Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Barra: Pablo Sandoval Over David Wright In All-Star Game? It’s All Your Fault, New York

Merely a fece in the crowd…

Really, what can you say when a San Francisco 3rd baseman is getting outhit by a New York first baseman by 60 points and out polls him in the All-Star balloting by 1.6 million? The area from which the Mets pull their support is about 8 times more populous than the one the Giants draw on. Does this indicate a laziness on the part of New York fans? Apathy? I don’t know what else you can call it.

But we can’t put this off just to New York fans. David Wright has been in the league 9 years to Sandoval’s 5, and he has been one of the NL’s best players for nearly that entire stretch. How could fans in other NL cities not know that Wright is a great player and, by a mile, the best 3rd baseman in the league?

All this just goes to prove that the old prejudice about New York players, that they always get favorable treatment in the All-Star game and MVP voting, is nonsense. And it also proves that the old saying about New York as the country’s best baseball city is also nonsense. Josh Hamilton set an All-Star record of more than 11 million votes. What kind of country do we live in where New York fans couldn’t give David Wright at least half of that? A big wrong doesn’t make Wright.

Repoz Posted: July 07, 2012 at 09:24 AM | 132 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: all-star game, giants, mets

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. Lassus Posted: July 07, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4175361)
Jesus god, Barra is becoming as whiny as Raissman.
   2. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4175369)
And yet beneath the whining, he does have a point, even if it's about the 500th time that a similar point could be made. It'd be hard to think of any semi-rational reason that Wright shouldn't be the starting third baseman.

He's also right about the myth of a bias towards New York players. That may apply to how many national telecasts New York teams get**, but not to awards voting or HoF selections. In this case, I wouldn't be surprised if it has something to do with the bizarre practice of allowing multiple votes.

**Which besides demographics and ratings, has a lot to do with the fact that the Yankees are always among the game's best teams.
   3. tshipman Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4175372)
But we can’t put this off just to New York fans. David Wright has been in the league 9 years to Sandoval’s 5, and he has been one of the NL’s best players for nearly that entire stretch. How could fans in other NL cities not know that Wright is a great player and, by a mile, the best 3rd baseman in the league?

David Wright:
2011 WAR: 1.9
2010 WAR: 2.5
2009 WAR: 2.9

This is one of the NL's best players? Does Allen Barra not realize that you can look this stuff up?
   4. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4175378)
In this case, I wouldn't be surprised if it has something to do with the bizarre practice of allowing multiple votes.


Why? That it's a process you object to and this is a result you don't agree with doesn't mean the two are in any way connected. We know Pablo got more votes than David Wright. We also know that Giants fans have been a hell of a lot more likely to show up at Telecommunications Park than Mets fans have at Banking Corporation Field. If I had to pinpoint a culprit for the end result, I'd start with that inconvenient fact.



   5. PreservedFish Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4175385)
This is one of the NL's best players? Does Allen Barra not realize that you can look this stuff up?


But he is one of the NL's best players.
   6. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4175390)
David Wright:
2011 WAR: 1.9
2010 WAR: 2.5
2009 WAR: 2.9

This is one of the NL's best players? Does Allen Barra not realize that you can look this stuff up?


You can also look this up:

David Wright's 2012 WAR to date: 4.6
Pablo Sandoval's 2012 WAR: 0.9

David Wright's two best WAR seasons: 8.1, 6.7
Pablo Sandoval's two best WAR seasons: 5.9, 4.1

-------------------------------------------------

In this case, I wouldn't be surprised if it has something to do with the bizarre practice of allowing multiple votes.

Why? That it's a process you object to and this is a result you don't agree with doesn't mean the two are in any way connected. We know Pablo got more votes than David Wright. We also know that Giants fans have been a hell of a lot more likely to show up at Telecommunications Park than Mets fans have at Banking Corporation Field. If I had to pinpoint a culprit for the end result, I'd start with that inconvenient fact.


That's a fair point about attendance, and the rules are the rules, even though the idea of openly encouraging ballot box stuffing by multiple voting is one of those curious and somewhat insane practices that can only be defended on marketing grounds. There's absolutely no other reason for its existence.


   7. tshipman Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4175394)
You can also look this up:

David Wright's 2012 WAR to date: 4.6
Pablo Sandoval's 2012 WAR: 0.9



Since the 2011 ASB:
David Wright:
AVG/OBP/SLG
.315/.401/.501 (OPS .912)

Sandoval:
.319/.369/.550 (OPS .919)

Are we supposed to forget about last year now?
Edit: also, dWar is broken right now. You really shouldn't use it anymore.
   8. PreservedFish Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4175397)
The Giants obviously must have enacted a voting campaign of insane proportions. Sandoval is a fun player, and he's usually really good, so his triumph over Wright, on its own, looks like an isolated, weird but understandable event. But when you look at how other Giants players did, it's clear that the whole team very simply benefited from some old-fashioned pig-headed ballot stuffing.

Brandon Belt came in second place among 1Bs, and Brandon Crawford, who is much closer to the league's worst shortstop than he is to the best, came withing 300,000 votes of starting, and Freddy Sanchez, who has proudly not set foot upon a baseball field this year, came in 4th place at his position.

In mid-June Wright had a 380,000 vote lead on Sandoval. In late June Wright had a 400,000 vote lead. Somehow, in the last week of voting, Sandoval made up that gap and ended up with a 1,600,000 vote lead! What the ####? How is that possible?
   9. Randy Jones Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4175399)
Since the 2011 ASB:
David Wright:
AVG/OBP/SLG
.315/.401/.501 (OPS .912)

Sandoval:
.319/.369/.550 (OPS .919)

Since the 2011 ASB:
Wright:
623 PA

Sandoval:
461 PA

also
Are we supposed to forget about last year now?

Yes. It's the 2012 all star game, not the first half of 2012 and second half of 2011 all star game.
   10. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4175400)
That's a fair point about attendance, and the rules are the rules, even though the idea of openly encouraging ballot box stuffing by multiple voting is one of those curious and somewhat insane practices that can only be defended on marketing grounds. There's absolutely no other reason for its existence.


Actually, there's no reason to get worked up about it. This isn't bringing democracy to some troubled African nation. The whole idea is to generate interest in baseball. And if some kid (or basement-dwelling adult) demonstrates his interest in the game by repeatedly punching out his favorite players' names, it doesn't actually do the sport a disservice.

I get so sick of the whining about the A-S game because it's not exactly the game some fan wants it to be. Some fans think it should be about the guys having the best season. Others about the stars. Some want the teams to go all out in pursuit of victory, substituting infrqeuently. Others like to see players they don't see often during the regular season (hint: not every baseball fan has the extra TV package or an online subscription). The end result is the game is a blend of all those things, which is the only sensible way to handle it, despite the incessant caterwauling of the Barras of the world.

   11. tshipman Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4175408)
In mid-June Wright had a 380,000 vote lead on Sandoval. In late June Wright had a 400,000 vote lead. Somehow, in the last week of voting, Sandoval made up that gap and ended up with a 1,600,000 vote lead! What the ####? How is that possible?


This is most likely just due to a delay in counting. If several weeks of ballots weren't counted right away, it looks like a huge leap-frog, but just an artifact of collection.


Yes. It's the 2012 all star game, not the first half of 2012 and second half of 2011 all star game.


This POV is bizarre to me. You start voting in April. David Wright has been thoroughly mediocre for three years. Why wouldn't that affect how I vote for the 2012 ASG--after all, I don't want to see a bunch of first half flukes.
   12. PreservedFish Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4175409)
Should also note that it's not like the Giants have some otherwordly attendance record. They are third in the league. The popularity of the Giants is itself not an argument that can account for the insane voting totals of the Giants players.

Oh yeah, forgot to note: Angel Pagan was #5 in the voting for outfield, and Aubrey Huff, he of the .155 average in 58 ABs, was 14th.

Tshipman, do you still dare to defend Sandoval vs Wright with arguments about, you know, baseball? This was a triumph of marketing and absolutely nothing else.
   13. Randy Jones Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4175415)
This POV is bizarre to me. You start voting in April. David Wright has been thoroughly mediocre for three years. Why wouldn't that affect how I vote for the 2012 ASG--after all, I don't want to see a bunch of first half flukes.


