With exactly one week of voting left, I hope you vote Chipper Jones as your starting National League third baseman.
Unless you’ve avoided all baseball coverage this season, you are aware that this is Jones’ last season. This is precisely why he should be voted in as a starter. He is this era’s best switch-hitter and one of the best all time.
Jones has been getting honored this season as he makes his final appearance in stadiums throughout the major leagues. I can’t think of a better way to honor him and show him respect than voting him in as the starting third baseman in this year’s All-Star Game.
As of Monday, Jones had moved into third place in voting behind Pablo Sandoval and David Wright.
This year’s All-Star Game can be for Chipper what it was to Cal Ripken, Jr.
Ripken was voted in as the starting third baseman in his final All-Star selection. In a great show of respect, Derek Jeter insisted that Ripken play shortstop, a position he played for a majority of his career.
Although a third baseman for most of his career, Jones started out at shortstop. He also played left field for a couple of seasons.
The argument against Jones starting is that he has spent time on the disabled list. But Sandoval has also been on the shelf this season.
Jones is currently hitting .279 on the season. He also has five home runs and 25 RBI in 37 games. His OBP is .356.
In 65 games, Wright is hitting .352 with eight home runs and 38 RBI. He also has a .452 OBP.
Sandoval has posted a .311 batting average. In 34 games, he has hit five home runs and 19 RBI. His OBP is sitting at .372.
In seven All-Star Game appearances, Jones has started five. He owns a .385 batting average with one home run, an RBI, five doubles and three runs scored.
Sandoval appeared in his first All-Star Game last year. He has a batting average of 1.000 with a double in his only at-bat.
Wright has started four of the five games that he was voted into. He has one home run, an RBI, a stolen base and a .462 batting average.
Statistics and a player's performance are important things to consider when deciding who gets your vote. But there is something else to consider.
The emotional vote.
I have a strong suspicion that many voters use their emotions when making at least one vote. If your favorite player is on the ballot, he gets your vote no matter what. More than a few people vote for every person on their favorite team.
It’s human nature. And there’s nothing wrong with voting with your emotions when casting a ballot.
No matter what your reason, I urge you to vote Chipper Jones as a National League starter in the 2012 All-Star Game.