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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fivethirtyeight: Derek Jeter And the Other Worst All-Star Starters of the Past 40 Years

Wait Mark Loretta was an All-Star? Mark Loretta was an All-Star STARTER?????

Forty-year-old Cal Ripken Jr.’s 2001 All-Star Game start was awarded purely out of legacy, and it’s been frequently compared to Jeter’s this week. Ripken, however, had the worst first half of any All-Star Game starter from the past four decades, having played much worse than Jeter has thus far in 2014. Ripken’s first-half triple-slash line in 2001 was .240/.270/.324 (good for a 56 Weighted Runs Created Plus); Jeter’s 2014 line is .272/.324/.322 (80 wRC+), despite playing in a more difficult offensive environment. Jeter may not be playing like a typical All-Star, but he hasn’t been as bad as Ripken was at the same age.

Perhaps more interesting is the fact not all – or even most — ill-advised All-Star starting picks went to sentimental selections. Of the 50 worst starters listed above, there are more players under age 30 (18) than 35-or-older (16). For most of the prime-aged players who started the All-Star Game despite poor first halves, though, their presence can be explained by a good season the year prior. This phenomenon is fueled by baseball’s long-standing confusion over whether the All-Star Game is supposed to honor the players who played best in the first half of the season in question, those who played best since the previous All-Star Game, or simply the best players in general.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 05:44 PM | 72 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: all-star, derek jeter, nate silver, yankees

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   1. hardrain Posted: July 15, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4751068)
Jeter is starting. He will be out in the 4th. Get over it. Most of the country wants to see him one last time.
   2. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4751078)
one last time.


Promise?
   3. hardrain Posted: July 15, 2014 at 06:11 PM (#4751093)
#2 well... they aren't making the playoffs. So let him ride off into the St.Paul sunset...I don't see the harm.
   4. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 15, 2014 at 06:12 PM (#4751095)
There's a big difference between this and letting Ripken start the 2001 All-Star game:

The 2001 All Star Game didn't count. This one counts.
   5. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 06:17 PM (#4751097)
Most of the country wants to see him one last time.


Did you ask them?
   6. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 15, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4751100)
As a representative of the rest of the country, I can't tell you how many times I hear "man, we just don't hear enough about Derek Jeter." Like, every day, man. That guy just can't buy a press release these days.
   7. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: July 15, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4751103)
Most of the country wants to see him one last time.


Most of the country has internet and/or has seen the "one last time" ceremonies dedicated to Jeter across the country this season.
   8. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: July 15, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4751105)
Someone should give Jeter a gift basket.
   9. Dale Sams Posted: July 15, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4751109)
Get over it. Most of the country wants to see him one last time.


Get over what? The article says "It's tough to get too worked up". Though you'd think from the comments that the writer has pissed all over Saint Jeter.
   10. Dale Sams Posted: July 15, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4751111)
This one counts.


I'd kill to see the outrage if one of the managers actually managed to win. "And after one pitch...Jeter is being subbed! Odd...Farrell appears to be sticking with his best players and is making no effort to get everyone into the game!"
   11. Willie Mayspedester Posted: July 15, 2014 at 06:34 PM (#4751115)
Wieters is so legendary he is an all star with one arm in a cast and a 0.7 WAR thru June.
   12. DA Baracus Posted: July 15, 2014 at 06:54 PM (#4751122)
Jeter is starting. He will be out in the 4th. Get over it. Most of the country wants to see him one last time.


If you RTFA you'd see that Jeter is far from the worst All Star, far from the worst sentimental All Star, and not about slamming Jeter but putting his performance in perspective.
   13. hardrain Posted: July 15, 2014 at 06:57 PM (#4751126)
#12...I did read the Fu**ing article. But don't you see the venom spewed just on this one thread?
   14. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: July 15, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4751129)
But don't you see the venom spewed just on this one thread?


All that came after you instructed everyone, with the first post, to get over it.
   15. BDC Posted: July 15, 2014 at 07:04 PM (#4751130)
Pointing out that Ripken or Jeter wasn't the best SS in the league anymore when they made their final All-Star start is kind of like saying that there were better poets than Robert Frost or Maya Angelou available for those inaugurals.
   16. DA Baracus Posted: July 15, 2014 at 07:09 PM (#4751133)
#12...I did read the Fu**ing article. But don't you see the venom spewed just on this one thread?


