Jeter leads the way in early All Star voting


For some reason, Major League Baseball insists on turning the All Star Game, a glorified exhibition for the game’s best players, into something that plays a determining role in the World Series, the game’s crowning event. It doesn’t make sense. It never will; it never has; and as long as the All Star Game continues to count, the popular fan vote method of balloting will continue to be utterly absurd.

Today, MLB released the first round of voting results, and we see a mixed bag of AL representatives. Derek Jeter, having a decent enough year, is the AL’s leading vote-getter. That Jason Bartlett, the true AL All Star at short, is in fourth, speaks volumes. In the outfield, Jason Bay is deservingly first, but behind him are Josh Hamilton, Ichiro and Ken Griffey, Jr., three players I wouldn’t want near my AL All Star team. The rest of the results make sense, but it’s hard to believe 281,549 people who care enough about baseball to vote for the All Star team think Jason Varitek is actually the most deserving AL catcher. (Fear not: Joe Mauer leads the way in that category.)

Categories : All Star Game, Asides
  • jsbrendog

    (Fear not: Joe Mauer leads the way in that category.)

    thank all that is holy.

  • charlie

    seriously, all star game voting is absolutely ridiculous now. They start it way too early, only have players who started opening day on the ballot, and they let the fans handle all the voting(why not half bbwa and half people

    • 27 this year

      its not like the bbwa does any better. Volquez as starting catcher maybe?

  • pat

    Lets pee in their cheerios-

  • Drew

    We need to begin our offensive on the ballots. Melky is the man. Vote Melky!

    • Matt H

      Melky doesn’t stand a chance….he’s a write in, terrible.

      Disclaimer: I am a Melky supporter

  • Moshe Mandel

    The link between the SG and home field does not bother me. It is certainly arbitrary, but so was alternating years, so would a coin flip be, and quite frankly, so would overall record be. I’m not sure that there is a better solution.

    • Benjamin Kabak

      What exactly is so arbitrary about overall record or even alternating years? Having an exhibition game count is a far more arbitrary way of determining home field advantage in the World Series than either of those two methods.

      • Moshe Mandel

        What exactly do alternating years have to do with the World Series? Why should the teams this year care about what happened last year? Why not alternating 5 year terms? Alternating years is about as arbitrary as it gets. At least some of the players in the ASG may actually care about the end result. I guess overall record may make sense, but the difference between the two leagues may make that just as arbitrary.

        • Alex

          Alternating years is clearly the most arbitrary. I can’t think of any rationale behind that actually. I’m not in favor of the all star game deciding home-field advantage but alternating years makes even less sense.

      • Ivan

        The All star voting is really a popularity contest.

        • Chris

          As it should be.

      • Matt M.

        shhh… its rigged to our advantage! AL teams spank NL teams year after year in the ASG and in interleague play. why alternate when we can just win it every year?

      • Charlie3200

        Ben, why is Ichiro so undeserving? I sat at the right field foul pole last year at the all star game, and watched him in aw. He was catching line drives hit at him behind his back, laughing and trying to teach the other guys how to do it. He then took BP, and hit at least 6 or 7 balls into the upper deck in right. It seemed like he could do whatever he wants to do. He also threw an absolute laser to throw Pujols out trying to leg out a double. My friend and I were both very impressed. I guess there are others statistically more deserving, but I don’t think Ichiro is that horrible a choice.

  • pat

    Speaking of guys who arent allstars, WHY THE F*CK is kevin cash starting over cervelli (an all star in my own mind) tonight? Ugh.

    • Drew

      Girardi never ceases to amaze me.

    • Joseph Pawlikowski

      Emailed PeteAbe. He said Girardi likes to match up pitchers with the catchers they’re comfortable with.

      • pat

        12 ER in the three starts they’ve pitched together. Yuck.

        • pat

          PS- thanks for finding out, I appreciate it.

        • Chris

          Burnett ERA with Cash: 5.31
          Burnett ERA with everyone else: 5.26

  • Ivan

    I wonder who the fans will vote in on 2nd base?

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Should be either Kinsler/Cano but it will probably be Pedroia.

      • Lanny

        Not like Pedroia won the MVP last yr or anything

        • pat

          Not like Cano and Kinsler are currently out OPSing Pedroia.

          • JGS

            Kinsler is, and Cano is only 3 points behind

        • donttradecano

          Im confused last year has what to do with this year….

        • JobaWockeeZ

          So you’d rather have Pedroia rather than Cano/Kinsler?

