Monday, July 7, 2008

What do Jerry Springer and the Boston Red Sox have in common?

I don't usually venture into the world of MLB around here, it doesn't interest me as much until October, but the All Star Game gives me reason every year. My normal irritation is with way these teams are picked...Popularity Contests...Especially with home field advantage for the World Series being decided by the winner. I always wondered why MLB would grant control of such an important thing to the least informed group of people, The Average Fan. I shudder when I think that if my Diamondbacks make the World Series they will have their fate partially decided by the same masses that keep Maury and Jerry Springer on the air.

Yet this morning as I checked the sports pages I noticed a very strange thing on the American
League roster...The inclusion of Jason Varitek as the 3rd catcher. Here is a guy that has struggled to make contact all year...He is at or near the bottom of every offensive statistical category, not just for catchers but for all everyday players.

Once again the fans.....wait a minute...THE PLAYERS VOTED VARITEK IN....ahhhhhhh....can this be true? It is sadly true. Let me just say to all of you that will argue his leadership and past successes earned him this slot people, shut up. In 5 minutes I found 3 players in the AL far more deserving, two of whom have at least as much experience as Varitek. The stats do the most talking so maybe I should be the one to shut up for a moment...

Here is Varitek:
Jason Varitek BOS .218 BA 7 HR 27 RBI .358 SLG 73 Games

Here are the two other AL All Star Catchers:
Joe Mauer MIN .325 BA 4 HR 37 RBI .454 SLG 78 Games
Dioner Navarro TB .318 4 HR 33 RBI .435 63 Games

Two well known snubs:
A.J. Pierzynski CHW .296 BA 7 HR 33RBI .442 SLG 73 Games
Ivan Rodriguez DET .290 BA 3 HR 28 RBI .405 SLG 70 Games

And one not so well known, but clearly deserving over Varitek, snub:

Gerald Laird TEX .306 BA 4 HR 25 RBI .437 SLG 51 Games

It has been rumored that Pierzynski was snubbed by his peers because they just don't like him. I can't wrap my head around Pudge being denied based on any of the previous arguments though. I hate these All-Star games for their pointless nature, self serving attitude and ridiculous rituals, but at least the NFL gets it and leaves the game to the end of the season in a remote tropical location so that it only gets the attention it deserves.