No. I see a couple of remarks that are not thrilled, but spewed venom? Hardly.
   17. bobm Posted: July 15, 2014 at 07:25 PM (#4751142)
Exactly 1 All-Star start, 1974-2013

                                   
Rk                 Player #Matching
1              Hank Aaron         1
2             Bobby Abreu         1
3              Dick Allen         1
4         Garret Anderson         1
5          Jack Armstrong         1
6            Rich Aurilia         1
7              Alex Avila         1
8           Carlos Baerga         1
9           Harold Baines         1
10             Don Baylor         1
11            George Bell         1
12               Jay Bell         1
13         Dante Bichette         1
14           Jeff Blauser         1
15            Bobby Bonds         1
16              Bob Boone         1
17             Bret Boone         1
18         Milton Bradley         1
19              Lou Brock         1
20            Kevin Brown         1
21          Rick Burleson         1
22         Jeromy Burnitz         1
23         Jeff Burroughs         1
24       Asdrubal Cabrera         1
25          Melky Cabrera         1
Rk                 Player #Matching
26          Ivan Calderon         1
27           Ken Caminiti         1
28          Steve Carlton         1
29         Vinny Castilla         1
30             Jack Clark         1
31          Vince Coleman         1
32           Cecil Cooper         1
33          Carl Crawford         1
34        Michael Cuddyer         1
35           Johnny Damon         1
36         Darren Daulton         1
37            Chris Davis         1
38         Carlos Delgado         1
39         Mariano Duncan         1
40           Jermaine Dye         1
41       Dennis Eckersley         1
42         David Eckstein         1
43           Andre Ethier         1
44           Carl Everett         1
45           Mark Fidrych         1
46          Cecil Fielder         1
47           Julio Franco         1
48          Travis Fryman         1
49        Kosuke Fukudome         1
50          Rafael Furcal         1
Rk                 Player #Matching
51       Andres Galarraga         1
52               Ron Gant         1
53      Nomar Garciaparra         1
54             Troy Glaus         1
55            Tom Glavine         1
56        Adrian Gonzalez         1
57          Luis Gonzalez         1
58             Mark Grace         1
59        Marquis Grissom         1
60         Pedro Guerrero         1
61           Roy Halladay         1
62             J.J. Hardy         1
63              Dan Haren         1
64           Bryce Harper         1
65            Toby Harrah         1
66             Corey Hart         1
67         Dave Henderson         1
68        Keith Hernandez         1
69               Tom Herr         1
70             Aaron Hill         1
71       Shea Hillenbrand         1
72            Ryan Howard         1
73            LaMarr Hoyt         1
74           Torii Hunter         1
75            Raul Ibanez         1
Rk                 Player #Matching
76             Bo Jackson         1
77        Gregg Jefferies         1
78         Howard Johnson         1
79          Lance Johnson         1
80          Randy Johnson         1
81             Adam Jones         1
82            Randy Jones         1
83           Wally Joyner         1
84              Matt Kemp         1
85          Jason Kendall         1
86              Jimmy Key         1
87              John Kruk         1
88           Ray Lankford         1
89            Charlie Lea         1
90             Derrek Lee         1
91            Ron LeFlore         1
92             Chet Lemon         1
93           Tim Lincecum         1
94           Paul Lo Duca         1
95          Evan Longoria         1
96             Javy Lopez         1
97           Mark Loretta         1
98             Derek Lowe         1
99         Russell Martin         1
100         Tino Martinez         1
Rk                 Player #Matching
101         Hideki Matsui         1
102         Don Mattingly         1
103          Brian McCann         1
104      Andy Messersmith         1
105           Rick Monday         1
106             Don Money         1
107           Mark Mulder         1
108          Bobby Murcer         1
109          Eddie Murray         1
110          Charles Nagy         1
111           Mike Napoli         1
112           Paul ONeill         1
113           Ben Oglivie         1
114             Al Oliver         1
115       Magglio Ordonez         1
116       Rafael Palmeiro         1
117         Freddie Patek         1
118            Jake Peavy         1
119        Dustin Pedroia         1
120       Terry Pendleton         1
121            Brad Penny         1
122         Gaylord Perry         1
123      Brandon Phillips         1
124       Placido Polanco         1
125        Darrell Porter         1
Rk                 Player #Matching
126          Buster Posey         1
127          Martin Prado         1
128        Aramis Ramirez         1
129             Ken Reitz         1
130           Jerry Reuss         1
131            Jose Reyes         1
132          J.R. Richard         1
133         Brian Roberts         1
134       Brooks Robinson         1
135          Kenny Rogers         1
136          Steve Rogers         1
137         Jimmy Rollins         1
138              Joe Rudi         1
139          Bill Russell         1
140            Nolan Ryan         1
141       Bret Saberhagen         1
142        Pablo Sandoval         1
143        Curt Schilling         1
144         Mike Scioscia         1
145            Mike Scott         1
146          Ruben Sierra         1
147         Ken Singleton         1
148           Roy Smalley         1
149          Reggie Smith         1
150           John Smoltz         1
Rk                 Player #Matching
151          Geovany Soto         1
152            Mario Soto         1
153           Rusty Staub         1
154           Steve Stone         1
155            Don Sutton         1
156       Danny Tartabull         1
157         Miguel Tejada         1
158           Gene Tenace         1
159            Mike Trout         1
160             Dan Uggla         1
161   Fernando Valenzuela         1
162        Andy Van Slyke         1
163         Jason Varitek         1
164             Mo Vaughn         1
165       Shane Victorino         1
166           Frank Viola         1
167          Rickie Weeks         1
168            Walt Weiss         1
169             Bob Welch         1
170          Vernon Wells         1
171           Frank White         1
172       Bernie Williams         1
173        Kevin Youkilis         1
174         Michael Young         1


