Today is the final day of balloting for the 2010 MLB All-Star Game. If it had ended yesterday, Justin Morneau would be AL's starting first baseman in Anaheim.
He's garnered 2,118,654 votes, ahead of Mark Teixeira with 1,863,235 and Miguel Cabrera with 1,832,782.
I understand why Morneau is leading the vote. The Twin leads Major League first basemen with a .349 batting average, a 1.063 OPS, 16 homers, and 52 runs driven in. He's committed only one error in 676 total chances.
I also understand why Cabrera is in the running. He's second to Morneau in average and OPS (.337 and 1.040) and is tied for first among all American Leaguers in HR (20) and RBI (68).
Now compare those stats to Teixeira. One of the big signings that led New York to a World Series Championship last year, the two-time All-Star has struggled so far this season. His fielding has been Gold Glove caliber, but overall, he's fallen far short of his 2009 performance.
His line is .231/.343/.411, which is far from the stellar production one expects. He has 13 home runs and 48 RBIs, both sixth at the position in the AL. We're now in July. This is not just a slow start. This is a disappointing season. And I'm not cherry-picking the statistics that illustrate my point. Take any stat you like.
Doubles? Cabrera and Morneau both have 23. Teixeira has 15. Hits? Cabrera 96, Morneau 95, Teixeira 70.
The Yankee has worse numbers than Cabrera, Morneau, Kevin Youkilis, and Paul Konerko in total bases, OBP, slugging, strikeouts, hits, extra-base hits, home runs and runs batted in, yet has more at bats than all of them.
I accept that it is basically a popularity contest and the Yankees have a lot of fans to help their players' causes in ASG voting (see: Jeter, D.) However, there's no reason why Teixeira should be second in All-Star voting. He shouldn't be within sight of the leaders.
Don't go to Anaheim, Mark. Take a three-day break. You need it.