Well, as I pointed out, even if you do want to use the bizarre "since last all star game" numbers, once you adjust for playing time, Wright has clearly been better than Sandoval. It's no contest. Wright is a better player over the past year, has been a much much better player in the past, and is a much much better player right now. Really though, I'm glad all the clowns in San Francisco voted in Sandoval, cause I'm a Yankee fan and I want the AL to win.
   14. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4175418)
Since the 2011 ASB:
David Wright:
AVG/OBP/SLG
.315/.401/.501 (OPS .912)

Sandoval:
.319/.369/.550 (OPS .919)

Are we supposed to forget about last year now?

Edit: also, dWar is broken right now. You really shouldn't use it anymore.


I see. This year's gap is meaningless, previous peaks are meaningless, defensive metrics are meaningless, but whatever shows Sandoval in the best possible light is what we should be looking at.

Look, I don't care if Sandoval starts. I'll probably be at a pool tournament that night, anyway. And while I think Wright's clearly the more deserving player, Sandoval's choice isn't exactly the scandal that Barra seems to find so monstrous. But going forward I would love to see ballot stuffing eliminated as an offered option, whether or not it can ever be eliminated completely. If magazines can prevent you from easily renewing your subscriptions at the come-on introductory rate, surely baseball can get rid of the sort of ballot stuffing that makes farces like this a not-all-that-infrequent occurrence.
   15. cardsfanboy Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4175422)
Yes. It's the 2012 all star game, not the first half of 2012 and second half of 2011 all star game.


Then have the vote after the year is over. It's silly/moronic to base the 2012 all star game based upon 2 months of stats(and yes I look at it as two months, since voting starts after one month)

Besides, why should NY fans be upset when Jeter is in the All star game? Jeter makes up massively for the Wright snub.
   16. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4175423)
This was a triumph of marketing and absolutely nothing else.

Which is exactly what the All-Star game is all about, and absolutely nothing else. Not that there's anything wrong with that, since it's little more than an exhibition showcase. But winning the game is so far down on the list of priorities that it barely qualifies as an afterthought.
   17. PreservedFish Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4175433)
Which is exactly what the All-Star game is all about, and absolutely nothing else.


Unfortunately that's true. It's just annoying to see these wacky results defended as if they were, well, worth defending.
   18. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4175434)
Which is exactly what the All-Star game is all about, and absolutely nothing else.


Which is why your outrage over the atrocity that is all-star ballot stuffing is so bizarre.
   19. tshipman Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4175437)
I see. This year's gap is meaningless, previous peaks are meaningless, defensive metrics are meaningless, but whatever shows Sandoval in the best possible light is what we should be looking at.


I'm not completely serious in any of this, but you really should ignore dWar right now. It's quite broken.

Well, as I pointed out, even if you do want to use the bizarre "since last all star game" numbers, once you adjust for playing time, Wright has clearly been better than Sandoval. It's no contest. Wright is a better player over the past year, has been a much much better player in the past, and is a much much better player right now. Really though, I'm glad all the clowns in San Francisco voted in Sandoval, cause I'm a Yankee fan and I want the AL to win.


What a guy did in 2007 is not really that relevant. Over the last four years, Sandoval has been a better player. I don't see why it's bizarre to base your vote on how a guy has played since the last ASG.


Tshipman, do you still dare to defend Sandoval vs Wright with arguments about, you know, baseball? This was a triumph of marketing and absolutely nothing else.


Well, first of all, both guys made the team and both guys deserved to, so it's not really a big deal, imo (although I do think Mets fans are silly for whinging about it).

My point was originally more that Barra was pretending that Wright's been a star since he's been in the league was wrong, as his three year malaise actually put him squarely outside of "star" territory. Btw: he can still fall off significantly in the second half. He has a .384 BaBiP right now.
   20. Randy Jones Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4175451)
I don't see why it's bizarre to base your vote on how a guy has played since the last ASG.


In which case you should have voted for Wright, since once you account for playing time, he has clearly been better than Sandoval since the last all star game.
   21. The District Attorney Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4175452)
Brandon Belt came in second place among 1Bs, and Brandon Crawford, who is much closer to the league's worst shortstop than he is to the best, came withing 300,000 votes of starting, and Freddy Sanchez, who has proudly not set foot upon a baseball field this year, came in 4th place at his position.

In mid-June Wright had a 380,000 vote lead on Sandoval. In late June Wright had a 400,000 vote lead. Somehow, in the last week of voting, Sandoval made up that gap and ended up with a 1,600,000 vote lead! What the ####? How is that possible?
Yeah, either someone literally hacked the system, or they had one HELL of an organized campaign. I suppose one of the advantages of encouraging multiple votes is that the votekeepers don't have to worry overly much about which one it was. I'm sure they have systems in place to identify mechanized voting, but I'm also sure they don't spend all day scrutinizing it.

(It would have been funny if Brandon Crawford had been elected the starting All-Star shortstop. I'm sure you would have heard a lot of people talk about taking away the vote if that had happened.)

Anyway, it's irrational to be mad at people who decided that the All-Star Game isn't important enough to get involved in doing that. It's like being mad at them for not voting for "American Idol", or for which Wal-Mart Pitbull should perform at. (BTW, vote for Kodiak, Alaska). If they have no interest in participating in this particular PR campaign, then they have no interest in participating in this particular PR campaign.
   22. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4175454)
Call it the Celebration Game and get rid of any notion that these guys are voted in by merit.

EDIT: And if fans start acting like homers to the point of fielding a team full of lousy players, then take away their vote.
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4175457)
What a guy did in 2007 is not really that relevant. Over the last four years, Sandoval has been a better player. I don't see why it's bizarre to base your vote on how a guy has played since the last ASG.


Selective endpoints I guess.

Since 2010 Wright has a 138 ops+ to Sandoval's 126. Has a 9.0 war to Sandoval's 8.1. Why is 2007 irrelevant, but 2009 is all the sudden so important? Is that because, it's the one of two possible time frames available for Sandoval to come out ahead... let's see
2012 only. Sandoval 145 ops+ Wright 179
2011-2012 Sandoval 155 Wright 144 (extra 130 pa from Wright makes up some of the difference, defense is the real tie breaker)
2010-2012 Sandoval 126 Wright 138. (the 180 pa advantage for Wright doesn't figure in)
2009-2012 Sandoval 132, Wright 134.
2008-2012 Sandoval 131 to Wrights 136.

I'm not even seeing how someone can say Sandoval has been the better player over the past four years, it's hard enough to argue over the last year and a half for Sandoval.
   24. Joe OBrien Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4175469)
It's actually selective endpoints that benefits Wright in this argument. By any reasonable measure, Chipper Jones is a much, much better player. Scott Rolen, too.
   25. PreservedFish Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4175474)
My point was originally more that Barra was pretending that Wright's been a star since he's been in the league was wrong, as his three year malaise actually put him squarely outside of "star" territory. Btw: he can still fall off significantly in the second half. He has a .384 BaBiP right now.


Barra was overselling his point, but you are overselling yours. Wright has been an All-Star in every year but 2011, when he missed most of May and all of June. That alone gives lie to the idea that he was ever squarely outside of "star" territory, and you have to put a lot of credence in his fielding numbers in 2009-2010 to swipe those years into "malaise" territory.

On your "Btw," of course, nobody is as good as their best half.
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4175480)
It's actually selective endpoints that benefits Wright in this argument. By any reasonable measure, Chipper Jones is a much, much better player. Scott Rolen, too.