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/15/2014.
   18. bobm Posted: July 15, 2014 at 07:27 PM (#4751145)
Most ASG starts, 1974-2013
                                
Rk              Player #Matching
1           Cal Ripken        17
                                
2       Ivan Rodriguez        12
3          Barry Bonds        12
                                
4          Ozzie Smith        11
5           Wade Boggs        11
                                
6       Alex Rodriguez        10
7          Mike Piazza        10
8           Tony Gwynn        10
                                
9        Ichiro Suzuki         9
10       Ryne Sandberg         9
11         Ken Griffey         9
12        Steve Garvey         9
13           Rod Carew         9
14        George Brett         9
15      Roberto Alomar         9
                                
16       Dave Winfield         8
17         Derek Jeter         8
                                
18        Mike Schmidt         7
19       Albert Pujols         7
20      Reggie Jackson         7
21    Rickey Henderson         7
22   Vladimir Guerrero         7
23        Andre Dawson         7
24         Gary Carter         7


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/15/2014.
   19. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 15, 2014 at 07:29 PM (#4751149)
I haven't RTFA, but I hope Sandy Alomar is featured prominently. Nothing against him personally, but boy did he get a lot of mileage out of a less than mediocre career.
   20. OCF Posted: July 15, 2014 at 07:36 PM (#4751152)
The linked article has a problem that has always bugged me: it only used performance over the first half of the season in question. I picked up on that by noticing that Ozzie Smith, 1983, was listed as one of the very worst. Shouldn't the criterion for who deserves to be an All-Star be who has clearly established themselves as the best in the game? The first half of the season in question is often not really what you want to look at to answer that question.

Ozzie was mired in a miserable slump at the plate in the first half of 1983, and had negative WAR for the season at the ASB. But does not his 5.0 WAR 1982 count for something? And a year or two before that to suggest that 1982 was not a fluke? And it even turns out that Ozzie rescued his 1983 season in the second half and wound up the year at +3.8 WAR.

To be sure, the clearly established best SS in the NL in mid-1983 was Dickie Thon. But Ozzie at least belonged on the All-Star team. He shouldn't be cited on a list of worsts. (There are probably other cases like that.)
   21. Bhaakon Posted: July 15, 2014 at 07:41 PM (#4751157)

Jeter is starting. He will be out in the 4th. Get over it. Most of the country wants to see him one last time.


This is false. Jeter received 2.9M votes, and the next four candidates combined for about 5.5M. The most fans wanted to see Jeter start, but most fans did not.
   22. Howie Menckel Posted: July 15, 2014 at 08:06 PM (#4751185)
Bob Klapisch @BobKlap 5m

Long ovation for Jeter in pre-game introduction, but the biggest cheers went to #Cardinals Pat Neshek, a local Minny product

............

cue the empathy thread. somehow more attuned to a local and.....:

"Neshek, 33, comes to the All-Star game as arguably the league’s best set-up man. Neshek is 4-0, and hasn’t given up a run in a month. He has allowed only one run since April 9th and has the Major League’s lowest ERA at 0.70.