        • JGS

          mostly because Carlos Quentin broke his hand in September

          Dustin—.341/.421/.433 (.872 OPS), 37 R, 60 H, 1 HR, 16 RBI, 6/9 SB

          Cano—.317/.350/.519 (.869 OPS), 31 R, 60 H, 8 HR, 27 RBI, 2/3 SB

          Kinsler–.283/.353/.560 (.913 OPS), 33 R, 52 H, 12 HR, 33 RBI, 10/11 SB

          they are all pretty similar, but it’ll probably be Pedroia

  • Joe

    I disagree with you on Ichiro, if I was the manager I would LOVE to have Ichiro on my team. Just my personal opionion~

    • Zack

      But is he a top 3 OF in the AL?

    • whozat

      That’s because you’re going based on reputation. Markakis is a waaay better RF choice, Bay is a waaay better LF choice, and Ichiro can’t really play CF. Even so, I’d take Adam Jones over him.

      • Charlie3200

        I guess, but again, in one breath you are arguing that the All Star Game should be a meaningless event, but you are expecting the average person to vote in the young star over the old established vet. I would venture that 95% of all fans are not as understanding of baseball as you or some others on this site are. It either should count, the managers should pick their rosters based on who they want, for whatever reason they want them, or it should not count, and fans should be able to see their favorites in my opinion.

        • Joseph Pawlikowski

          Agree, with one caveat. None of this 25-vote shit. One person, one vote, das it.

      • Captain Bawls

        I agree on the first two counts…but Ichiro can’t play CF? He has one of the better CF ranges and been one of the best defensive center fielders the last several years!

  • Thomas A. Anderson

    Just give homefield to the league that wins more interleague play games.

    Granted that might get a little hairy because of possible rainouts or whatever, but at the very least it is directly tied to how good the leagues are.

    MLB keeps saying that waiting to give homefield till the end of the season isn’t enough time because they have to accomodate far more people with logistics in terms of hotels and other stuff like that than, say, basketball or hockey.

    I don’t necessarily buy that, but whatever.

    • pat

      I don’t necessarily buy that, but whatever.

      Neither do I because you still don’t find out exactly where the WS is gonna be played until a few days beforehand anyways.

      • pat

        SH!T , Joe Paw jinxed me.

        • Joseph Pawlikowski

          Bitch don’t fuck with me.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    I wonder how many people voted in Ortiz to play.

  • Lanny

    Who cares about AS voting? It’s a fans game. Anyone who gets upset over who gets picked to start needs a hobby.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Because obviously home field advantage means nothing.

    • Marcus

      Um…Ben is a fan. And his hobby is blogging about the Yankees and baseball. In this case, he was blogging about the AS voting.

      So…what are you complaining about again?

      • Joseph Pawlikowski


    • UWS

      That may be true, but what about people who constantly come into a thread to tell everyone how much they don’t care about said thread?

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    Home field in the World Series should be determined by the combined interleague record of each league, NOT an exhibition game with starters determined by the fans.

    • Zack

      Doesn’t the AL kill the NL in interleague play every year?

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        What’s your point?

      • JGS

        yeah, but the NL hasn’t won the ASG since 1996 either…I think the AL is just better

  • Joe R

    Its kinda weird to see A-Rod behind Michael Young for all star votes. Is it because of PEDs? Probably. Im curious to see how Manny places in the voting. I have a weird feeling he’ll still be voted like nothing happen even tho A-Rod as far as we know stopped 6 years ago and Manny tested positive this year.

    • JGS

      I think it’s more because he missed the first six weeks of the season

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Possibly since Manny is getting a lot of votes even though he took PED’s.

      • Charlie3200

        I doubt its because of the first 6 weeks. Otherwise, as mentioned above, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis would be in, because fans would have paid attention to the first 6 weeks. Can’t have it both ways.

        More likely, it is because of all the negative press convincing people that Alex is a cheater and is all that is wrong with baseball, and that keeping him out of the game is good for the game.

        • JGS

          if you have name recognition like Alex does, you can hit .200 through the first two months of the season and still make the ASG (read: Jason Varitek last year) but if you miss the first six weeks altogether, people take notice

          • Charlie3200

            So then how do you explain Manny? How about Griffey? Alex Rodriguez has been painted by the MSM as the devil, the new Barry Bonds. It is simple psychology. Also, most people who would consider themselves fans don’t obsess about the sport enough to go onto a blog and talk about it. Its a small percentage that does, the true “fanaholic.” The average person who is attending a game and has that ticket in front of them looks at it and doesn’t say, “Hmmm ARod is still rehabbing in Colorado.” In fact, I would bet that most fans don’t know what team ARod first faced when he returned. However, ALL fans know that ARod was a cheater. That is the determining factor.

            • JGS

              how did Bonds do in the balloting his last few years?

              • Charlie3200

                Couple seasons ago when the game was in San Fran, the league had to basically beg the fans to vote him in.

                • Charlie3200

                  You seem to be arguing the fact that the media has such a mass control over the majority of fans. How do you explain the fact that so many people have already punched Matt Wieters ticket to the Hall of Fame? Your example of Morneau is another great example- the media doesn’t spend a whole hell of a lot of time talking about him. If they did however, more people would be voting for him.