Wouldn't argue that. Just pointing out, that if the original poster would have said "last three years" and it would have been clear that Wright has been the better player over the past three years, past one year, past five years, it's just the four year listing that puts Sandoval in the discussion.
   27. Banta Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4175481)
Top 3rd Basemen by bWAR 2009-2012

Evan Longoria 23.1
Adrian Beltre 18.3
Ryan Zimmerman 15.2
Alex Rodriguez 12.8
Pablo Sandoval 12.2
David Wright 11.9
Scott Rolen 9.5
Chipper Jones 8.8
   28. Banta Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4175486)
Top 3rd Basemen by bWAR 2005-2012 (Wright's career, excluding his mid-season callup in 2004)

Alex Rodriguez 42.6
Adrian Beltre 34.9
David Wright 34.3
Chipper Jones 30.4
Evan Longoria 27.6
Ryan Zimmerman 25.2
Scott Rolen 21.2
Aramis Ramirez 18.7

This really shows what a beast Longoria is.
   29. tshipman Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4175490)
Wouldn't argue that. Just pointing out, that if the original poster would have said "last three years" and it would have been clear that Wright has been the better player over the past three years, past one year, past five years, it's just the four year listing that puts Sandoval in the discussion.


Sandoval has been the better player since his first full season--as you see in post 27.

Wright has been an All-Star in every year but 2011, when he missed most of May and all of June. That alone gives lie to the idea that he was ever squarely outside of "star" territory, and you have to put a lot of credence in his fielding numbers in 2009-2010 to swipe those years into "malaise" territory.


So your argument is that his undeserved selections in 2010 and 2009 justify his selection in 2012? That's an interesting argument.
   30. salvomania Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4175493)
Which is exactly what the All-Star game is all about, and absolutely nothing else.



Unfortunately that's true. It's just annoying to see these wacky results defended as if they were, well, worth defending.


Actually, that's not true---it's also about home-field advantage in the World Series, which is a big deal.

Also, didn't the commissioner's office step in after the fans' voting in like, 1960 or so, when all 8 NL starters were Cincinnati Reds after a civic ballot-stuffing campaign? Ladies and gentlemen, your starting All Star Second Baseman, Eddie Kasko!!
   31. Banta Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4175494)
This isn't really that relevant to the conversation (except maybe to prove Wright's star status), but I'm having fun using PI for free and I thought this was interesting.

Top Players by bWAR (2005-2012)
Albert Pujols 57.7
Chase Utley 48.2
Alex Rodriguez 42.6
Miguel Cabrera 37.1
Mark Teixeira 37.0
Matt Holliday 35.2
Adrian Beltre 34.9
David Wright 34.3
Carlos Beltran 33.8
Joe Mauer 33.7

Utley has a whopping 15 dWAR over that period of time. It is also depressing to see that the Mets had two top ten WAR players during that time and very little to show for it.
   32. Randy Jones Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4175496)
Sandoval has been the better player since his first full season--as you see in post 27.


12.2 to 11.9 WAR is well within the margin of error. And you still have not addressed the fact that, by your own standards(performance since last all star game), Wright should be the starter once you account for playing time.
   33. PreservedFish Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4175499)
So your argument is that his undeserved selections in 2010 and 2009 justify his selection in 2012? That's an interesting argument.


Ugh. You said that Wright was not a star for three years. I pointed out that in two of those years he was selected to the All-Star team.
   34. Banta Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4175501)
12.2 to 11.9 WAR is well within the margin of error.

By oWAR only, Wright has outperformed Sandoval 14.8 to 12.5 over that time as well.

Basically, since Sandoval came into the league, he has been roughly Wright's equal. Wright's having the much better year and deserves to start the All-Star game, but taking a wider view of the two, picking one over the other isn't really that big of a deal.

And since 2009, Zimmerman's been better than both of them.
   35. tshipman Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4175506)
12.2 to 11.9 WAR is well within the margin of error. And you still have not addressed the fact that, by your own standards(performance since last all star game), Wright should be the starter once you account for playing time.


ASG voters typically have not penalized guys for getting hurt.

I seem to be getting off-track, though. It's never been my position that Sandoval unequivocally deserves to be the ASG starter. My position is that both guys should probably be in the game, but that Mets fans (including Allen Barra) are being unnecessarily histrionic when discussing Wright not being the ASG starter.
As a secondary position, basing your ASG voting solely on this year is, in my opinion, bad voting. Citing this year's stats and ignoring last year's to claim that Wright is the victim of some kind of conspiracy is also stupid, and ignores the fact that many votes are cast early in the year.
Finally, I also think that dWar is broken and I don't know enough to know how that is affecting these two players right now because I have no idea how much the Giants shift compared to other teams in the league.
   36. cardsfanboy Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4175517)
Sandoval has been the better player since his first full season--as you see in post 27.


I don't see that at all. I see by one metric, war, that Sandoval and Wright are effectively even(I thought it was understood that war is not accurate to a decimal point) since Sandoval has joined the league. Which of course, would then be another argument for Wright, if you want to argue their careers and they are equal since Sandoval's career started, Wright get's the bonus points for having the extra years.

   37. cardsfanboy Posted: July 07, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4175522)
Actually, that's not true---it's also about home-field advantage in the World Series, which is a big deal.


It is? Has it ever really made a difference? Last time I looked it up, I think the team that won the world series in seven games, had homefield advantage like 3 more times than the visiting team. Heck, I still think the true advantage goes to what's considered the visiting team. That 3-4-5 games at home, is the big deal, split one on the road with your two best pitchers, come home with your 3-4 guys, use the home crowd to pump them up, and bring back your aces for the final games if need be. Your aces shouldn't need the crowd to pump them up, or have to take advantage of the unique stadium as much as your scrub pitchers.
   38. PreservedFish Posted: July 07, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4175524)
Citing this year's stats and ignoring last year's to claim that Wright is the victim of some kind of conspiracy is also stupid, and ignores the fact that many votes are cast early in the year.


Here's what you're missing. It's not about last year's stats. It's about two things: this year's stats, and fame. That's what the voting is usually about, and IMO, it's even what it should be about. That's why it matters what Wright did in 2007 and 2008, and why it matters that Wright was an All-Star in 2009 and 2010 despite substandard seasons. Those things contribute to, and reflect, his fame.

When you consider those two factors, it is clear that under normal circumstances Wright would have won the vote. Wright is more famous and he's been better this year. But he didn't win the vote. Why? Probably because the Giants enacted some crazy voting campaign the likes of which no other team in baseball even approached. The proof is the fact that every single Giants player vastly outperformed voting expectations, from Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera to Aubrey Huff and Freddy Sanchez. Or maybe the Giants fans were all just nuts. Regardless, there is no baseball reason for this outcome, and all of the arguments about WAR or endpoints are completely irrelevant to the question of why it happened.

Is it a silly thing for us Mets fans to get all huffy about? Sure it is, but that's what we do on this website, we debate minutiae.
   39. Benji Posted: July 07, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4175536)
I think the Met front office is partly to blame too. They seem to like to undervalue their players, so they can dump the higher paid. This spring, when not moaning about his injury-prone-ness, they seemed to steer any conversation about him to his tradability. Not exactly a way to get the fan base to vote.
   40. cardsfanboy Posted: July 07, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4175542)
Is it a silly thing for us Mets fans to get all huffy about? Sure it is, but that's what we do on this website, we debate minutiae.


Great point. The entire comment was good, but I liked this point so highlighted it. There really is no reason for Sandoval to have beaten out Wright for the other points you mentioned, other than some type of organized campaign on the parts of the Giants.


   41. Swedish Chef Posted: July 07, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4175544)
Wright is really hurting from the lack of a cool nickname.
   42. TomH Posted: July 07, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4175582)
there are so many snubs for the A-S game, picking on this one is kinda silly. Why don't we discuss how hard it is , relatively speaking, to make the team as an SP, versus other positions? Why don't remind everyone of past snubs thatare waaaay more egregious than this 3B issue? Look up Wade Boggs' first 3 years sometime, with an AVG of .345 and a ton of walks, and tell me why he made zero AS teams even as a reserve during that time. I could go on and on....
   43. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: July 07, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4175597)
#41

How about David "The" Wright "Stuff" or David "Do" Wright?
   44. bobm Posted: July 07, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4175661)
[40] There really is no reason for Sandoval to have beaten out Wright for the other points you mentioned, other than some type of organized campaign on the parts of the Giants.

You think?

LA Times
In baseball All-Star voting it's not always 'may the best man win'
July 02, 2012|By Lance Pugmire ...