The majority of the last two years though has been filled with challenge, both personal and professional, after Neshek and his wife Stephanee lost their first born son to a mysterious illness... On Oct. 3, 2012 Neshek was at home, one day after the birth of his son Gehrig John Neshek, the same day his team, the Oakland A’s, clinched the AL West, when he received a call from Stephanee, telling him their son had stopped breathing."

http://bringmethenews.com/2014/07/14/triumph-over-tragedy-the-all-star-story-of-pat-neshek/



   23. Batman Posted: July 15, 2014 at 08:10 PM (#4751195)
Chan Ho Park should pitch to Jeter.
   24. Into the Void Posted: July 15, 2014 at 08:21 PM (#4751207)
JETER!!!
   25. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 08:49 PM (#4751268)
Chan Ho Park should pitch to Jeter.


No need; Wainwright seems content to have grooved him a batting practice fastball. Sadly, Jeter couldn't even turn on it, needing to go to the RF corner.

As expected, this has been the All Derek Jeter Game. Thanks, FOX.
   26. Walt Davis Posted: July 15, 2014 at 09:01 PM (#4751297)
kind of like saying that there were better poets than Robert Frost or Maya Angelou available for those inaugurals.

Yeah, but did Maya Angelou get to decide home field advantage in the WS? Huh, did she? No sir, she did not!

Jeez, BDC, you act like All-Star Games aren't super important.
   27. Walt Davis Posted: July 15, 2014 at 09:02 PM (#4751300)
5 runs in 2 innings -- in the deadball II era? Is George Gervin pitching?
   28. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 09:09 PM (#4751312)
No. I see a couple of remarks that are not thrilled, but spewed venom? Hardl


Same thing, as far as Jeter's fap ... uh, fan ... club is concerned.
   29. Rants Mulliniks Posted: July 15, 2014 at 09:26 PM (#4751337)
Just here to spew some venom. Harold and Joe. While you still have some shred of dignity left, would you please stop clamoring and stepping over each other to fellate Jeter. One at a time.
   30. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 10:05 PM (#4751428)
kind of like saying that there were better poets than Robert Frost or Maya Angelou available for those inaugurals.

Yeah, but did Maya Angelou get to decide home field advantage in the WS? Huh, did she? No sir, she did not!

but Robert Frost did--and Maz is forever grateful
   31. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 10:37 PM (#4751480)
I did read the Fu**ing article. But don't you see the venom spewed just on this one thread?


So . . . you didn't score super high on the language part of your SATs, did you?
   32. Cooper Nielson Posted: July 15, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4751531)
If you RTFA you'd see that Jeter is far from the worst All Star, far from the worst sentimental All Star

Yes, he's a mere second-worst on both counts.

[EDIT: My mistake. I thought I saw he had a -0.6 WAR so far this year.]

I haven't RTFA, but I hope Sandy Alomar is featured prominently. Nothing against him personally, but boy did he get a lot of mileage out of a less than mediocre career.

He's on the list a couple of times. Alomar is one of those "How we will explain this to our grandchildren?" quirks of MLB history. He made 6 All-Star teams and started 3 All-Star Games, but if you look at his career in retrospect it's extremely unimpressive. He played in 100 games only 4 times, He had 1.0 WAR or more only 6 times, and his career WAR over 20 seasons is just 13.7. In 4 of those "All-Star" seasons, he ended the year with OPS+ of 47, 75, 75, and 59.

It really bothered me back then (when the ASG meant more to me) that he kept getting voted to start. I couldn't understand why the fans were so stupid, year after year. But I think what it comes down to is this:

1. Alomar's rookie cards were from the 1989 sets.
2. Alomar was the Rookie of the Year in 1990.
3. The peak of the baseball card bubble was 1989-1991.
4. Alomar's rookie cards were valuable.
5. Alomar had a neat "hook" of being the son and the brother of major leaguers.
6. There weren't any other star catchers in the AL. This was in the lull between the two Pudges.

So there were a lot of casual/uninformed fans voting, heavily influenced by Beckett Baseball Card Monthly. Fans lacked the coverage they have now, so it wasn't as easy for anyone outside of Cleveland to notice that Alomar (i) couldn't hit anymore and (ii) missed a lot of games.
   33. Sunday silence Posted: July 15, 2014 at 11:20 PM (#4751558)


So . . . you didn't score super high on the language part of your SATs, did you?


presumably, higher than this guy:

The most fans wanted to see Jeter start, but most fans did not.
   34. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 11:24 PM (#4751563)
No need; Wainwright seems content to have grooved him a batting practice fastball. Sadly, Jeter couldn't even turn on it, needing to go to the RF corner.


Turns out I was right. Ken Rosenthal confirmed that Wainwright (per Rosenthal) "basically admitted that he threw a pitch to Jeter intentionally, meaning that he wanted him to hit it."

