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Sunday, July 06, 2014

MLB All-Star Game Snubs and Flubs

Ventcher spleen here!!

boteman is not here 'til October Posted: July 06, 2014 at 09:59 PM | 113 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: all-star game

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   1. Cooper Nielson Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:57 AM (#4744930)
Josh Harrison? Really? Is "utility man" a position now? And I guess Charlie Blackmon got all his votes (was he a player pick?) in April.
   2. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:58 AM (#4744931)
who the hell is josh harrison
   3. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:18 AM (#4744936)
I know it's really sappy of me, but I'm glad Jeter made it for his final ASG.
   4. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:22 AM (#4744937)
I'm glad Jeter made it for his final ASG.

It would have been awkward to have the Twitterati vote him MVP without him being at the game.
   5. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:24 AM (#4744939)
who the hell is josh harrison


Putting up a 120 OPS+ while playing four positions is really impressive!

Please overlook the fact he's mostly a corner outfielder with a mediocre glove
   6.   Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:54 AM (#4744945)
I'm glad Jeter made it for his final ASG.


Not that I was very likely to watch the ASG anyway, but barf.
   7. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: July 07, 2014 at 02:05 AM (#4744948)
Not that I was very likely to watch the ASG anyway, but barf.


It's too bad about the whole 'this time it counts' nonsense. The ASG is cool because of silly sentimental stuff like the Ted Williams thing at Fenway or A-Rod making Ripken play SS in Seattle.

Even though I know I shouldn't care, the little boy in me still got all giddy today when I saw that 4 Dodgers made the NL squad. The chances of me watching the game from start to finish are nil, but I still enjoy the idea of the game.
   8. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: July 07, 2014 at 02:40 AM (#4744953)
Hey, I figure if the guys get a nice little 4 day vacation in the middle of the season, who am I to complain???
   9. Cooper Nielson Posted: July 07, 2014 at 02:46 AM (#4744954)
Even though I know I shouldn't care, the little boy in me still got all giddy today when I saw that 4 Dodgers made the NL squad. The chances of me watching the game from start to finish are nil, but I still enjoy the idea of the game.

I'm with you. I still "care" even though I know I shouldn't. As a Tiger fan, I'm sad that Kinsler and Porcello didn't make the team (though it's hard to argue against the guys ahead of them), and I'm sad that V-Mart isn't starting, though the DH position is perhaps unprecedentedly deep and outstanding this year. David Ortiz didn't even make the team (yet).
   10. Walt Davis Posted: July 07, 2014 at 02:53 AM (#4744956)
OK, who are the morons who voted for Trout?
   11. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 07, 2014 at 02:56 AM (#4744957)
Garrett Richards is not on the roster. I'm not okay with that.
   12. shoewizard Posted: July 07, 2014 at 03:09 AM (#4744958)
Charlie Blackmon over Justin Upton....makes perfect sense to me.
After all Blackmon has 1.7 bWAR and Upton only has 1.6. You tell me who is more deserving ! Oh wait...you say Upton has 2.4 fWAR and Blackmon just 1.5 fWAR ? I'm so freaking confused.

   13. still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 03:10 AM (#4744959)
The notion that the Angels have the SECOND-BEST record in the American League, yet only have one representative (albeit, MIKE TROUT!) at the All Star Game, is insane to me.

That's before we get to the specific snubs one could complain about (Richards, Aybar).
   14. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 03:15 AM (#4744960)
Please overlook the fact he's mostly a corner outfielder with a mediocre glove


He's actually mostly a third baseman. The Pirates have just been using him in the outfield because he's hitting well this year and for some reason they decided to go into the year with Travis Snider as their starting RF, and then were surprised that he sucked.

I don't think he's a good choice for the spot in the abstract, but he's a good dude and a hard worker, so it's nice to see that rewarded. Also, his mom is pretty cool.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: July 07, 2014 at 03:18 AM (#4744961)
I see Samardzija wins the Jeff Shaw Memorial Award.

Silly AL ... is that only 3 relievers? You can't win an AS game without 19 closers on the staff, don't they know that?

