Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Still no All-Star love

DETROIT -- Increased attention on the Nationals has not translated into increased All-Star votes.

Major League Baseball just released this week's NL All-Star balloting results, and nothing has changed from the previous releases. The only Nationals player to rank in the top five at any infield position or the top 15 in the outfield is Ivan Rodriguez, who is third among catchers.

Rodriguez has received 805,089 votes; he trails the Cardinals' Yadier Molina (1,047,411) and the Braves' Brian McCann (959,033).

Ryan Zimmerman, who leads all NL third baseman with a .977 OPS, trails the Phillies' Placido Polanco, the Mets' David Wright, the Braves' Chipper Jones, the Brewers' Casey McGehee and the Reds' Scott Rolen.

Adam Dunn, who ranks second only to Albert Pujols in OPS among NL first basemen, trails the St. Louis slugger, the Phillies' Ryan Howard, the Brewers' Prince Fielder, the Braves' Troy Glaus and the Reds' Joey Votto.

Josh Willingham, who ranks fourth among qualifying NL outfielders in OPS, is not among the 15 highest vote-getters, trailing (among others): Jason Bay, Jim Edmonds and Carlos Gomez.

Final results will be announced on July 4. The All-Star Game takes place July 13 in Anaheim.


Grandstander said...

All Star balloting has been a joke for years. Nothing new.

Sunderland said...

Fan ballotting gives cruddy results. MLB may like it since it generates buzz and interest, but in terms of producing an actual all-star team, it's just stupid.
And with the All Star game having a smattering of real importance to the teams that make the world series, it's doubly dumb to have teams selected by fans.
Teams in cities with big populations will always tend to out vote teams in cities with smaller populations.
And the whole "vote at least 25 times" is just the stupidest thing ever.

So I wonder, what's the point of having the fans not vote for the pitchers?
Why does that make sense at all anymore?

Knoxville Nat said...

And this is the biggest and best reason of all to take the all star balloting away from the fans. Let the players, managers and coaches or possibly the media vote, but please not the fans.

Steve M. said...

The Nats could get royally screwed by the All Star selection. Clearly nobody from the Nats will get voted in.

From where I am sitting, I see Stephen Strasburg as a lock. MLB wants to showcase him and let him pitch an inning. That will help with ratings. Does that mean Ryan Zimmerman, Pudge, and Adam Dunn don't make it?

Placido Polanco will be voted in at 3rd. David Wright will probably be the Mets lone representative unless they choose KRod. So with Polanco and Wright would they take 3 3rd baseman?

Adam Dunn doesn't have much of a chance not with Pujols and Ryan Howard as locks then maybe Adrian Gonzalez as the Padres All Star pick and maybe even Votto from the Reds.

Pudge's numbers are great but he won't be voted in and has to hope to be as an alternate.

Then there is Matt Capps leading all of MLB in saves. Doesn't he deserve to be on there?

So, Strasburg will make it with Zim and Pudge and Capps hoping to get on the roster.

Steve M. said...

BTW, Sunderland, you are correct. MLB loves it because now with the internet they can capture new email addresses by the thousands to make into new clients when an online All Star ballot is filled out.

Anonymous said...

The thing is that the clubs facilitate the box-stuffing. They do everything BUT hand out pre-punched ballots.

And I say yes to Strasburg -- even though the Nats won't. Besides, it IS and exhibition, isn't it?

Bowdenball said...

Steve M:

I can't even imagine Zimmerman getting left out. He's one of the best position players in baseball at this point. There are huge omissions every year, but nothing I can recall that would even come close to that. It would be an absolute crime, and while the average fan might not notice it, you can be sure the media would rake MLB over the coals for it.

greg said...

yeah, if a manager left zimmerman off, he'd get his head handed to him on a platter. the manager will choose him because he wants to win.

nobody else on the nats is a lock to get managerial consideration, beyond strasburg. there are a couple of bullpen guys who might have a shot. and pudge has a very outside shot, as might willingham (very outside). but my guess is it's zimmerman and strasburg representing the nats, and both as manager decisions.

Anonymous said...

Well, how about we all quit whining and start voting. Call your friends, SS will be having a few starts at home before the vote closes, hopefully fans at the park do their part. After getting his share of Allstar starts I think Pudge would choose to go only if the fans vote him in.

Section 222 said...