Rosenthal, quoting Wainwright: "I was going to give him a couple of pipe shots. He deserved it. I didn't know he was going to hit a double or I might have changed my mind."

It Counts, folks.... It Counts.
   35. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 11:26 PM (#4751568)
Wainwright now trying to backpedal, saying he was joking. Sure.
   36. Jose Canusee Posted: July 15, 2014 at 11:38 PM (#4751604)
The story of 26YO Terry Steinbach getting his first ASG as a starter with 0.5 WAR deserves remembrance. I think he had gotten in because of Oakland ballot box stuffing (during their short period as a high attendance club) that outraged writers elsewhere who focused on his low BA (barely above the Mendoza line IIRC though he finished at .265 after a .284 rookie year) more than any WAR.
And, of course like Jeter in 2014, his HR and SF were the only AL RBI in a 2-1 win and he got MVP. He actually played most of the game, with mgr Tom Kelly's own C Laudner playing only the last 3 innings.
   37. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 15, 2014 at 11:47 PM (#4751616)
Rosenthal, quoting Wainwright: "I was going to give him a couple of pipe shots. He deserved it. I didn't know he was going to hit a double or I might have changed my mind."

It Counts, folks.... It Counts.


Not that it matters anyway, since the World Series is nothing but random exhibition games that get decided by coin flips.
   38. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 15, 2014 at 11:53 PM (#4751621)
And, of course like Jeter in 2014, his HR and SF were the only AL RBI in a 2-1 win and he got MVP.

?
   39. Obo Posted: July 15, 2014 at 11:55 PM (#4751622)
Not that it matters anyway, since the World Series is nothing but random exhibition games that get decided by coin flips.

Coin flips that count, mind you.
   40. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 16, 2014 at 02:42 AM (#4751660)
Ozzie was mired in a miserable slump at the plate in the first half of 1983, and had negative WAR for the season at the ASB. But does not his 5.0 WAR 1982 count for something? And a year or two before that to suggest that 1982 was not a fluke? And it even turns out that Ozzie rescued his 1983 season in the second half and wound up the year at +3.8 WAR.


Yea, focusing in first half stats is a pretty much worthless way to decide All-Star worthiness. At very least you should consider the prior season as much as, if not more than this incomplete season.

Which brings us to Jeter. He has been below average, far from all star worthy, for the last FIVE years. Thats what makes him a leading candidate for worst all star ever. Cal Ripken wa terrible his last season, but above average his last 2 years, Jeter was below replacement level last year!

Everyone knows Jeter isn't a good player anymore, but it seems like most don't know long it's been since he was good, He's only had a single good season in the last 7 years, and it was 5 years ago.
   41. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 16, 2014 at 06:17 AM (#4751672)
Lost in all the Jeter stuff is that the game was yet another platform to exhibit how much better Mike Trout is at baseball than pretty much anybody in the world right now. With Cabrera taking a step back in performance, the arguments have ceased in the national press, and it seems like there is quickly-reached consensus that Trout is playing on a level above everybody else. I think it is good for the sport to have Trout perform at a high level during opportunities like the ASG, especially as he is not yet a household name.

Not that WAR is the end-all, be-all, but a look at the leader boards shows he is in the top two in a huge number of categories, and WAR represents this dominance well. He is at 5.5 WAR already, a full win ahead of Donaldson. The difference between #1 and #2 is bigger than #2 and #10...and that gap is likely to grow bigger over the rest of the season. He is amazing.
   42. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 16, 2014 at 07:26 AM (#4751685)
Not that it matters anyway, since the World Series is nothing but random exhibition games that get decided by coin flips.

Coin flips that count, mind you.


Congress should immediately investigate to see if Wainwright slipped Jeter a two-headed coin.
   43. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 09:49 AM (#4751751)
Andy, what's your issue? I pointed out that Wainwright grooved a pitch to Jeter and that the game was a farce. It turns out that Wainwright grooved a pitch to Jeter and - as we already knew - the game is a farce.

Do you disagree with either of those statements? If not, what gives? You seem to have gone off on an unrelated pet tangent about whether postseason games are exhibition games.
   44. Howie Menckel Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4751793)
wrong thread
   45. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4751795)
Andy, what's your issue? I pointed out that Wainwright grooved a pitch to Jeter and that the game was a farce. It turns out that Wainwright grooved a pitch to Jeter and - as we already knew - the game is a farce.

Do you disagree with either of those statements?


Not really.

If not, what gives? You seem to have gone off on an unrelated pet tangent about whether postseason games are exhibition games.