                  What I am saying is the majority of fans are no where near as knowledgeable as the people on this blog, for instance. People here are either very intelligent or are learning from others more intelligent, thus leading to more knowledgeable fans. All that I am trying to say is, when you hear on the 10 o’clock news the lead story is not President Obama’s stimulus package, but instead that ARod tested positive for steroids, THAT is what makes people not vote for him. I am willing to bet a months pay checks that if all people were polled in America, more would know that he tested positive then he got hurt for 6 weeks.

                • JGS

                  it’s not that the media has mass control over most fans, it’s that fans in bigger baseball markets (New York, Boston) tend to vote overwhelmingly and in huge numbers for their guys. That’s how “the Yankee” and “the Red Sox” are almost always in the top 3 or 4 regardless of how poorly they are doing.

                  A lot of Yankee fans or just New Yorkers who would otherwise be voting for him know that he didn’t play at all and thus didn’t vote.

                  Manny tested positive too–yet he is doing just fine.

        • JGS

          also, people who play for last place teams (Baltimore) or small market teams (Minnesota) never get any love unless they are so obscenely better than everyone else that you can’t justify any other choice (Mauer).

          for evidence–Morneau is blowing everyone else out of the water at first–even Youkilis (in every stat except AVG and OBP and he has 60 more at bats) yet he is in 4th, 20,000 behind Cabrera and almost 140,000 off the lead

    • Joseph Pawlikowski
  • Chris

    In the outfield, Jason Bay is deservingly first

    Per Fangraphs, Bay is actually seventh in the AL in value for outfielders, right behind Johnny Damon.

    1. Torii Hunter
    2. Nelson Cruz
    3. Adam Jones
    4. Carl Crawford
    5. Shin-Soo Choo
    6. Johnny Damon
    7. Jason Bay

    • Joseph Pawlikowski

      I think that’s because of his UZR. I can’t remember where I heard it, and someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I heard playing left in Fenway hurts your UZR.

      • Chris

        That might be true. It certainly doesn’t surprise me that he’s first in voting, but I don’t think he’s the clear #1 like Mauer is. I would put those other guys (maybe not Choo and Cruz) at about the same level.

    • putt

      4 of the top 7 in the AL East…shocker.

  • Adam Hobson

    That Jason Bartlett, the true AL All Star at short, is in fourth, speaks volumes.

    Jason Bartlett is only the “true AL All Star” if you believe the All Star game should be based solely on the small sample size that is April to May. Even granting Bartlett his excellent defensive reputation, this is a player with a career .729 OPS, with a .690 mark from just last year.

    A month and a half does not make an all star in my book.

    Now whether Jeter is still worthy is another matter, but the competition isn’t exactly strong anymore. I think there is an argument that he is legitimately deserving.

    • pat

      Yeah but I just read somewhere “What happens in April does not stay in April: The Early Season Counts”

      So wouldn’t that apply in the case of Bartlett? His success in April and May should give him a legitimate shot at being the starting AL SS, no?

      • JGS

        Bartlett and Jeter have played in the same 44 games–Jeter has a few more at bats because he bats leadoff

        Bartlett–.373/.418/.596 (1.014 OPS), 7 HR, 30 RBI, 14/15 SB, 12 BB, 25 K

        Jeter–.287/.359/.452 (.811 OPS), 7 HR, 21 RBI, 10/11 SB, 19 BB, 26 K

        that says nothing about defense–gotta give it to Bartlett, but Jeter will most certainly start.

        As last year proved though, the starters don’t really matter–the third string guys are the ones that get the most playing time

      • Chris

        Shouldn’t the full year since the last All-Star game count?

        If you’re basing it only on the first half, then guys like Tex would never make it even though he is clearly deserving (or will be by the end of the year).

  • Stan

    “…it’s hard to believe 281,549 people who care enough about baseball to vote for the All Star team think Jason Varitek is actually the most deserving AL catcher.”

    It’s even harder to believe that Jorge Posada is right behind him considering he hasn’t played in how long now? And spent little time behind the plate this season in the first place! Varitek has 8 homers so far, which is second for AL catchers behind Mauer with 11!

    • Charlie3200

      “It’s even harder to believe that Jorge Posada is right behind him considering he hasn’t played in how long now?”

      Again, another example JGS as to how a vote like this goes, proving that ARod is not trailing because of a 6 week injury but because of being “Bad Alex,” as named by Selena Roberts.

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  • Harold Martinez

    Hmmmm…If batting .340 doesn’t make you an all star in your book, I don’t know what does, man. Poor Ichiro.

    But I agree with this post; I wonder who is voting here and I hate how ridiculous it gets.