Lost in all of our grousing is the fact that we have four position players (Zim, Dunn, Hammer, Pudge) having All Star caliber years. Then there's Capps (how does the major league save leader not make it?) and let's not forget Livo. Oh yeah and that new guy may be the least deserving but most likely to make it. Who could have predicted this?

Sunderland said...

No way Strasburg is going to the All Star game.

MLB does not need him for ratings. Every city in America will have their favorite guy(s) playing. Ratings will be big without him.

Besides, as old school as baseball managers are, Strasburg would end up not getting in the game unless it went 11 or more innings. It would be disrespectful to play the guy with 7 career games under his belt while keeping veterans on the bench.

Zimmerman is a lock as a reserve.
Next most likely is Pudge cause they'll want at least 3 catchers, he's pretty likely to get selected as a reserve.

After that it's a crap shoot.
Dunn? Pujols of course ahead of him. Adrian Gonzalez might have to go as SD's representative. Prince, Ryan Howard, no room for Dunn.

Willingham? Doubtful.
Livo? Nah.
Capps? He's probably nxt likely after Zimm and Pudge if he does well over the next few weeks.

How big is the roster this year anyway. 35 or something nutty?

Anonymous said...

On MLB.com I am listed as interested in the Phillies and Braves as well as the Nationals. I receive many more emails regarding the Phillies and Braves than the Nationals including pleas for more all-star votes.

Today I've received "campaign headquarters" emails from both the Phillies and Braves giving me an update on how their players rank in the voting and urging additional votes. So far nothing similar from the Nationals. The last all-star email from the Nats came on May 25 pushing votes for Pudge.

I'm curious if others are receiving more Nats communications on all-star voting.

Steve M. said...

Sunderland said...
No way Strasburg is going to the All Star game.

No way? What planet are you on? I will bet you right now that if Strasburg goes to All Star break at 5-1 or better he will be on the roster just as Dontrelle Willis was when he was a call-up.

Strasburg will be the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated and probably is more recognized nationally then Ryan Zimmerman. Is it fair? That's life.

So much of the All Star format is about popularity and the size of the fanbase.

For people on here that get it, the whole thing is a farce.

We all agree Zim should get in and probably will. Just never a guarantee unless the fans vote you in. That's my point. Don't shoot the messenger.

Anonymous said...

An all-star game isn't a representation of the best players in baseball. It can't be if the ballot boxes are stuffed. It is such an absurd system. They need to have the players select the all-star team. I would think the all-star team is an insult to anyone selected to it, the way the process is today. Especially if you are a bum on a team in a big city where everyone voted, what, twenty five times??!!. If I were a player, I would hope NOT to be selected and enjoy three days off. What a joke.

Steve M. said...

Anon - For the Nats, it is 4 days off this year!

Check this out from Yahoo on the dual covers this week:


Steve M. said...


Dan just posted this up and seems others believe Strasburg will be there too.

Well Sunderland, maybe you will be right in the end but I will stick with my prediction which I posted before this even came out.

A DC Wonk said...

It would be disrespectful to play the guy with 7 career games under his belt while keeping veterans on the bench.

Question: has any rookie pitcher pitched in an all start game? Recently? (I dont know the answer, but if so, that shoots the above argument, no?)

BinM said...

DC Wonk - Wayne Simpson (CIN) in '73, maybe Valenzuela (LAD)? Can't get to resources to check right now.

Steve M. said...

I posted at 1:36 another more recent guy named Dontrelle Willis. He wasn't initially picked but was picked after another pitcher dropped out.

Guess you don't bother reading the posts.

Carl in 309 said...

Guess we're as passionate about the All-Star game as we are about right field! Certainly it is disappointing to root for a team that has at least four potential All-Stars among its 8 position players and two or three pitchers (Clippard and Capps, and maybe Hernandez) who could reasonably be selected for the mid-July baseball fest and not have any reasonable expectation that baseball fans nationally would pick any of them (and I know managers pick the pitchers).

But the All-Star game isn't about the absolutely best players, it's about the most popular ones. And most of the league has a tough time competing with the Big Boys--who are in larger media markets, have proven worldwide fan appeal, and/or have been in the playoffs in recent years. We're back in the pack, recovering from 2 100+ loss seasons, and we're only entitled to one slot.