I dunno, but since that's been one of your bigger talking points for the past seven years, I figured you'd be grateful for some reinforcement from an unlikely source. (smile)

But if you insist on being serious, I don't think that the alleged "home field advantage" in the World Series is anything more than another bit of random noise,** which is why I can't see the big deal about Wainwright. And given your longstanding views on the randomness of postseason outcomes, I can't imagine we'd be in much disagreement about that.

**A cursory glance of seventh game World Series results will show that this "home field advantage" comes and goes with no warning whatever.
   46. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4751816)
I haven't RTFA, but I hope Sandy Alomar is featured prominently. Nothing against him personally, but boy did he get a lot of mileage out of
being related to Roberto Alomar.
   47. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4751820)
If not for Gomez, Trout would have been 3-3 with 3 extra base hits. Gomez made that play look easy, but I doubt most LFs would have caught that ball. Plus Trout make a terrific play on that sinking liner.
   48. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4751841)
But if you insist on being serious, I don't think that the alleged "home field advantage" in the World Series is anything more than another bit of random noise,** which is why I can't see the big deal about Wainwright. And given your longstanding views on the randomness of postseason outcomes, I can't imagine we'd be in much disagreement about that.


We're in complete agreement about that: I don't think home field advantage is much of a factor in the World Series, and even if it was it wouldn't affect my views on the All Star Game, since speculating about which teams are going to make the World Series in July is beyond silly.

No, my point is that I want to see a competitive ASG, where the players actually care about winning. The silly HFA in the WS is utterly irrelevant to that. Remember that the HFA stakes were added to this game in an attempt to fix the underlying problem where the perception was that nobody involved in the game cared about actually winning the game. It's this underlying problem that is the issue to me, as it still exists, not the silly and contrived "HFA in the WS" fix.
   49. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4751855)
Remember that the HFA stakes were added to this game in an attempt to fix the underlying problem where the perception was that nobody involved in the game cared about actually winning the game. It's this underlying problem that is the issue to me, as it still exists, not the silly and contrived "HFA in the WS" fix.


Sort of. The problem wasn't so much that nobody cared about the game, but that the league wanted to make sure a tie never happened again. The solution they came up (putting something at stake to make everyone care) didn't do a whole lot to ensure that.

The problem isn't wholesale substitution of position players, which were always a part of the game and something that I always liked (to me, the best part of the all-star game was seeing guys I'd read about but didn't watch regularly during the season, which tend to be those back-ups). The problem is the short stints by the pitchers, which given the risks inherent in pitching, is absolutely necessary.

To me, the best way to avoid a tie in the future is to have each league's roster have one career minor league pitcher who comes into the game if the rest of the team's pitchers have been used, and is expected to go until there's a decision. Properly marketed and sold, it could become pretty cool.

   50. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4751859)
So . . . you didn't score super high on the language part of your SATs, did you?

presumably, higher than this guy:
The most fans wanted to see Jeter start, but most fans did not.

You're the one who doesn't grasp the difference between a majority and a plurality, guy.
   51. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4751861)
To me, the best way to avoid a tie in the future is to have each league's roster have one career minor league pitcher who comes into the game if the rest of the team's pitchers have been used, and is expected to go until there's a decision. Properly marketed and sold, it could become pretty cool.


Again, your focus here, on avoiding ties, is too narrow. The tie was a symptom of the underlying problem: that the game's participants didn't care about winning. That hasn't changed.
   52. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4751869)
Again, your focus here, on avoiding ties, is too narrow. The tie was a symptom of the underlying problem: that the game's participants didn't care about winning. That hasn't changed.


It doesn't matter how much you care about winning if the team's pitchers aren't allowed to go more than one inning and the game goes 15. So as soon as teams (reasonably) started demanding their pitchers see limited use in the A-S game, the possibility of running out of pitchers became realistic.

The 2003 game didn't end in a tie because Bonds, Piazza, Arod and Shea Hillenbrand had been pulled from the game too early and they ran out of position players. They could have kept playing forever with Adam Dunn, Benito Santiago, Nomar and Tony Bautista handling the duties.

It's fair to believe the all-star game should be played to win, but that's a very different argument from what led to/how to prevent a future tie. And until the tie, there's nothing that suggests baseball though the lack of interest in winning was a problem.

   53. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4751871)
Not that WAR is the end-all, be-all, but a look at the leader boards shows he is in the top two in a huge number of categories, and WAR represents this dominance well. He is at 5.5 WAR already, a full win ahead of Donaldson. The difference between #1 and #2 is bigger than #2 and #10...and that gap is likely to grow bigger over the rest of the season.