When did Brantley start hitting like that?

If the Cubs never get good, Castro could end up going to 15 AS games ... of course if the Cubs ever get good, the fans will turn out and vote him a starter every year. So, you heard it here first, min career AS games for Castro is 15.

Nice to see Utley elected. ARam too but that's more a personal thing.

Holy crap, no Ortiz!! Guy's been an AS 9 of the last 10 seasons. Not saying he deserves it (not that he doesn't), just quite surprised they didn't select him.

I didn't realize Wieters is out for the year.

I think I have to take Wright (star) or Lagares (better half-season) over Murphy as the Mets' rep but maybe that's just because the idea of Murphy as an AS 2B makes me go all Dan Uggla. (Murphy is a fine hitter but no 2B.)

Seems the Nats should have more than one rep given their record ... Soriano's probably the next reliever on call.

A bit surprised they didn't take Street or Benoit over Ross. (San Diego)

Oh man, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let Casey McGehee win the final fan vote thingy.

Do remember to be careful when complaining about the player selections. It's a very silly system where the players vote on who belongs then, if their top choice is selected by the fans (or the managers?), then the next finisher gets to go. If the players all voted McCutchen, Puig, Gomez, Stanton then a guy like Harrison can get through because his college roommate voted for him. (See Bryan LaHair 2012.) Harrison could also be the Omar Infante memorial selection and Blackmon the WTF player choice.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: July 07, 2014 at 03:22 AM (#4744962)
Messrs. Upton and Richards are in the fan vote thingy. Sticking to its guns, the AL has 5 SP on that ballot. Silly, silly AL managers thinking there's any way that somebody like Chris Sale could possibly throw an effective inning of relief.
   17. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 07, 2014 at 03:27 AM (#4744963)
Josh Harrison is great. Not often do you see someone work his way up from utility guy who plays once every five games to utility guy who plays every day.
   18. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: July 07, 2014 at 03:53 AM (#4744964)
I realize that Tony Watson has done the job about as well as is possible, but the idea of putting a reliever on the team with 40 innings and no saves is pretty ridiculous. No room for a real star like Ryan Braun, lots of room for Watson and Harrison. This is supposed to be fun.

Edit: Devin Mesoraco is a catcher who is slugging .634? Who the f is Devin Mesoraco?
   19. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: July 07, 2014 at 03:54 AM (#4744965)
Doesn't Trout really count for like 10 players though? Speaking of giddy, Mike Trout. My nephew loves him (to be fair, his stepdad loves the Angels). He's kind of my non-Dodger favorite. I like Mr. McCutchen, too*

* my goodness, PNC is a fantastic yard. We took a family road trip to Pittsburgh from SoCal and caught a game at PNC. Aside from the downpour in the bottom of the 6th, it was glorious.
   20. Cooper Nielson Posted: July 07, 2014 at 04:40 AM (#4744968)
Josh Harrison is having a nice first half and I'm very happy for him, but this slowly evolving concept of treating the All-Star team like a "regular" team, complete with relief specialists and utility players, is kind of weird. I think it misses the point of having an All-Star Game in the first place.

Harrison's OPS is currently 34th in the NL (minimum 200 PA, as he hasn't played enough to "qualify"). He's behind Corey Dickerson and Adam Laroche and Seth Smith and Michael Morse and Lucas Duda and Scooter Gennett. (But ahead of Chase Utley and Matt Carpenter.) This is by far the best he's hit in the majors -- in fact, after his first three (partial) seasons, his career OBP was below .300. Basically, he's a 24th-25th man who's had a good two months. The Pirates have two other guys on the team, so he's not a token representative.

Sure, he's a useful guy to have on the bench if the game goes into extra innings, because he can play just about anywhere, but I don't think he's anyone's idea of a "star."
   21. chisoxcollector Posted: July 07, 2014 at 06:54 AM (#4744971)
Chris Sale not making the team outright is a joke. 8-1 with a 2.16 ERA, if you like traditional stats. .87 WHIP, 6-1 K-BB ratio, 3.8 bWAR (4th in AL despite missing some time). Has an argument for best pitcher in the American League over the last few seasons.