The support for Texas, which had seven players named to the American League team with an eighth still being considered, is understandable. The Rangers, coming off consecutive World Series appearances, have the best record in baseball and, in pitcher Yu Darvish, a player who has international appeal.

But the Giants, who have three starting position players on the National League team?

Well, apparently they run a really good campaign.

Third baseman Pablo Sandoval rallied from a voting deficit of more than 400,000 to pass David Wright of the New York Mets, who is batting 54 points higher and has twice as many runs batted in. The other Giants starters are Buster Posey, whose .303 batting average is third-best among NL catchers, and outfielder Melky Cabrera, who is batting .352 but is relatively unknown on a national scale after spending last season with the small-market Kansas City Royals.

The Giants' success can be traced to a late surge in voting sparked by a promotional campaign that made each fan who voted 20 or more times online eligible for a prize of two game tickets, a meet-and-greet with the team's All-Stars, the opportunity to watch batting practice from the field, dinner for two at McCovey's restaurant, and two $50 gift cards.

The team also pushed for votes by playing a video [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c06yu7gfjbY] on the AT&T Park scoreboard at home games. In it, Bay Area rapper E-40 and a young girl urge fans to use their mobile phones to vote for Giants players.

It was a cheesy — and effective — production. ...

The best evidence of the Giants' promotional power involves two players who didn't make the All-Star game but received an unusual amount of voting support.

Brandon Belt, who was batting .269 with four home runs and 29 RBIs in only 171 at-bats when the final ballots were tabulated, finished second in the voting among NL first basemen. And Brandon Crawford, who is batting only .232, was within 306,000 votes of finishing first among shortstops. [Emphasis added]


http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/02/sports/la-sp-all-star-balloting-20120703


SFGate
Posey, Cabrera, Sandoval, Cain are NL All-Stars
Henry Schulman
Updated 10:31 a.m., Monday, July 2, 2012

The Giants launched an all-out marketing push in the past few days to get their players elected. They made constant announcements on the air and in the ballpark. They even installed electronic terminals at AT&T Park so fans could cast the 25 ballots each was allowed.

Being at home through the final days of voting surely helped. So did Cabrera falling out of a starting position last week. That spurred a "Vote Melky" campaign that apparently worked. Sandoval clearly rode his coattails. [Emphasis added]


http://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Posey-Cabrera-Sandoval-Cain-are-NL-All-Stars-3677369.php


SFGate
SF Giants' All-Star push for Posey, Cabrera
John Shea
Updated 08:49 p.m., Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The first round of All-Star voting results were released Tuesday, and Posey (1,082,464 votes) ranked a close second among NL catchers to St. Louis' Yadier Molina (1,100,048) and ahead of Atlanta's Brian McCann and Philadelphia's Carlos Ruiz.

Melky Cabrera was fifth among NL outfielders behind Matt Kemp, Carlos Beltran, Ryan Braun and Andre Ethier.

The Giants are planning a "major push" to get Posey and Cabrera to the All-Star Game in Kansas City on July 10, according to Staci Slaughter, senior vice president of communications. The team will be encouraging fans at the ballpark and through social media, broadcasts and e-mail to vote.

"We've always done a major campaign," Slaughter said. "Given Buster's and Melky's standing in the polls, we will definitely go all out to try to get them elected."

Pablo Sandoval, who's rehabbing from hamate surgery and facing possible sexual-assault charges, is fourth among third basemen behind David Wright, David Freese and Chipper Jones. [Emphasis added]


http://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/SF-Giants-All-Star-push-for-Posey-Cabrera-3612228.php
   45. GregD Posted: July 07, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4175667)
outfielder Melky Cabrera, who is batting .352 but is relatively unknown on a national scale after spending last season with the small-market Kansas City Royals
what? Melky Cabrera relatively unknown? Didn't he use to start for some other team before the Royals? Give me a minute, and it'll come to me. One of those obscure teams...
   46. Dale H. Posted: July 07, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4175678)
what? Melky Cabrera relatively unknown? Didn't he use to start for some other team before the Royals? Give me a minute, and it'll come to me. One of those obscure teams...
Yeah, but the Braves must toil in anonymity as well if Freese can beat out Bourn in the final vote.
   47. shea80 Posted: July 07, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4175689)
Besides, why should NY fans be upset when Jeter is in the All star game? Jeter makes up massively for the Wright snub.


Try telling that to Mets fans who hate the Yankees, which is most of them!
   48. DKDC Posted: July 07, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4175693)
He's also right about the myth of a bias towards New York players. That may apply to how many national telecasts New York teams get**, but not to awards voting or HoF selections. In this case, I wouldn't be surprised if it has something to do with the bizarre practice of allowing multiple votes.


I dont think that there is a general belief that is an bias towards New York for any of those things, except for media coverage. So I'm not sure what myth he's busting.

I also don't think there's a general belief that New York is the best baseball town.

So that's two-for-two on making up myths and them busting them.
   49. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 07, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4175708)
Ah, this argument again. tshipman isn't going to be convinced by any evidence you offer. After all, don'tcha know that the 2012 ASG is actually for the players who had the hottest second half of 2011.

Seriously, you can't put together an argument that makes Sandoval a credible starter over Wright. It requires desperate cherry picking and repeatedly flipping your criteria for selection. The fact of the matter is that the Giants put together an epic ballot stuffing initiative the likes that we probably won't see again because it's going to get banned by MLB. That results in Pablo starting. That's the only reason Sandoval is starting.

Also, it's fun that he cites Wright's 3 most lackluster years, but ignores that by that tally Wright still leads Superstar Sandoval.
   50. SoSH U at work Posted: July 07, 2012 at 06:36 PM (#4175714)
The fact of the matter is that the Giants put together an epic ballot stuffing initiative the likes that we probably won't see again because it's going to get banned by MLB.


I'd be surprised if MLB banned it.
   51. The District Attorney Posted: July 07, 2012 at 07:25 PM (#4175744)
I'd be surprised if MLB banned it.
If they determined that the SF fans hacked the system by running a program or something, I'm sure MLB would close up the specific exploit that was used. But move away from the general "one person, a whole bunch of votes" principle? I haven't heard any talk of that right now in the immediate aftermath, much less enough talk to actually carry such a proposal through to eventual approval. Like I said, I think it'd take a Maximum Possible Error such as Brandon Crawford starting to even get it on the table. And then after that, MLB still wouldn't do it. The goal of this, after all, is to maximize A) hits to the MLB web site, and B) fan investment in the All-Star process and resulting game. It's just like the rest of the entertainment industry of which baseball is a part. I'm sure studio heads would prefer to make a quality movie or TV show, but the real point is to bring in dollars.
   52. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 07, 2012 at 07:41 PM (#4175764)
I was only referring to this part:
The Giants' success can be traced to a late surge in voting sparked by a promotional campaign that made each fan who voted 20 or more times online eligible for a prize of two game tickets, a meet-and-greet with the team's All-Stars, the opportunity to watch batting practice from the field, dinner for two at McCovey's restaurant, and two $50 gift cards.


The rest of it is kosher, in my book. But once you start having teams giving away product to get votes, that's slightly different and might lead to other teams around the league getting irritated. Which is the only way any of the stuff gets shut down.

As for the Giants fans, good on them. I don't mind the actual ballot stuffing so long as I get to ##### and moan when a player I really like gets screwed. I'd like to think if I were around for the 1950's great Reds caper I'd be pretty amused by it.

edited for clarity.
   53. Walt Davis Posted: July 07, 2012 at 08:06 PM (#4175787)
Seriously, you can't put together an argument that makes Sandoval a credible starter over Wright

Sure you can. It's as easy as pie.

Sandoval received more votes in the popularity contest that determines the AS game starters.

See, not so hard. And that result is frankly undebatable. That you don't like the way that AS starters are determined -- at least when it doesn't turn out how you want -- doesn't change the fact that Sandoval deserves to start.

It's the same reason that Wright started the 2009 and 2010 AS games over Zimmerman even though Wright was a clearly inferior player. I assume you guys complained and complained and complained about that injustice.
   54. Walt Davis Posted: July 07, 2012 at 08:17 PM (#4175794)
The rest of it is kosher, in my book

But there's no reason to think that bit of the promotion had that big of an impact. It's the opportunity to enter a draw for a single (?) prize worth, what, maybe $500 tops? You might be surprised how little interest such offers often generate.*

I agree MLB might decide you can't offer incentives for AS voting.

