Seriously, who was voting for the MLB All Star game this year? While I was happy to see many deserving players be selected to the All Star game for the first time (ex: Josh Hamilton), I was morbidly disappointed to see some undeserving names (ex: Jason Varitek) be selected over more deserving players.
So yea, let’s start with the backup catcher, Jason Varitek. Let’s take a look at his stats as of this date:
Jason Varitek: AVG: .219, HR: 7, RBI: 27, SB: 0
As any fan of baseball would attest, these are not All- Star caliber numbers. Heck, these really aren’t even decent numbers, and a lesser established player would likely be demoted to the minor leagues with such flaccid production. Not to mention, Varitek is a mediocre defensive player at a position at which defense is a premium.
Furthermore, given that the All- Star game is at Yankee Stadium this year, in the final year of the stadium’s existence, when there is any doubt of what player to select, I believe the voters should be inclined to lean away from Red Sox players and more towards the New York Yankees, simply out of respect for the situation.
With all of these factors in mind, I feel it is disgraceful that Varitek was selected to the 2008 MLB All Star Game.
So, if Varitek wasn’t selected to the game, who would go in his place? Well, how about the New York Yankees backup catcher, Jose Molina? Yes, I know he would be a long shot, but keep in mind; in Posada’s absence this year, Molina has thrown out 23 would-be base stealers. Jason Varitek, who carries an equally anemic bat, has thrown out only eight base stealers. See the point?
Or, what about Ivan Rodriguez? Here are his stats as of this date:
Ivan Rodriguez: AVG: .282, HR: 3, RBI: 28, SB: 6
As I see it, I-Rod hits for a much, much higher average, has more RBIs, and he steals bases. Not to mention, his defense is on another level in comparison to that of Varitek’s. I feel its safe to say that he would have been a more formidable selection as well.
Another pick that I have a problem with is Brian Wilson of the San Francisco Giants. Do you even know who he is? I bet many of you don’t. Well, Brian Wilson is the closer-by-default of the San Francisco Giants. Here are his stats:
Brian Wilson: W-L: 0-1, ERA: 4.37, SV: 24
Ok, so those are All Star numbers, how? In a year in which many of the games best relievers have ERAs under one, I do not see how you can justify a player being selected as an All Star with an ERA over four. Furthermore, Brian WAS NOT selected by default due to being the only candidate from his team; Tim Lincerum was selected from the Giants as well. With this in mind, I can imagine that there are about 50 relievers more deserving of this slot than Brian Wilson.
Finally, I would like to take a look at a couple of omissions from the All Star lineup; Mike Mussina and Rick Ankiel. First, let’s take a look at Mussina. Here are his stats:
Mike Mussina: W-L: 11-6, ERA: 3.64, K: 63
Ok, so how does a potential future hall of famer, who is nearly leading the league in wins, and playing for the team that is hosting the All Star game not get selected to play? It beats me. I do understand that there were better starters out there, so I can’t complain too much about this one. However, Mussina wasn’t even a candidate for the final vote! To me, that just doesn’t seem right.
Now, let’s take a look at Rick Ankiel. I can’t say enough about this kid, because he turned his career around to have an unbelievable season thus far this year. Currently, here are Ankiel’s stats:
Rick Ankiel: AVG: .265, HR: 18, RBI: 45, SB: 1
Considering this kid was a pitcher a few years ago, the aforementioned stats are absolutely mind boggling. Not to mention, Ankiel has become one heck of a defensive center fielder. Now I could understand that there may have been a few better candidates for the All Star roster in the outfield. However, there is no question that Ankiel’s name belongs on the Final Vote list.
So that’s my thoughts on the All Star voting for the 2008 game. Feel free to let me know what you think.