 still like that. I’m pretty sure that I am never getting tickets.

    10:40 still like that. Finally I logged out and tried to get back on. Couldn’t do it.

    Complained to the Yankee ticket office and they told me that there was a “glitch” in the computer system and that most people could not log on until 10:15 and then all the tickets sold within 8 minutes.

    I’m just really really angry. A once in a lifetime opportunity. Gone.

    Nice.

    • R-Oneill-21Shot

      Same exact shit happened to me… Which is why I’m borrowing my sisters wheelchair, snapping up some h/c accesible tix and showing up. And for those of you who think I’m an animal for doing this, my h/c sister thinks its a great idea and is signing on…

  • http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/profile.php?id=1383090075 Brad

    Giambi is the best [offensive] first baseman in the American League. No question. However, Youkilis plays a good bag while Giambi is terrible. I can understand that one.
    Plus, their VORP’s are pretty close, and VORP does not track defense.