Tulowitzki is at 5.7.
   54. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4751895)
But if you insist on being serious, I don't think that the alleged "home field advantage" in the World Series is anything more than another bit of random noise,** which is why I can't see the big deal about Wainwright. And given your longstanding views on the randomness of postseason outcomes, I can't imagine we'd be in much disagreement about that.

We're in complete agreement about that: I don't think home field advantage is much of a factor in the World Series, and even if it was it wouldn't affect my views on the All Star Game, since speculating about which teams are going to make the World Series in July is beyond silly.


So far, so good.

No, my point is that I want to see a competitive ASG, where the players actually care about winning.

But in this and on the other thread, you have an ambivalent idea about this. You want the players to go all out (check), but you also accept going through and using the entire pitching roster (epic fail) and the position players (ditto). This is not how 7th games of World Series are played, in case you hadn't noticed it. If you want to win, you start your ace until he gives out, and then use the other pitchers as the matchups call for it. You don't pull a King Felix or a Kershaw after one ####### inning.
   55. BDC Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4751901)
I want to see a competitive ASG, where the players actually care about winning

Agreed. I think the factors that have changed over the past 30 years are several. Interleague play and ease of player movement have eroded the "league's team" associations among the All-Stars. Spiking salaries have made the game's link to the pension fund less important, and eroded the determination of the players to make it a good spectacle. Spiking salaries have perhaps made players less willing to get hurt in an exhibition, though I don't think that's a huge part of it; there are still lots of relatively meaningless games that players try hard in. The Home Run Derby and that stuff have become more of the focus of the break, making the game secondary. Rosters are inflated and guys expect to play if they show up, not sit around and watch Willie Mays and Carl Yastrzemski. Rosters are inflated and guys beg off, diluting them still further. Expansion has meant 15 per-team slots, diluting them further. Starting pitchers aren't going to go at quite the speed they would in the past, when they might have thrown on the off-day with about as much as they had regularly, and for longer – though actually one is probably seeing as good pitching as ever, given the number of top relievers used. But relievers are often pretty ephemeral "Stars," making the game still less interesting.

Above all, it's a matter of attitude. It's hard to think of an All-Star contest in any sport where players do care. Baseball was perhaps an aberration for the first 50 years or so of its game.
   56. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4751920)
So . . . you didn't score super high on the language part of your SATs, did you?


presumably, higher than this guy:

The most fans wanted to see Jeter start, but most fans did not.


The fact that you can't parse that sentence correctly to understand the difference between "the most fans" and "most fans" (the difference between plurality and majority) suggests that you DIDN'T finish higher on the language part of the SATs.
   57. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4751922)
I want to see a competitive ASG, where the players actually care about winning


Agreed. I think the factors that have changed over the past 30 years are several.

But you often heard comments in the 60's and the 70's that only one league (the NL) was really going all-out. It may have just been a case of The Fox and The Grapes, but the relative intensity of the NL in the All-Star game was a persistent media motif back then.

And of course there wasn't any more evidence for the charge then than there is today. The biggest difference now is the roster expansion and the insistence of playing everyone, but that doesn't have anything to do with any lack of effort on the players' parts. And while the Wainwright "pipe pitch" could be cited as evidence that players "don't care" about winning, that's still only one pitcher and one batter in one unique circumstance.
   58. TDF, situational idiot Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4751969)
I've been commenting in the other thread, but reading this one it's dawned on me what the real problem is: The ASG isn't for the players; it's for the fans. And I'm guessing most fans are like me when it comes to the ASG: They want to see all of their favorite players play, not just the best ones or some of them, but all off their favorites.

Ray's constant "I want to see.." and BDC's post including many things the players "expect" are beside the point - the ASG is a venue for the fans to see all of the (theoretically) best players in the game on the field. Even if 95% of the game is played at the highest level, that leaves plenty of room for things like Jeter's 1st AB - which is what the vast majority of the paying public really wants to see.

The regular and post seasons are the time to prove how great the game can be; the ASG is the time to celebrate and enjoy the players.
   59. OsunaSakata Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4751972)
I think basing the ASG selection on two or three months performance is ridiculous. Base it on the last calendar year, or better yet, since the beginning of the previous year.

World Series home field advantage should be based on the combined interleague regular season records.

I think there should be some players held back in case the game goes into extra innings. These would be low-profile All-Stars - someone who is not their team's only representative. Also would not include players named in previous years but still have not played. Keep two starting pitchers, two relief pitchers, a catcher, an infielder and an outfielder on the bench at the end of nine innings. That should be enough to get through most extra-inning games. And if it really gets desperate, the pitcher should just groove one to end the game. :)
   60. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4751978)
the ASG is the time to celebrate and enjoy the players.