* In the literature on survey participation, studies suggest that prize draws are the least effective incentive. Paying people to complete is, somewhat surprisingly, also not that effective. In a favorite, offering people $50 to complete the survey was substantially less effective than simply paying everybody $2 whether they participated or not ... and was much less expensive. In essence, incentives seem to work best when they generate feelings of reciprocity rather than reward. And, in any cses, all they do is push across people who are already on the threshold of participation.
   55. Conor Posted: July 07, 2012 at 08:17 PM (#4175795)
It's the same reason that Wright started the 2009 and 2010 AS games over Zimmerman even though Wright was a clearly inferior player. I assume you guys complained and complained and complained about that injustice.


I think Wright had a better first half of 2009 than Zimmerman, if you just want to look at it like that. (Wright hit 324/410/462 vs 288/354/473). Zimmerman is clearly better with the glove, but I don't think enough to where it makes it clear that Wright was an inferior player. And if you look 2008 or 2007 then Wright was clearly the superior player.

2010 is a different story; since Zimmerman was the better player in the second half of 2009 you can start to make the argument he was becoming a better player than Wright, but Wright still had an incredibly strong track record. Just looking at the first half, Zimmerman had a 909 OPS vs 924 for Wright. Wright really struggled in the second half of 2010 and a lot of 2011, but that was obviously after the team was picked. Zimmerman is the better glove; so I think just looking at the first half of the year essentially makes it a toss up. And as I said, Wright's track record at that point was still so strong that I don't think you can say Zimmerman was clearly the better choice.

So I think in 2009 Wright was clearly the choice. Better first half, and a much better track record. 2010 I think is more of a toss up, can see the argument either way. I usually tend to vote for A) the people I like, and B) the guys with the strong track records, so I would've gone with Wright, but I can see it either way. But I don't think Zimmerman was necessarily clearly the better choice in either year.
   56. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 07, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4175798)
Sandoval received more votes in the popularity contest that determines the AS game starters.


That's not the discussion we're having. But thanks for moving the goalposts of the debate from on field performance to simple voting tallies so your point is correct.

I assume you guys complained and complained and complained about that injustice.


In 2010, Wright had a .924 first half OPS over 378 PA vs. Zimmerman's .904 over 337. In 2009 Wright had an .872 first half OPS over 378 PA vs. Zimmerman's .827 over 387. As opposed to the starter being a guy who's missed half the season. You could have a discussion about whether Zimmerman deserved to start over Wright, and maybe Zimmerman was the better choice in one or both years. But let's not pretend that it's the same thing.

eta: didn't mean to come off so combative or snarky. I'm just frustrated by the "count the votezzzz" response after saying repeatedly that it's perfectly legitimate that SF voters made Pablo the starter, but that from a performance perspective it's a tall task to defend.
   57. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 07, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4175799)
In the literature on survey participation, studies suggest that prize draws are the least effective incentive. Paying people to complete is, somewhat surprisingly, also not that effective. In a favorite, offering people $50 to complete the survey was substantially less effective than simply paying everybody $2 whether they participated or not ... and was much less expensive. In essence, incentives seem to work best when they generate feelings of reciprocity rather than reward. And, in any cses, all they do is push across people who are already on the threshold of participation.


That's fascinating. I'll have to look up the survey one.
   58. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4175828)
I haven't looked at any other NL 3B, but if it's between Wright and Sandoval I have to go with Wright.

I like to see stars in the ASG, and Wright is a star, with basically one year (2011) where he was injured/didn't produce much. And he's having a monster 2012. Sandoval hasn't been good enough long enough healthy enough.
   59. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 07, 2012 at 09:24 PM (#4175843)
He's also right about the myth of a bias towards New York players. That may apply to how many national telecasts New York teams get**, but not to awards voting or HoF selections.


This is the single craziest thing in the entire thread.
   60. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:18 PM (#4175899)
I'd be surprised if MLB banned it.
Oh, how quickly we forget 1957.
   61. I Remember When Posted: July 07, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4175938)
I'd be surprised if MLB banned it.

Oh, how quickly we forget 1957.


But in 1957 Baseball had integrity - today with have Selig. I am sure his only question is does it make more money for everyone?
   62. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 08, 2012 at 12:11 AM (#4175956)
Oh, how quickly we forget 1957.


Hardly. And even if I were inclined to forget 1957, Andy makes absolutely certain that every Primate remembers it.

As IRW notes, this is Selig. Rather than ban the practice, I think he'd simply encourage the other teams to follow the Giants' lead. But don't take my word for it. This is from a story in the LA Times about San Fran's campaign:

The Giants are the top team in thoroughly organizing their passionate fan base," MLB spokesman Matthew Gould said. "They encouraged activation at every turn and through whoever had a platform to talk to its fans — sponsors, rights-holders, social [media], etc."

MLB wants to drive hits to the website, drum up interest in the All-Star game, etc. Putting the clamps on organized efforts from the clubs or instituting a one fan, one vote rule runs counter to that, and thus is unlikely to be executed.
   63. zenbitz Posted: July 08, 2012 at 12:57 AM (#4175969)
The Giants' success can be traced to a late surge in voting sparked by a promotional campaign that made each fan who voted 20 or more times online eligible for a prize of two game tickets, a meet-and-greet with the team's All-Stars, the opportunity to watch batting practice from the field, dinner for two at McCovey's restaurant, and two $50 gift cards.


I don't know about other parks, but the Giants park also has wifi. And the whole town has iPhones. I'm surprised someone didn't write an "All Giants All-Star App" that just submits your info to mlb.com every 5 seconds.
   64. Walt Davis Posted: July 08, 2012 at 06:55 AM (#4175991)
That's not the discussion we're having. But thanks for moving the goalposts of the debate from on field performance to simple voting tallies so your point is correct.

I didn't do any such thing. You said there was no credible reason for Sandoval to start. I pointed out the credible reason.

You can't put together a credible case that Wright has been substantially better than Sandoval over any recent significant time period. They're close by pretty much any measure. And you can't put together a credible case that Wright is a "star" while Sandoval isn't precisely because Sandoval just got more votes.

Wright vs. Zimmerman and their first halves -- what, you guys only rate players based on their first half offensive performances? I thought your "goalposts" were "objectively superior player."

   65. AJMcCringleberry Posted: July 08, 2012 at 07:56 AM (#4175997)
I vote for who I like and/or want to see in the game, I really don't give a #### how they are playing.

The rest of it is kosher, in my book. But once you start having teams giving away product to get votes, that's slightly different and might lead to other teams around the league getting irritated. Which is the only way any of the stuff gets shut down.

Well, they didn't say you had to vote for Giants, they just said you had to vote.
   66. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 08, 2012 at 08:18 AM (#4176001)
He's also right about the myth of a bias towards New York players. That may apply to how many national telecasts New York teams get**, but not to awards voting or HoF selections.

This is the single craziest thing in the entire thread.


In what way? Are New York players disproportionately represented in questionable awards votes or HoF selections? Give me some examples of that.

And the pro-New York "media bias" as it exists in coverage is almost completely due to three factors: New York is the biggest media market; The Yankees are the most successful team in baseball, with the largest national fan base; and most people don't get a chance to see the ends of night games played on the West Coast, for the simple reason that they always end well after midnight in the East, and near or after midnight in the Central time zone. That last factor is more of an "East Coast bias" than a "New York bias", and it's a "bias" that's grounded mostly in geography.
   67. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 08, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4176014)
I thought your "goalposts" were "objectively superior player."


