I was reading an article at pittsburghpirates.com that was (pretty hilariously) talking about how great it is that Nate McLouth is 11th in the first tabulation of All-Star voting and the first thing that came to mind was “how the fuck are these horsebitch players ahead of McLouth?” Some of the people in the 1st through 10th positions actually seemed to be having good seasons: Soriano, Burrell and Holiday came to my mind. But I decided to delve into the statistics a bit.
In order, the outfielders with more votes so far than McLouth are Soriano, Fukudome, Griffey, Beltran, Holliday, Burrell, Lee, Ankiel, Braun and Pence. Of these people, only four have a higher total in any ONE “major” stat category (Avg, R, RBI, HR, SB): Beltran in SB, Burrell in HR, Lee in RBI, and Holliday has two with Avg and SB. Beltran has a two SB advantage, Burrell just one HR, Lee six RBI, Holliday .006 points of average and 3 SB.
So he has better basic stats in every category than all but four of the players voted ahead of him, and of those four you could very easily argue that his stats in the other category should place him ahead of them. Of the ten players voted ahead of him, only one has an OPS (on-base plus slugging, widely considered a decent measure of how “good” a hitter is) greater than 1.000, that is Pat Burrell with 1.004. McLouth beats him out with a 1.005 (OK I admit, that’s not beating him by much…but the point is he has the highest).
Now that we’ve gotten the messy statistics out of the way, let us move on to the ad hominem portion of my article. Soriano: has been torrid as of late but keep in mind he injured himself in a prancing accident earlier this season. Fukudome: has been a solid OF but not living up to the “Ichiro with pop” hype. Griffey: OK let’s just vote for an aging great who can’t play defense or (apparently) hit home runs anymore. Beltran: He’s hitting .257. Ankiel: is anyone still pissed about the whole HGH thing? Braun: the only reason he’s playing outfield is he was too shitty at third base. And he has struck out 44 times to 9 walks. Ouch. Pence: instead of giving him ROY, lets vote him an All-Star next year. As far as Burrell, Holliday and Lee, I wouldn’t have a problem with any one of these three being an All-Star, but the sad fact of the matter is they are losing the voting race too.
He’s a true center fielder with 12 home runs and a .315 batting average. Watching him play defense this season, he’s run down some balls that few outfielders can reach, and hasn’t taken a bad route that I’ve seen. The only disappointment I’ve seen from him this season is he has only stolen five bases, but it is a little harder to steal bases when half your hits are the extra base variety.
All-Star voters, please pull your heads out of your asses.