I'm fine with that, so just ditch the "this time it counts" bullcrap and let us enjoy fun moments like this or this.
   61. OsunaSakata Posted: July 16, 2014 at 01:13 PM (#4752008)
And all the players wearing white panel caps looked horrible. They should all wear their regular caps.
   62. Sunday silence Posted: July 16, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4752021)


The fact that you can't parse that sentence correctly to understand the difference between "the most fans" and "most fans" (the difference between plurality and majority) suggests that you DIDN'T finish higher on the language part of the SATs.


I scored 700 on my verbal and I defy you to explain to all of us what that setence even means.

GO ahead, show us, GENIUS!
   63. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 16, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4752037)
I scored 700 on my verbal and I defy you to explain to all of us what that setence even means.

GO ahead, show us, GENIUS!


The most fans wanted to see Jeter start, but most fans did not.

If the vote totals are (made up, can't find actual results):

Jeter: 3,000,000
Other SS1: 2,000,000
Other SS2: 1,500,000
Other SS3: 750,000
Other SS4: 550,000
Other SS5: 260,000

Of all the shortstops that got votes, the most voted for Jeter (since 3,000,000 is more than any other individual shortstop). That's called a plurality.
Most fans did not vote for Jeter (since 3,000,000 is only about 37% of the total votes, so 63% (more than half) voted for someone OTHER than Jeter). That's called a majority.

Was that so hard?
   64. PepTech Posted: July 16, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4752059)
Grammar rumble! Where's the damn popcorn?
   65. Sunday silence Posted: July 16, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4752131)
Loook at the example "In singapore the most people speak English..." cited in the box called "Get it right" on this website:

http://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/most

there seems to be a problem when you put the noun "fans" after "the most". "Most fans" or "most of the fans" is better grammar and makes the meaning more clear.

I also think it was very confusing to use the word for two different meanings (out of several meanings) and expected that putting the word "the" in front of it would indicate plurality. In most of the examples I see the meaning of plurality or majority is derived from the context alone and not whether an article precedes it.

THat is what bothers me the most. It would be a simple matter to use the words plurality and majority if that is what you intended. Using some strange word order to convey that meaning was most unusual.
   66. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 16, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4752136)
THat is what bothers me the most. It would be a simple matter to use the words plurality and majority if that is what you intended. Using some strange word order to convey that meaning was most unusual.


Ha!

I'm glad to see no feelings were hurt during this little dust up.

   67. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 16, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4752146)
I liked Ralph Malph as played by Donny The Most.
   68. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 16, 2014 at 05:15 PM (#4752258)
Stefi Graft vs. Donny Host?
   69. Walt Davis Posted: July 16, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4752317)
Using some strange word order to convey that meaning was most unusual.

Nah, it was the point. The "plurality but the majority" is dry. The double use of "most" is a bit clever and draws the attention of the reader.

However, I believe the proper usage would be "The most fans wanted to see Jeter start but more fans did not." In the first, we are comparing several alternatives, therefore we have "most" and "more." In the latter, we are comparing only two alternatives (Jeter and not Jeter) and therefore "more" is technically correct.
   70. Sunday silence Posted: July 17, 2014 at 12:22 AM (#4752518)
Yes, I have to admit it was clever even thought so at the time, but as I began to parse it it sort of became more confusing for me. maybe it was too clever?

I have to say I was unsure of how correct that macmillan article was, because it seems the touch point is the phrase "...the most fans."

It does not seem so bad when you say "Jeter was voted by the most fans." HOwever that alone, per se, I cannot tell if it means majority or plurality. The context does not offer any clues. if you try out all three...

"Jeter was voted ghetto by MOST OF the fans."
"Most fans voted him ghetto."
"Jeter was voted by the most fans."

I dont think any of these you can tell if it means plurality or majority, I think that is up the context alone. Also the third one does seem awkward once you read the others, but by itself it does not seem so...


Interesting linguistic discussion. thanks.
   71. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 17, 2014 at 09:36 AM (#4752607)
The most fans wanted to see Jeter start, but most fans did not.

I thought this was perfectly clear.
   72. Baldrick Posted: July 17, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4752668)
The most fans wanted to see Jeter start, but most fans did not.

This is a good writing. It plays with language a bit to make a very clear point. I'm baffled that anyone would be baffled by it.

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