Is there any chance he loses the final vote to one of 4 pitchers casual fans have never heard of? Not that Chris Sale is a superstar, though he probably should be.
   22. JE (Jason) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 07:49 AM (#4744980)
I'm glad Jeter made it for his final ASG.

OK, but why is the least capable hitter going to hit leadoff? Does the game count or not?

To paraphrase Mayor Koch: The fans have spoken ... and they must be punished.
   23. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 07, 2014 at 08:04 AM (#4744985)
Has a starting pitcher ever been selected with as few wins as Samardzija has?
   24. Lassus Posted: July 07, 2014 at 08:15 AM (#4744987)
I'm with you. I still "care" even though I know I shouldn't.

I expect you on the curb with your children in an hour. Please print out the Primate Custody Surrender form PDF from Wiki Gonzalez.
   25. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 07, 2014 at 08:29 AM (#4744992)
I'm still rooting for a scenario where a player on a bad team wins ASG MVP giving home field to one league then gets traded to the other league where his team wins the pennant.
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: July 07, 2014 at 08:47 AM (#4744996)
I'm still rooting for a scenario where a player on a bad team wins ASG MVP giving home field to one league then gets traded to the other league where his team wins the pennant.


What team is Jeff Samardzija going to be pitching for? What uniform is he going to be wearing?
   27. Blastin Posted: July 07, 2014 at 08:48 AM (#4744998)
He can't play. Not sure about uniform.

OK, but why is the least capable hitter going to hit leadoff? Does the game count or not?


So they can take him out after two ABs to an ovation, yet not play him out there for like 6 innings as might occur if you hit him 9th.

People being upset about extremely popular HOFers being voted into the All-Star game...
   28. Born1951 Posted: July 07, 2014 at 08:49 AM (#4744999)
OK, who are the morons who voted for Trout?

Good one Walt!
   29. just plain joe Posted: July 07, 2014 at 08:56 AM (#4745003)
He can't play. Not sure about uniform.


He comes out and is introduced wearing the Cubs uni, and then rips it off to reveal the A's underneath. As an added bonus he pulls out a lighter and burns the Cubs uniform.
   30. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 07, 2014 at 09:07 AM (#4745006)
What team is Jeff Samardzija going to be pitching for?

He can't play, but he will be introduced.

What uniform is he going to be wearing?

No one knows yet!
   31. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 09:23 AM (#4745014)
Josh Harrison is having a nice first half and I'm very happy for him, but this slowly evolving concept of treating the All-Star team like a "regular" team, complete with relief specialists and utility players, is kind of weird. I think it misses the point of having an All-Star Game in the first place.


It is, regrettably, a natural outgrowth of the whole "This Time It Counts" bullshit. If the game has an actual impact on the playoffs, a manager with skin in the playoff race is going to try hard to win, and that means reserves who stay nailed to the bench and 900 relief pitchers.
   32. TDF, situational idiot Posted: July 07, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4745039)
Pleasantly surprised the Reds have 4 AS, and the fact they're all 28 or younger makes it better. However, the fact that none of the 4 are Votto, Bruce, or Phillips probably explains why they're barely over .500.
   33. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4745060)
I'm a Rockies fan, and I'm embarrassed that Charlie Blackmon is going. If Corey Dickerson keeps hitting, Blackmon might not even have a starting job by the end of the season.
   34. Austin Kearns: The Spy Who Shagged Flies Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4745069)
So they can take him out after two ABs to an ovation, yet not play him out there for like 6 innings as might occur if you hit him 9th.


Who is the backup SS on the AL team? He might have to play those 6 innings.
   35. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4745076)
I realize that Tony Watson has done the job about as well as is possible, but the idea of putting a reliever on the team with 40 innings and no saves is pretty ridiculous


Yes, this trend of recognizing middle relievers is getting ridiculous. I mean, last year's middle relievers named as All-Stars were Brett Cecil, Steve Delabar, and Jesse Crain. You're much more likely to be recognizing a fluke season. I mean, good for Dellin Betances and Tony Watson, but odds are in three years we'll look back and say "wha?" at their selections.