In 2009 Wright was coming off seasons of 8.9 and 7.1 fWAR in 2009. While Zimmerman was pretty good, he wasn't that good. Defensively, their reputations are similar though the metrics have Zimmerman as better. In 2010 you have a better case, but once again Wright has a colorable argument for being named to the ASG. In comparison, we're talking about a player in Sandoval who might have had a case had he played the full season given that he's been comparable with Wright over the last few years (but not even a patch on him over their respective careers) but then he missed over a month of games this year. It simply isn't a comparable situation. I don't get why this is a contentious issue, other than people wanting to gasbag. Wright is an MVP candidate. Sandoval's played 50 games. Of course the former is the better choice for this season's ASG starter.
   68. Conor Posted: July 08, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4176022)
Wright vs. Zimmerman and their first halves -- what, you guys only rate players based on their first half offensive performances? I thought your "goalposts" were "objectively superior player."


At the 2009 All star break what is the case for Zimmerman being an "objectively superior player" to David Wright? If you don't just look at the first half, then there's no argument in his favor. The two prior years Zimmerman had a 103 and 107 OPS+, Wright had a 149 and 142. Wright was outhitting him in the first half of the season. I don't think anyone would debate that Zimmerman is a better glove than Wright, but I don't think nearly enough to make up that kind of difference.

As I said before, 2010 is a different issue than 2009, just because you have a little more time where they were closer as players. But in 2009 Wright was probably playing just as well, if not better, than Zimmerman, and had a track record that was miles better. As I said before, I think 2009 was clearly Wright and 2010 a toss up.

Just to be clear, I think Zimmerman had a better 2009 season than Wright. An extra 75 PA, 9 points better in OPS+, and a better glove. But that was because Zimmerman had a much better second half than Wright, which is irrelevant when picking the All star team, since it hadn't happened yet when the team was picked. And also I agree with Scott; this isn't really comparable to the Sandoval situation anyway.
   69. formerly dp Posted: July 08, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4176026)
Speaking as a Met fan: I don't understand getting all indignant about this. Wright's coming off a terrible year, and having a fantastic one, but fans are under no dictate to vote on any set of criteria. I think not picking Santana was a bit of a surprise, given the no-hitter and how well he has bounced back from surgery.

Wright's a better pick, no doubt. But at the end of the day, it's the All-Star Game. Other than sportswriters who need column topics, who cares?

I don't know about other parks, but the Giants park also has wifi. And the whole town has iPhones. I'm surprised someone didn't write an "All Giants All-Star App" that just submits your info to mlb.com every 5 seconds.

I like your second explanation, and I'm convinced that's what happened. Just the mere fact of living near SF gives people mystical app-authoring abilities inaccessible to those of us who live further away. It's like living near converging ley lines or something.
   70. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 08, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4176037)
It's like living near converging ley lines or something


Boy are they going to be screwed when the Rifts open.
   71. formerly dp Posted: July 08, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4176043)
Boy are they going to be screwed when the Rifts open.

Thanks to some forward-thinking Bay area residents, they're already beta-testing RiftClose for iOS.
   72. PreservedFish Posted: July 08, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4176054)
Wright's a better pick, no doubt. But at the end of the day, it's the All-Star Game. Other than sportswriters who need column topics, who cares?

I don't care that much, I was just annoyed by the idea that Sandoval won for any reason other than the enthusiasm of the Giants marketing department.
   73. McCoy Posted: July 08, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4176056)
It's like living near converging ley lines or something


Boy are they going to be screwed when the Rifts open.



And out comes a Splugorth slave barge and they are only equipped with a vibrating smartphone that only does 1D4 of SD when thrown.
   74. formerly dp Posted: July 08, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4176068)
And out comes a Splugorth slave barge and they are only equipped with a vibrating smartphone that only does 1D4 of SD when thrown.

MD FTW
   75. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 08, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4176072)
Speaking as a Met fan: I don't understand getting all indignant about this. Wright's coming off a terrible year, and having a fantastic one, but fans are under no dictate to vote on any set of criteria...

Wright's a better pick, no doubt. But at the end of the day, it's the All-Star Game. Other than sportswriters who need column topics, who cares?
I agree with this. Wright feels to me like the bigger star, and he's clearly more deserving by the numbers. But Panda is very good, lots of fun to watch, and it's not like Wright will be denied his couple innings.

I don't think it's crazy to care enough to disagree with particular snubs, since ballplayers who deserve to go to the All-Star Game should go to the All-Star Game, but this doesn't seem a "snub" to any meaningful degree.
   76. McCoy Posted: July 08, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4176076)
MD FTW

That is one powerful smartphone. Is that a new Apple iPhone or something?
   77. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: July 08, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4176084)
Everyone is going on as if MLB has any interest in banning multiple voting. Can't remember the exact number (20 or 25), but MLB.com not only allows multiple votes, but encourages it.

It's not about who's on the field, it's about advertisers paying for mouse clicks.
   78. formerly dp Posted: July 08, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4176097)
That is one powerful smartphone. Is that a new Apple iPhone or something?

LTE. Not available on Apple devices.
   79. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 08, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4176114)
Everyone is going on as if MLB has any interest in banning multiple voting. Can't remember the exact number (20 or 25), but MLB.com not only allows multiple votes, but encourages it.

It's not about who's on the field, it's about advertisers paying for mouse clicks.


That point's already been mentioned several times, and I doubt if anyone here doesn't agree with it. Hell, what other rational reason could there be for multiple voting?
   80. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: July 08, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4176117)
Isn't Chase Headley the guy with the biggest gripe here? Wright is in the game.
   81. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 08, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4176195)
In what way? Are New York players disproportionately represented in questionable awards votes or HoF selections? Give me some examples of that.


Dude. Catfish Hunter's in the Hall of Fame. Derek Jeter's got five Gold Gloves. In Don Mattingly's first year on the HOF ballot, he got more votes than Bert Blyleven. Gil Hodges, a first baseman with a 120 OPS+ in a not-particularly-long career (plus nine seasons as a manager, only one of which was any good), made eight All-Star teams and peaked at 63.4% in the writers' voting for the Hall. 1939 All-Star Frank Crosetti (ahead of the infinitely-more-deserving Cecil Travis). The corrupt and venal VC of the late '60s and early '70s that undeservingly packed gobs of second- and third-tier NY players into the Hall: Rube Marquard, Dave Bancroft, Travis Jackson, Freddie Lindstrom, etc. The continuing mystery of how Paul O'Neill played in five All-Star games, and the even greater mystery of how Joe Pepitone played in three. 1976 AL MVP Thurman Munson. Do you really need me to keep going?
   82. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: July 08, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4176203)
Catfish Hunter was better known as an Athletic than a Yankee. Hodges made those all-star games in part because he had the best career of NL 1B in the 1950s and there were no HOF caliber guys then, sort of like Jack Morris. All those NY players inducted by the VC were Giants and can be blamed on the presence of Frank Frisch who also inducted undeserving Cardinals like Jesse Haines and Jim Bottomley. Paul O'Neill was an all-star caliber player who played on a dynastic team.
   83. McCoy Posted: July 08, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4176206)
So you're saying keep going?
   84. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 08, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4176209)
Isn't Chase Headley the guy with the biggest gripe here? Wright is in the game.


Especially as the only plausible All-Star on the Padres, watching LaRussa choose instead the closer who's been injured for half the season.
   85. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: July 08, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4176210)
Joe Pepitone played in three all-star games because American League players, coaches and managers voted him onto the team -- once as a starter. This very well may be evidence of profound ignorance and/or stupidity on the part of those involved in the voting, but I fail to see how it is evidence of pro-NY media and/or fan bias.
   86. The District Attorney Posted: July 08, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4176215)
Three separate issues here:

All-Star voting: A player is elected to the ASG based on 1) the quality of his play, 2) hometown attendance, and 3) fan fervor. The Yankees have historically been very high in all three, so they get lots of guys elected to the team. The Mets have often lacked #1 and #3, so they usually don't get a player elected unless he is also the nationwide choice or the team is doing great. Given the size of NY and the one person/hundreds of votes system, I don't see anything unusual here. (Also note that frequent All-Star manager Joe Torre pioneered the now-standard practice of filling up the All-Star roster with your own players given the slightest excuse.)

Hall of Fame: The problem here is that the Yankees and NY Giants both won a whole lot of championships, and HOF voters love championships. How would you suggest we separate the guys whose questionable elections were based on championships, from the guys whose questionable elections were due to simply playing in NY? (Because, of course, Travis Jackson got a huge media push and was famous worldwide 45 years after his retirement.)

