Sunday, July 01, 2007

Wait ... it's the fans who are idiots?

Bitching about All-Star snubs is cliché at this point, I know. I don't plan on listing the team I would have chosen, or anything; I think that's dumb and since no one can agree on the correct criteria for All-Stars anyway, you end up having "Bruce Armstrong is clearly a better actor than Billy Zane"-type arguments, which ultimately is good for no one.

What I wanted to bring up was the fact that the old sportswriter/broadcaster saw about how unjust the fans balloting is got turned on its ear this year, since both the AL and NL squads are perhaps the most justifiable starting lineups I can remember. At almost every position, the fans nailed it; you can squabble about Polanco over Roberts, Beltran over Holliday and Wright over Cabrera, but all of those were either close enough or justifiable based on a wider range of criteria to not be worth it. Whether its a newfound awareness of statistics on the part of the fans, or a shortage of "legacy" players like Ripken and Gwynn hanging around that get in based on popularity, the bottom line is that no one can accuse the fans of fucking this one up.

You know who you can accuse of fucking things up? The NL players, and perennial dickbag/pitcher killer Tony LaRussa. For the love of Pete, what a fucking hatchet job those assholes did on the reserve team. You, my friends, are the ones who got it wrong.

Chief on the list is the mystifying absence of Hanley Ramirez and Jimmy Rollins from the squad, with an honorable mention to Edgar Renteria. It's a goddamn golden age for NL shortstops right now, with four players at the position coming up in the NL's top 20 in VORP. You want to know which one of the headlining shortstops isn't in that group? J.J. Hardy, the only fucking shortstop selected to the reserve squad. I'm sorry, but that's absolutely insane; there's not a single, knowledgeable fan of the game who doesn't realize that Ramirez, Renteria and Rollins have all been better than Hardy this season. I don't even think you need to use nerd statistics to back this one up; besides HR, there isn't a single category of stats in which you'd conclude that Hardy was better than any of those three.

You know who ended up getting a reserve spot over those awesome and exciting players? Pirates 2B Freddy Sanchez, that's who. Sanchez has torn up NL pitching to the tune of a .305/.336/.380 line, with a whopping 1 home runs and and eye-popping 0 steals. If LaBortion decides to pinch-sac-bunt (and he so would in an All-Star game, that cocksucker), we all know who his man is. And, yes, I know that each team has to have at least one representative (notice how I'm not getting all pissy about Meathook getting the nod over my boy Adrian Gonzalez), but are you telling me that Tom Gorzellany or Ian Snell wouldn't have made clearly better selections for the team? According to VORP, those two are the third- and sixth-best pitchers in the entire league. They should probably both be on the team. And, again, you don't need to dig nerdy statistics to know this.

Know why Snell isn't on the squad, though? It's because LaBortion decided he needed six fucking closers on the team. Six! Six! Sure, every one of those guys is doing well this season, but at some point shouldn't you just stop? Swap Papa Grande out for Snell, and give Fuentes' and Sanchez's spots to Ramirez and Rollins (or one of the other very deserving candidates, like Chris Young, Eric Byrnes (sigh ... I admit it, he's good, and I need to stop hating him), Adrian Gonzalez, or Renteria). Instead, though, we've got LaRussa trotting out more closers than the Bellagio blackjack pit. Sweet Kelly Gruber on a Triscuit. LaRussa must be figuring that if they're all ninth-inning guys on his staff, none of them will die the night before the game.

The fans will get to vote the final spot for the NL, and I've got a feeling that it's going to be Ramirez or Rollins taking that last spot (I'm voting for Rollins, just because he's on my keeper team and I have an unhealthy love of him, though I know Ramirez is probably the better objective choice). But that race shouldn't have included no-brainer guys, and it didn't have to.

As always, the moral of the story is: Don't trust people who wear sunglasses inside, or at night. They are probably bad at managing things.

(Late edit: Neither Ramirez nor Rollins is on the last-man vote ballot. Fucking brilliant, MLB! Who would want to showcase one of the two most entertaining young players in the game?)

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fuentes isn't a closer anymore.
"Just try to get him out of the spotlight, off the burner," Hurdle said. Er, the all-star game is just an exibition game, not many people watch, right?
How about Dan Uggla? I'd take his .250 batting average and 17 homers over Freddy anyday. For that matter Hudson, too.


This has been kige ramsey, youtube sports.

St said...

It doesn't really matter -- Chase Utley is the best NL second baseman by such a wide margin, they should have given him two spots on the team.

Diesel said...

You should peep that NL VORP leaders sheet ... I think you'll be happy (shocked, even?) with what you see.

Anonymous said...

People who like baseball fuck sheep, sheepfuckers.

-James

b said...

dammit, you beat me to the "LaRussa needs to carry extra pitchers" joke, Doyle!!

Anonymous said...

Where could I find the NL VORP leaders?

Diesel said...

I linked to it in the post, but here it as also:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/sortable/index.php?cid=204668

Diesel said...

Here's a better link.

Anonymous said...

Cole Hamels is 19th. What is the value that VORP is telling me? How is it calculated for picthers versus hitters?

Diesel said...

I'm assuming you noticed that Utley is the NL VORP leader right now ... that's what I was referencing.

VORP for pitchers is the number of runs a pitcher has prevented that would have been given up by a replacement-level pitcher (think Zach Duke). I suspect Hamels' figure is lower than you'd expect because of his HR/9 figure, which is really high right now.

Anonymous said...

Why do you prefer VORP to WARP?

What is the deal with Adrian Gonzalez? Is he playing hurt? forget how to hit? Just a random slump? It would be nice if he broke out of dem shits, sometime soon.
Mark

Anonymous said...

yawwwwwwwwwn........come on guys, give us a new blog, disagree, and question one another's intelligence. D. Suave is bored.