Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Who isn't proud that Loretta got into the All Star game?
Papi, sure, that was inevitable. Yankee fans were probably the only people not voting for him, and even the less irrationally vengeful among them could've been throwing a vote or two his way. Manny, much the same, except he won't be playing anyways in all likelihood. Papelbon, again, how could you say he doesn't belong there? A sub-1.00 ERA, it's absurd.
But Loretta! Ah, here is the power of Red Sox Nation (the amorphous entity, not the officially marketed one) at its best. Sure, there weren't any real clear leaders at this spot. You could make just as valid an argument for, say, Ronnie Belliard or Placido Polanco. But a combination of the fact that Robinson Cano is
dead injured and the fact that Red Sox fans realized the voting was close enough that if they put their considerable collective power together they could get him in-- this was enough to tip Loretta over the top.
Which is not to say that he doesn't deserve it, because he does. I wouldn't have been unhappy to see Belliard or Polanco or Jose Lopez or even Grudzielanek (who is busy having a tolerable season for a pisspoor team, and who SHOULD be the Royals rep a thousand times before Mark Redman) at second. But he just wouldn't have made it in if we hadn't put our fingers to the keyboards in his name.
Woo. Go Loretta. Go us.
Of course, it should be Mike Lowell or Joe Crede starting at third base over ARod, but I guess we can only do so much.
And let us not speak of how Ozzie Guillen is clearly smoking crack out of a crack pipe made from carved crystallized crack, because, um, Ozzie? Did you look at numbers? Did you really? You know what, let's play a fun game. Look at the following players.
PLAYER A: 9-5 record, 3.86 ERA
PLAYER B: 10-3 record, 3.63 ERA
PLAYER C: 9-3 record, 3.17 ERA
PLAYER D: 5-4 record, 5.59 ERA
PLAYER E: 10-4 record, 3.01 ERA
PLAYER F: 9-1 record, 1.99 ERA
Now, you've got 6 pitchers on your All Star starters roster already. So you need two more. Of the 6 listed above, which two would you take?
If you're me, you'd probably take players E and F. Maybe C because of ERA and the fact that he's got that good a record despite the fact that his team tries to lose it for him almost every single time he goes out this season, or B because he's got a bloody lot of strikeouts to his name.
If you're Ozzie Guillen, you take players A and D. Because of those 6, those two are probably the LEAST DESERVING. That makes all kinds of sense.
PLAYER A: Mark Buerhle. PLAYER B: Curt Schilling. PLAYER C: Mike Mussina. PLAYER D: Mark Redman. PLAYER E: Justin Verlander (who might yet get in... vote, you lazy sods. Justice can in some small measure be ours). PLAYER F: Francisco Liriano.
I dunno. I just don't know. I understand that Ozzie is kind "crazy" and "fiery" and "more crazy", but I just don't understand the kind of mind that puts Mark Redman on an All Star team over Liriano or Verlander or Mussina, especially when the Royals would be better and more accurately represented by Grudzielanek.
But what the hell do I know, I'm just a blogger, Ozzie Guillen is the guy getting paid to manage a baseball team. Naturally his choices are going to be more intelligent and better-informed than anything I could come up with. Right? That's how it works, right?
Oh, and for the record? I'm happy 'Tek didn't make it in. Sorry to all the Varitek fans with blinders on, but, no. Let's play the game again.
PLAYER A: .244/.328/.395, 8 HR, 39 RBI, 1 SB
PLAYER B: .301/.328/.443, 7 HR, 38 RBI, 3 SB
PLAYER C: .294/.346/.473, 10 HR, 41 RBI, 0 SB
PLAYER D: .391/.458/.546, 6 HR, 41 RBI, 7 SB
PLAYER E: .289/.402/.487, 11 HR, 43 RBI, 0 SB
Which catcher do you take? Probably D, right? D's kinda got it all: insane average, good power, unexpected speed on the basepaths, which is neat. Maybe C, because that power is intriguing and he'd make a good story. Maybe B, because he's a vet who's always a safe choice for this kinda thing, and he's having a damn good year for someone his age. Maybe even E, for much the same reason as B, but with slightly less average and slightly more power (and worse defensive numbers). A's probably the last catcher there you would pick.
We all agree?
PLAYER A: Jason Varitek. PLAYER B: Pudge Rodriguez. PLAYER C: Kenji Johjima. PLAYER D: Joe Mauer. PLAYER E: Jorge Posada.
So, in a just world run by BCRS, Joe Mauer would've been voted into the starter's spot and Kenji Johjima would've been picked as a reserve. Instead, Pudge was voted in and Mauer got the reserve. You can't really argue against Pudge, since where he lags behind Johjima in offensive numbers he probably more than makes up defensively behind the plate. But in any event, that's at least 4 catchers, just off the top of my head, who deserved an All Star slot more than Varitek does.
Oh, and yeah, I'm well aware that Pierzynski is batting .327/.372/.449. I still don't think he deserves it more than Mauer, Johjima, or Pudge. In fact, I think he deserves it less than everyone, up to and including John Buck, just because I freaking hate AJ Pierzynski so much.
Labels: All Star Game, baseball, Mark Loretta, MLB, numbercrunch