Mattingly didn't win a championship, so evaluating his voting doesn't present that problem. I don't doubt that if Mattingly were the hero of Milwaukee rather than the hero of New York, he would be getting 5% or less of the vote rather than 15%. Phil Rizzuto is a marginal (but not indefensible) choice who would have stayed outside with the other marginals if he were a beloved Brewer announcer? Very likely true. (Also very likely true that he still wouldn't have gotten in had he not won all those championships.) So I can kind of give you those two, but you see what we're looking at: NY really gets behind a guy, and the result was Mattingly doing a little better than he should have, and Rizzuto getting pushed over the borderline (which I still don't think would have happened without the championships).

I don't think you would find that, controlled for championships, there is a generic effect.

MVP: Citing one vote, of course, means nothing. As a counterpoint, citing that neither Derek Jeter nor any New York Met has ever won the MVP means a little more, but not much. What you need to do is not difficult: a comparable-player study. And I'm 99% sure that I recall such studies being done and revealing no NY bias. If you wanna do the study yourself, I bet you a plugged nickel that's what you're gonna see.
   87. cardsfanboy Posted: July 08, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4176218)
(Also note that frequent All-Star manager Joe Torre pioneered the now-standard practice of filling up the All-Star roster with your own players given the slightest excuse.)


Wouldn't say he pioneered it, but he did take it to a whole new level.

In Don Mattingly's first year on the HOF ballot, he got more votes than Bert Blyleven.


Couldn't that be said about a host of players? I mean if there was a true New York bias, wouldn't Keith Hernandez at least stayed on the ballot for the full 15 years? Wouldn't Jeter have won an MVP award, in 2006 instead of being beaten out by that big market Minnesota player? Heck Gary Carter is possibly evidence against a bias, since it took 6 years for him to get in.

I think that there is a bias against position players from Detroit/Chicago//Montreal, beyond that,(and even that is a small handful of examples) it's really hard to say there is a bias towards a particular city, while separating the success of the teams from the player. Arguably the ultimate pro-bias is still towards RBI.
   88. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 08, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4176229)
In what way? Are New York players disproportionately represented in questionable awards votes or HoF selections? Give me some examples of that.

Dude. Catfish Hunter's in the Hall of Fame. Derek Jeter's got five Gold Gloves. In Don Mattingly's first year on the HOF ballot, he got more votes than Bert Blyleven. Gil Hodges, a first baseman with a 120 OPS+ in a not-particularly-long career (plus nine seasons as a manager, only one of which was any good), made eight All-Star teams and peaked at 63.4% in the writers' voting for the Hall. 1939 All-Star Frank Crosetti (ahead of the infinitely-more-deserving Cecil Travis). The corrupt and venal VC of the late '60s and early '70s that undeservingly packed gobs of second- and third-tier NY players into the Hall: Rube Marquard, Dave Bancroft, Travis Jackson, Freddie Lindstrom, etc. The continuing mystery of how Paul O'Neill played in five All-Star games, and the even greater mystery of how Joe Pepitone played in three. 1976 AL MVP Thurman Munson. Do you really need me to keep going?


Ivan has already answered the points about Hunter, Hodges, O'Neill and the dubious VC picks, which also included several questionable Cardinals.

But to "keep on going":

---Mattingly was a beneficiary of the same thinking that got Dizzy Dean (also a Cardinal) inducted, an obvious HoF level offensive talent with a strong reputation for fielding ability in the era before the new fielding metrics, whose career got sidetracked by injury. But of course unlike Dean (or Blyleven), he never came close to actually being inducted.

---Until the lobbying campaign got underway for Blyleven, he was hurt by the Old School thinking about 300 wins, just one 20-win season, and a winning percentage that was barely distinguishable from the teams he played on. This sort of bias is ongoing, it affects lots of players, but there's zero correlation to any "New York bias".

---In 1939 Frankie Crosetti was a reserve roster choice by Yankees' manager Joe McCarthy, who started six Yankees, but who also let Joe Cronin play the entire game at shortstop. The bias over Travis was real, but it was the product of one manager, one year, in a game played in his home stadium. Four years later, no member of the defending AL champion and soon-to-be World Champion Yankees saw or threw a single pitch in the All-Star game, though the same Joe McCarthy was the AL manager.

---Joe Pepitone was selected as a starter in 1963 by the players, and IIRC players were not allowed to vote for their teammates. In 1964 he was selected by his manager Al Lopez. And in 1965 he was a last minute replacement for the injured Bill Skowron, also chosen by Al Lopez. Maybe Lopez was a victim of the Stockholm Syndrome or something, but he never wore a Yankee uniform.

So yeah, keep going. Maybe you'll come up with something more substantial the next time around.
   89. cardsfanboy Posted: July 08, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4176234)
Mattingly was a beneficiary of the same thinking that got Dizzy Dean (also a Cardinal) inducted


And kept Munson on the ballot for several years.

I do think there is a relatively recent(post 1970) historical bias in the media for AL East players(and conversely a lack of coverage for the west coast players---It's really hard to find evidence of it affecting the voting without squinting really hard.
   90. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 08, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4176238)
In HOF voting, I believe it's possible there can be both a pro-NY bias and anti-NY bias, often at the same time. The pro-NY bias, due to the large percentage of writers who work/worked in NY, is able to keep a Don Mattingly on the ballot longer than someone with the same career who played in Milwaukee.

At the same time, the rest of the country, generally speaking, hates New York. So getting all the way to 75 percent of the vote may be more difficult for a NY-based player than a random player without the built in anti-New York sentiment.
   91. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 08, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4176244)
I do think there is a relatively recent(post 1970) historical bias in the media for AL East players(and conversely a lack of coverage for the west coast players---It's really hard to find evidence of it affecting the voting without squinting really hard.

Whatever East Coast bias there might be would be as much explained by the time zone factor as anything else. There are times when I don't think that people in the Pacific and Mountain time zones have a clue as to how invisible their live games are to people on the other end of the continent, relative to games in the Eastern and Central time zones. I'm actually kind of amazed that this relative lack of live exposure doesn't show up in the voting results.

---------------------------------------------

In HOF voting, I believe it's possible there can be both a pro-NY bias and anti-NY bias, often at the same time. The pro-NY bias, due to the large percentage of writers who work/worked in NY, is able to keep a Don Mattingly on the ballot longer than someone with the same career who played in Milwaukee.

That makes intuitive sense, but what player with a career that's truly comparable to Mattingly's** has been unable to stay on the ballot as long as he has?

**in traditional Old School metrics, which are what most writers still use in the absence of a Blyleven-level lobbying campaign
   92. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: July 08, 2012 at 06:30 PM (#4176249)
I don't know about other parks, but the Giants park also has wifi. And the whole town has iPhones. I'm surprised someone didn't write an "All Giants All-Star App" that just submits your info to mlb.com every 5 seconds.
That was my first twitter comment when someone said something about a town of 800k beating a town of 8M. Those 800k are computer programmers. There's no doubt in my mind that it got rigged. I mean, even if half the people at the park in the last week voted 10 times, it was more than that votes. It was a crazy number that simply isn't attributable to "a media blitz".
   93. cardsfanboy Posted: July 08, 2012 at 06:32 PM (#4176252)
Whatever East Coast bias there might be would be as much explained by the time zone factor as anything else.


Agreed that it is a factor. At the same time, look at the number of Red Sox/Yankee games that get prime coverage. You don't see as many Mets/Braves games or Braves/Phillies games. (Yes I realize that the Mess are a New York team, but they are clearly the step child) There is clearly a media bias to promote the Yankee/Red Sox rivalry. And that will ultimately lead to some overrating of their players or underrating of other players. It's not linear though, it's not like all Yankee players get the boost and all non-Yankee stars get the shaft. And in some respects players who weren't born Yankee(Arod) get unfairly overcriticized based upon their past performance relative to the performance as a Yankee(You hear the comments about struggling to play in New York, because of the atmosphere/pressure or whatever, and not as much people noting that he's no longer 28 years old)

Ultimately though I have been convinced that for the most part, even the excessive over saturation of the Yankees(and Red Sox) hasn't really led to any across the board advantages conferred to their players.
   94. StHendu Posted: July 08, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4176258)
I am a Mets fan and I voted for all the Atlanta players for the AllStar game. I would much rather Wright gets a rest before the 2nd half of the season than have to play in this stupid lame exhibition game.
   95. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 08, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4176259)
Just like the financial imbalance in baseball, it's close to being a "Yankees vs. Other 29 Teams" phenomenon.