Also the difference between the season Watson and Betances are having and a dozen other relievers (Wade Davis, Andrew Miller, Brad Boxberger, Zack Duke, Jordan Walden, Jake McGee, Tyler Clippard, Joaquin Benoit) is pretty small.


Who is the backup SS on the AL team? He might have to play those 6 innings.


Alexei Ramirez. Kinda surprised they only took one reserve, but no one was having a strong year. Erick Aybar and Alcides Escobar are your best left off the roster.
   36. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:22 AM (#4745077)
Is there any chance he loses the final vote to one of 4 pitchers casual fans have never heard of? Not that Chris Sale is a superstar, though he probably should be.


I doubt it. The White Sox marketing staff is excellent at getting out the fan vote for the Extra Player. As one writer mentioned to Sale yesterday, the Sox PR team managed to get A.J. elected in the fan vote.

   37. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4745089)
If the game has an actual impact on the playoffs, a manager with skin in the playoff race is going to try hard to win, and that means reserves who stay nailed to the bench and 900 relief pitchers.

Except that the reserves don't stay nailed to the bench because It's Not Fair That Someone Might Not Get To Play.

In the 8th and 9th innings last year and trailing 3-0, the NL sent these batters to the plate to face Rivera and Nathan (starters listed in parentheses):

Craig (Cuddyer)
Gomez (Harper)
Carpenter (Phillips)
McCutchen (Beltran)
Goldschmidt (Votto)
Alvarez (Wright)

In the 7th, they also sent up Domonic Brown and Jean Segura instead of Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki.
   38. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4745092)
If John Farrell were a true Red Sox manager, he'd bench Jeter after one pitch.
   39. Austin Kearns: The Spy Who Shagged Flies Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4745093)
Ah, my bad. Alexei wasn't mentioned in the article but I do see him on the list at the bottom. Both a snub and a flub!
   40. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4745101)
Re Jeter, actually the ASG is made for former stars in his position; he actually has a better case for starting at SS for the 2014 AS Team than he does for the 2014 NY Yankees. So I have no issue with Jeter being the starter; I just wish everyone could just Be Normal and not shove down our throats every two minutes the fact that this is his last ASG.

To me the ASG is made for:

1) Current stars
2) Former stars of the not too distant past or who are retiring
3) Players whose true talent is at the star level (i.e., not players who had the best two months of their lives) but who are underrated so haven't received the "star" treatment/label yet.

I try to figure out who the current best players at their positions are, and I deem them deserving. If it's a close call then I go with the former star. Or if it's Jeter and there's no clear Best AL Shortstop (as there isn't; maybe Alexei Ramirez but I mean the pickings are slim) then I go with Jeter. Jeter wouldn't win over Tulowitzky, but the AL doesn't have that issue.

What I do not do is say "Oh, this guy had the best April and May of his life. Let me deem him worthy."

   41. Dale Sams Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4745105)
Nice to see the Red Sox send four guys. Of course, only one plays for them these days.
   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4745106)
Except that the reserves don't stay nailed to the bench because It's Not Fair That Someone Might Not Get To Play

In the ASG, there really shouldn't be a huge quality gap between starter and reserves.
   43. DL from MN Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4745109)
I like Pat Neshek and I think it's incredibly awesome that Pat Neshek gets to go to an All-Star Game in his hometown but Pat Neshek is not my idea of an All-Star.

I agree that Sale is the obvious "Star" in the last player vote. Also, vote for Morneau. I want him to get his "goodbye".
   44. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4745111)
who the hell is josh harrison

I guess he's this year's Steve Delabar.
   45. Ziggy Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4745113)
If they wanted to win wouldn't they take the superstar starter over the middle reliever?