For me, that's Zimmerman (mind you, I've been stuffing the box for about six guys, including my 25 votes on-line). Maybe because we're reasonably improved and we have so many quality players relative to the rest of the league, we get a second (Pudge, Clippard, Capps, Willingham; maybe Dunn makes the homer competition). Oh, and for his bat, I'd love to see Guzman get a shot--like that would ever happen!

While I think Strasburg is exciting and probably one of the best pitchers to come along in ages, I don't think he gets picked at this stage--too early, too narrow a body of work (if this sounds like the lame excuse for not letting Obama have an honorary degree, you'd be correct). Plus from a team standpoint, I don't want to waste so much as an inning with this guy in a game that doesn't help the Nationals.

The Nats have to earn their respect nationally to get into the starting selection, and we're realistically probably a couple of years from that. And a more aggressive effort by team officials to push stuffing the ballot box (I was in Kansas City for two games earlier this month, and they have a campaign underway to get their first baseman into the game--way more aggressive and focused that our Nats effort.)

greg said...

okajima in 2007 (although it's kinda unfair to call an experienced japanese league pitcher a true rookie) was the last one, i believe. sheets was an all-star as a rookie in 2001. and willis seems right to me, too.

and if they're doing that "last man" vote again this year, i have to believe strasburg wins it if he's on that list.

greg said...

carl... guzman? really? an all-star? for his empty batting average bat?

btw, since it's the manager picking all stars, i can see a manager wanting to be able to put strasburg in there for an inning throwing 100+ MPH heat later in the game. especially if he keeps anywhere close to his current performance.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and for his bat, I'd love to see Guzman get a shot--like that would ever happen!

Yeah, like Guzman being an All Star in 2008 never happened. Right?

Anonymous said...

Fan voting is just stupid. Its all about name recognition, not anything else. That Zimmerman ranks behind anybody this year is just stupid. I guess in due time when the Nats appear on national TV every week, they'll get votes, should that ever happen! JTinSC

Carl in 309 said...

I actually believe Guzman is a two-time All-Star, representing the Twins in 2001 and the Nats in 2008. But he's not even on the ballot this year, so his making it is slim to none (even allowing for all of the disrespect his modest .304 batting average seems to earn him). And I'm okay with that.

By the way, Jason Stark, ESPN, has a very upbeat, complimentary piece on the Nats today. Just the kind of over-the-top optimism that will eventually get us two, three, or four All-Stars selected as starters in years to come!

greg said...

carl, i have three words for you: one. trick. pony.

a 304 BA is nice, but when it's coupled with a 327 OBP (which is actually high for guzzie) and 379 slugging, it's pretty empty.

it's not disrespect to point out that his OBP and SLG are mediocre, at best. or that he's not a very good defender any more (not *bad*, but not very good). i'm not hating on guzman, just pointing out that he is what he is. he's not a bad player, he's a decent utility guy at this point in his career. but he's nowhere near an all-star candidate.

Anonymous8 said...

We should be having this conversation a lot closer to 4th of July as the stats will be closed to locked in.

As of right now, the Nats have many All Star calibre players this year and with expanded All Star rosters, each team will average 2 1/3 players and some teams like the Pirates, DBacks, Astros and Orioles (AL) may only get 1 player and the Phillies and Yankees will get 5 or 6 players each so there should be 2 players from a few more teams.

Andrew said...

I don't think this was mentioned here but most of you know the NL has 2 more teams then the AL so the NL actually averages 2.19 players per team and the AL averages 2 1/2 players per team.

Philly will have 5 to 7 players in the mid-summer classic and the Cardinals 3 to 5.

Zim should definitely be in and the Strasburg factor could be tough for Charlie Manuel and yes there is a lot of baseball to be played before the final roster is set.

Also, there is dropouts all the time from the roster and I could see that is how Strasburg is placed on there just like Dontrelle Willis 7 years ago.

Doctor Joe said...

As a child, the MLB All-Star Game was one of the highlights of the summer. But now, eh - it has pretty much "jumped the shark" for me for a number of reasons. Sure, some of the players care about making the team for bonuses, recognition, etc. Good for them. I would not care if there were no Nationals on the team (but we know that cannot happen). After July 11, I will resume watching real big league baseball on the 16th. And hopefully the Nationals do indeed get the 2015 All Star game so I can scalp my nice season seats for the Home Run Derby and the "game" and fund a little family vacation or something.

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