Whenever a player joins the Yankees there's all this marsh gas in the media about how oh, he was good elsewhere but let's see if he can put up with the pressure of playing for the Yankees. Then when someone like Kyle Farnsworth or Javier Vazquez has a subpar season, every Yankee fan says "He's the kind of guy who just can't deliver under pressure". As if signing Kyle Farnsworth would have been a smart move for any other team, but the Yankees have to factor in this additional "Can He Play For The Yankees?" variable.

I don't think fans of the Mets or the Red Sox have this belief that it takes special guts and gumption to play for their team, despite the media pressure on their high-profile players being just as heavy.
   96. cardsfanboy Posted: July 08, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4176263)
I don't think fans of the Mets or the Red Sox have this belief that it takes special guts and gumption to play for their team, despite the media pressure on their high-profile players being just as heavy.


No, but Red Sox fans do have this belief that the rest of the country cares about their team. If anyone outside of the "Red Sox" nation cares about the Red Sox, it's not because they are fans of the team, it's a backlash of hatred against the Yankees.
   97. The District Attorney Posted: July 08, 2012 at 07:02 PM (#4176267)
I am a Mets fan and I voted for all the Atlanta players for the AllStar game. I would much rather Wright gets a rest before the 2nd half of the season than have to play in this stupid lame exhibition game.
Jeez, you could have at least voted all-Astros or something.
   98. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 08, 2012 at 07:05 PM (#4176268)
Thanks to modern spam filtering software, any ballot containing J.D. Martinez is automatically discarded.
   99. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 08, 2012 at 10:21 PM (#4176567)
Catfish Hunter was better known as an Athletic than a Yankee.


No, he wasn't. That's part of the reason why Hunter elected to go without an insignia on his cap for his HoF plaque - he felt that he was just as much a Yankee as an A'.

Hodges made those all-star games in part because he had the best career of NL 1B in the 1950s and there were no HOF caliber guys then, sort of like Jack Morris.


Ted Kluszewski was pretty decent, and he didn't make the team in 1950 (124 OPS+) or 1952 (146 OPS+), even though he was right there with Hodges in both years. (And even though, in 1952, New York Giants 1B Whitey Lockman also made the team - with a 109 OPS+). Earl Torgeson led the league in runs scored in 1950, putting up a 138 OPS+ in the process, but he sat at home while Hodges went to the game with a 125. Dale Long had a 132 in 1955 (while leading the league in triples) and a 134 in 1957, better than Hodges both years (127 and 125 respectively), yet he didn't go to the game either time.

It's interesting, isn't it, how amid this big gaggle of mediocre 1Bs, the same guy kept getting the benefit of the doubt every time? And how it was the guy who happened to play in New York? It's almost as if there were some secondary effect at work...

All those NY players inducted by the VC were Giants and can be blamed on the presence of Frank Frisch who also inducted undeserving Cardinals like Jesse Haines and Jim Bottomley.


So it doesn't count as a pattern of questionable HoF votes because the NY team wasn't the only one that benefited from it? Bullshit.

Not to mention that Frisch wouldn't have gotten away with it if not for the compliance of the other members of the committee - including New York sportswriters like Fred Lieb and Dan Daniel.

Paul O'Neill was an all-star caliber player who played on a dynastic team.


Paul O'Neill was a solid complementary star who routinely made the All-Star team over more accomplished players who didn't happen to wear pinstripes. For example, in 1998 O'Neill hit .317/.372/.510 (130 OPS+). That's a perfectly decent batting line, and nothing to be ashamed about... but it's not as good as Eric Davis (.327/.388/.582, 151 OPS+ in his last top-shelf season) or Jim Edmonds (.307/.368/.506, 123 OPS+ as a top defensive CF - he won the GG that fall). The year before, O'Neill hit (.324/.399/.514, 137 OPS+). Again, that's a pretty good year... but not as good as Manny Ramirez (.328/.415/.538, 144 OPS+) or Jeromy Burnitz (.281/.382/.553, 140 OPS+), and not really appreciably different than Tim Salmon (.296/.394/.517, 134 OPS+) or Bobby Higginson (.299/.379/.520, 133 OPS+) or Jay Buhner (.243/.383/.506, 132 OPS+) or Rusty Greer (.321/.405/.531, 138 OPS+). Yet again, somehow, it's the New York player out of that seething mass of humanity who just coincidentally happens to end up with the All-Star spot. Again.

[Mattingly] never came close to actually being inducted.


Mattingly got more than a quarter of the writers to vote for him, even though he was only a top-level performer for four years (six if you're generous), and barely sneaked across 7,000 AB for his career as a whole. He wasn't nearly as accomplished as Will Clark, an exact contemporary who peaked just as high and had significantly more career value, but who got 4.4% in his first time on the ballot and was gone.

In 1939 Frankie Crosetti was a reserve roster choice by Yankees' manager Joe McCarthy, who started six Yankees...


And this is, in your eyes, evidence that there wasn't a pro-NY bias in the distribution of awards and honors?

Joe Pepitone was selected as a starter in 1963 by the players, and IIRC players were not allowed to vote for their teammates. In 1964 he was selected by his manager Al Lopez. And in 1965 he was a last minute replacement for the injured Bill Skowron, also chosen by Al Lopez. Maybe Lopez was a victim of the Stockholm Syndrome or something, but he never wore a Yankee uniform.


I don't understand why you think it matters who picked Pepitone. The important consideration here is that he ended up on three All-Star teams, when the correct total for a player of his skills on a team that didn't need a mandatory representative would've been "none".
   100. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 08, 2012 at 10:22 PM (#4176569)
I notice, BTW, that neither of you elected to try and defend Munson's MVP or Jeter's Gold Gloves...
Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Martin Hemner
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogBlue Jays to play Reds in Olympic Stadium on April 3 and 4
(4 - 7:50am, Nov 01)
Last: God

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(709 - 7:08am, Nov 01)
Last: Norcan

NewsblogA Visit to Madison Bumgarner Country, and a Proud Father's Home - NYTimes.com
(4 - 6:29am, Nov 01)
Last: Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein

NewsblogDeadline: World Series Ratings: Game 7 Scores Home Run For Fox
(41 - 6:24am, Nov 01)
Last: Chip

NewsblogRelix: Watch the Exact Moment the Phish Crowd Found Out the Giants Won the World Series
(8 - 5:15am, Nov 01)
Last: A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose)

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(1025 - 4:35am, Nov 01)
Last: The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott)

Newsblog2014-2015 MLB free agent power ranking
(28 - 3:40am, Nov 01)
Last: tshipman

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(4911 - 3:37am, Nov 01)
Last: Ron J

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-31-2014
(27 - 2:24am, Nov 01)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogAFL Saguaros at Rafters
(6 - 2:17am, Nov 01)
Last: Gold Star - just Gold Star

NewsblogStatcast: Gordon stops 90 feet from tying Game 7
(33 - 2:14am, Nov 01)
Last: odds are meatwad is drunk

NewsblogJoe Maddon is to become Cubs manager, sources say
(142 - 12:42am, Nov 01)
Last: Andere Richtingen

NewsblogAngell: The Best
(29 - 12:29am, Nov 01)
Last: Morty Causa

NewsblogSan Francisco Giants at Kansas City Royals - October 29, 2014 | MLB.com Box
(92 - 12:18am, Nov 01)
Last: S.F. Giangst

NewsblogMLB.com - In pursuit of Maddon, Cubs dismiss Renteria
(19 - 11:22pm, Oct 31)
Last: HMS Moses Taylor

Page rendered in 1.5023 seconds
52 querie(s) executed