Also, people being upset at their teams players not being selected is kind of confusing. I get the thing about you wanting your team to be appreciated, but I'd rather my favorite team's players get some rest and not run the risk of being Fosse'd.
   46. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4745115)
In the ASG, there really shouldn't be a huge quality gap between starter and reserves.


There isn't. And if the managers used their reserves to get the platoon edge (which they don't typically do), you'd probably expect better results from the reserves.

And I always liked the aspect of the A-S game where I got to see players, particularly those from the other league, that I might not have gotten to see too often. Some big time star getting nine innings didn't have the appeal to me as it did to others.
   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4745119)
Also, vote for Morneau. I want him to get his "goodbye".

Funny thing is that Morneau is still a really good hitter if you just don't let him faces lefties; the guy has a 144 wRC+ vs. RHP (126 in 2013, 141 in 2012).

This is the freaking problem with all the relievers, you can't execute obvious platoons. It's a real double-whammy in suppressing offense.

I'm really leaning towards an 11 pitcher roster cap as being necessary.
   48. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4745121)
He can't play, but he will be introduced.


I wondered about that. It would have stunk if he didn't get at least recognized as an All-Star.

I like Pat Neshek and I think it's incredibly awesome that Pat Neshek gets to go to an All-Star Game in his hometown but Pat Neshek is not my idea of an All-Star.


I love Pat Neshek, and I think it's awesome that he made an All-Star team after all his injury struggles. I have less of a problem with "best of kind" instead of "best of all pitchers" selections, I guess. It's six of one, half a dozen of the other to me.
   49. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:05 AM (#4745128)
Josh Harrison is great. Not often do you see someone work his way up from utility guy who plays once every five games to utility guy who plays every day.


He's like Willie Bloomquist, only he can hit!

I love me some Josh Harrison--he's a great guy and a hard worker, as you said--but when I heard he was appointed to the All-Star team I couldn't help but think "wait, what?"

Back when they were all in Altoona--I don't know if it was similar at other minor league stops--Harrison, Jordy Mercer and Chase d'Arnaud were the usual infielders (though Harrison played some outfield even then). d'Arnaud was mostly the shortstop but all three of them regularly rotated around the field. At the time d'Arnaud was considered the only real prospect of the three; Mercer was a future utility man if everything broke right; and Harrison was just a guy. Funny how things never quite work out as they're expected to.
   50. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4745129)
Not having players like Sale and Posey in this game, while having Harrison and Dellin Betances, is flat absurd.

Also, let's admit it: the players suck at picking All Stars. It's silly they're involved in the process. They add nothing. They bring nothing to the table. They can't see earlier than Opening Day, they use pitcher wins to judge worthiness, they use "Best two months of his life" to select all stars. It's time to cut them loose.
   51. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4745131)
I guess he's this year's Steve Delabar.


...who is now getting lit up...in Buffalo.
In fact, since going to the all-star game, Delabar has put up a 5.74 ERA in 42.1 IP (remainder of 2013 (over 7 ERA), his time in MLB in 2014).

But he was an all-star, so he'll always have that...

   52. bookbook Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4745141)
Not a major crime to leave him off (his second half last year wasn't spectacular), but there's a good case to be made for Kyle Seager, who's carrying the M's offense this year.
   53. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4745143)
In fact, since going to the all-star game, Delabar has put up a 5.74 ERA in 42.1 IP (remainder of 2013 (over 7 ERA), his time in MLB in 2014).


Since going to the All-Star game in 2010, Evan Meek has thrown twice as many innings in the minors as in the majors.

Has there been any middle reliever named to the All-Star game who has turned out to be actually good?
   54. Canker Soriano Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:23 AM (#4745148)
I had completely overlooked the whole Morneau-Minnesota connection. As much as I'd like to see Rizzo make it (despite his struggles over the last 10 days, he's had a pretty good season - 2 weeks ago he was in the top 5 in OPS in the NL), I could get behind Morneau getting a huge ovation from his former town.
   55. Austin Kearns: The Spy Who Shagged Flies Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4745149)
Has there been any middle reliever named to the All-Star game who has turned out to be actually good?


