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Richard Perpetuates Voter Mistakes
by Keith Glab, BaseballEvolution.com
June 28, 2006


Richard Perpetuates Voter Mistakes

In his analysis of who are deserving All-Stars deserving among AL and NL batters, Richard makes himself out to be a caped crusader who vanquishes voter ignorance.But thanks in equal parts to his consistent use of a plural pronoun and some bafflingly obtuse All Star picks, he instead comes off like the Queen of England trying to sound knowledgeable about baseball.

 

The worst instance, of course, is the customary exclusion of Bobby Abreu from All Star consideration.Bobby has been deserving of election on at least six separate occasions before this year, but just made it last season as a last minute addition.You might think that his record-setting display during last yearís Home Run Derby might have opened some peopleís eyes to his talents, but apparently thatís not the case.All heís done this year is lead the majors in walks, the NL in OBP, and tie for the NL lead in runs produced, and clearly thatís not enough for Richard.

 

While Richard uses ďtimely hittingĒ as an excuse to make Omar Vizquel a homer pick for starting NL shortstop, he completely ignores Abreuís .361 average (and .714 SLG) with runners in scoring position.Iím afraid that weíll see him next use a stat like Quality Starts as a major factor in his pitcher evaluations.But even if he is going to lean on some seriously flawed statistics for his selections, heís still got to treat each player the same with respect to those statistics.

 

The news gets worse for Philly fans, as Ryan Howard, currently second in all of baseball in home runs and fourth in RBI, also fails to make the cut for Richardís squad.Instead, weíre treated to out machines Carlos Lee and Alfonso Soriano.Sorianoís inclusion can perhaps be excused, since the only other real option for Washington would be Nick Johnson, who is yet another first baseman (though the emphasis that Rich puts on defense would still seem to disallow Soriano).But Milwaukee has an absolute shoe in All Star in Chris Capuano, and doesnít need charity for Carlos.(We see a similar situation in the AL regarding Carl Crawford and Scott Kazmir).

 

Another defensive problem: Richard lauds Johnny Estradaís errorless play while ignoring his seven passed balls (and lackluster OBP, but I suppose thatís a different point).Catcherís a similar story in the AL, where Pierzynskiís six passed balls and 26% CS rate somehow makes him consistent on defense.You can get the same defense with better hitting from Posada, if you must elect three catchers. ††

 

The NL does seem to be a little short on outfield talent, but Richard accounts for that by reminding us that Miguel Cabrera could play there if need be, despite the fact that he hadnít played an inning there all season.On the other hand, Freddy Sanchez and his 18 games played in the middle infield apparently wouldnít suffice to make him a utility player.Nor would he receive the same extra credit that teammate Jason Bay did for being a hometown player (extra credit that flies in the face of Richardís alleged contempt for voting for players based on popularity).

 

And while Cabreraís lack of play in the outfield doesnít concern Richard, he gets into a tizzy about Hafner and Ortizí inclusion among AL first basemen on ballots.Itís a tizzy only reserved for Ortiz and Thome, however, as Hafner soon falls on his list anyway.The worst part of this 1B/DH treatment? Easily the best hitting of the men who played significant time at first has somehow failed to make the team: Jason Giambi.

 

All in all, Richardís All Star game will be missing the MLB leaders in walks, runs scored, and stolen bases.It will be missing numbers 2 and 4 in RBI, numbers 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 in HR, numbers 2, 6, 9, and 10 in OBP, and numbers 4 and 7 in OPS.Nice going, Rich.Way to see that the deserving guys make it.

 

††††††††††




Disagree with something? Got something to add? Wanna bring up something totally new? Keith Glab resides in Chicago, Illinois, and can be reached at keith@baseballevolution.com.




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