Clippard has been pretty consistently good since his 2011 selection(though he hasn't been a middle reliever the entire time).
   56. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4745158)
Matt Thornton's a solid reliever.

   57. Blastin Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4745168)
David Robertson was definitely not the closer when he was selected. He's very good.
   58. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4745174)
Robertson would have been a better choice than Betances.
   59. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4745177)
Has there been any middle reliever named to the All-Star game who has turned out to be actually good?


Francisco Rodriguez pitched in the 2004 All-Star game as a middle reliever.
He didn't become the closer for Anaheim until the next season, and he's had a hell of a career.

Other than him and Clippard, it's pretty slim pickings.
   60. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4745180)
Ah, I just looked at pitchers that got an appearance in the All-Star game, not selected.
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4745183)
The issue is really that RPs just aren't as pitchers good as starters. If they were better, they'd be starting. The ASG pitching staff should be 10 SPs and maybe 1 or 2 closers.

We don't award a spot to the best backup catcher. Why do we award a spot to the best back-up closer?
   62. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4745184)
Also, let's admit it: the players suck at picking All Stars.


It's more the system that sucks. The players vote just like the fans do, but if the fans take the players first choice then they end up picking the second/third name on the list. For positions where there's a clear, obvious choice that everyone takes, like Miguel Cabrera at 1b, you can end up with a player only getting a few votes and still making the ASG. In this case there's a good second choice in Jose Abreu, but as mentioned above this is why we have All-Star Bryan LaHair.

They should really get the players to do their picks right after the voting closes, so that they know who's already been picked as a starter. I'm not sure how that would work given time constraints, but they do it with the managers already.
   63. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:07 PM (#4745191)
It's more the system that sucks. The players vote just like the fans do, but if the fans take the players first choice then they end up picking the second/third name on the list.

Which year was it that the AL had an ancient Jason Varitek as a backup catcher just because something like 80% of the players sensibly voted for Joe Mauer, who was also the fan choice? (Checking) Looks like it was 2008. Varitek was hitting .218/.299/.354 at the break that year.

You could solve this issue in one of two ways - have the players vote after the fan results are announced, or have the players vote for two choices at each position. Either of those options should resolve the Bryan LaHair issue. But since MLB clearly does not care about the Bryan LaHair issue...
   64. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4745225)
Also, let's admit it: the players suck at picking All Stars.


Meh, there's a few curious selections, but there probably would be under any system. I think they mostly got it right.
   65. The District Attorney Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4745247)
Here is my annual attempt to imagine what the teams would look like under a system Bill James described a few years ago (subscription required). Each fanbase votes for THEIR OWN players. Then:
The manager would pick the roster, within these limits:
1) That he must pick one player from each team,
2) That he must pick at least 8 players who finished first in the balloting in their precinct,
3) That he must pick at least 12 players who finished 1 or 2 in the balloting in their precinct,
4) That he must pick at least 16 players who finished 1, 2 or 3 in the balloting in their precinct, and
5) That he cannot pick more than two players from any team.
(Then, "emergency players" get chosen from the team hosting the game, and the team in the other league geographically closest.)

So, I made up this fan voting:

BAL: 1. N. Cruz (OF)        2. Ad. Jones (CF)       3. Wieters (C)
BOS: 1. D. Ortiz (DH)       2. Lester (SP)          3. Pedroia (2B)
CHW: 1. J. Abreu (1B)       2. Sale (SP)            3. Al. Ramirez (SS)
CLE: 1. M. Brantley (CF)    2. Kluber (SP)          3. Kipnis (2B)
DET: 1. Mi. Cabrera (1B)    2. V. Martinez (DH)     3. Scherzer (SP)
HOU: 1. Altuve (2B)         2. G. Springer (OF)     3. Keuchel (SP)
KC:  1. S. Perez (C)        2. Alc. Escobar (SS)    3. A. Gordon (LF)
LAA: 1. M. Trout (CF)       2. G. Richards (SP)     3. Pujols (1B)
MIN: 1. B. Dozier (2B)      2. K. Suzuki (C)        3. Mauer (1B)
NYY: 1. Jeter (SS)          2. Tanaka (SP)          3. Ellsbury (CF)
OAK: 1. J. Donaldson (3B)   2. Cespedes (LF)        3. Kazmir (SP)
SEA: 1. F. Hernandez (SP)   2. Seager (3B)          3. Cano (2B)
TEX: 1. Darvish (SP)        2. A. Beltre (3B)       3. Choo (OF)
TB:  1. Price (SP)          2. Longoria (3B)        3. Zobrist (UT)
TOR: 1. J. Bautista (RF)    2. E. Encarnacion (DH)  3. Buehrle (SP)

ARI: 1. Goldschmidt (1B)    2. M. Montero (C)       3. A. Hill (2B)
ATL: 1. Freeman (1B)        2. Kimbrel (RP)         3. Teheran (SP)
CHC: 1. Rizzo (1B)          2. S. Castro (SS)       3. Hammel (SP)
CIN: 1. Cueto (SP)          2. T. Frazier (3B)      3. A. Simon (SP)
COL: 1. Tulowitzki (SS)     2. Blackmon (OF)        3. Morneau (1B)
LAD: 1. Kershaw (SP)        2. Puig (RF)            3. D. Gordon (2B)
MIA: 1. G. Stanton (RF)     2. H. Alvarez (SP)      3. J. Fernandez (SP)
MIL: 1. C. Gomez (CF)       2. Lucroy (C)           3. Braun (RF)
NYM: 1. D. Wright (3B)      2. Dan. Murphy (2B)     3. Niese (SP)
PHI: 1. Utley (2B)          2. J. Rollins (SS)      3. R. Howard (1B)
PIT: 1. A. McCutchen (CF)   2. N. Walker (2B)       3. P. Alvarez (3B)
SD:  1. Street (RP)         2. S. Smith (OF)        3. T. Ross (SP)
SF:  1. B. Posey (C)        2. Bumgarner (SP)       3. T. Hudson (SP)
STL: 1. Wainwright (SP)     2. Y. Molina (C)        3. M. Carpenter (3B)
WAS: 1. Strasburg (SP)      2. Rendon (3B/2B)       3. B. Harper (OF)
   66. The District Attorney Posted: July 07, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4745249)
And I chose these teams:

AL:

C: S. Perez (KC), K. Suzuki (MIN)
1B: M. Cabrera (DET), J. Abreu (CHW)
2B: Altuve (HOU)
3B: J. Donaldson (OAK)
SS: Jeter (NYY), Alc. Escobar (KC)
OF: M. Trout (LAA), J. Bautista (TOR), M. Brantley (CLE), Ad. Jones (BAL)
P: F. Hernandez (SEA), Tanaka (NYY), Darvish (TEX), Sale (CHW), Price (TB), Lester (BOS)

Emergency players (MIN): B. Dozier (2B), Willingham (OF), P. Hughes (P), Perkins (P)

NL:

C: Lucroy (MIL), Y. Molina (STL)
1B: Goldschmidt (ARI)
2B: Utley (PHI), Dan. Murphy (NYM)
3B: Rendon (WAS)
SS: Tulowitzki (COL), S. Castro (CHC)
OF: G. Stanton (MIA), A. McCutchen (PIT), Puig (LAD), C. Gomez (MIL)
P: Kershaw (LAD), Cueto (CIN), Wainwright (STL), Teheran (ATL), Bumgarner (SF), Street (SD)

Emergency players (MIL): Gennett (2B), Braun (OF), Lohse (P), W. Peralta (P)

James says:

I think it’s a better system; I think it makes a better game with stronger rosters, more meaningful participation from the fans, and it makes selection to the game a real honor. New York and Boston and LA fans can’t swamp the voting because there are more of them; they can only vote for their own guys. Fans are not asked (or not allowed) to vote on hundreds of players, many of whom they probably haven’t thought about all season. They’re asked to sort out the players on their home team.
I’d pay to watch [these] guys play a baseball game. Chone Figgins taking his at bat and getting congratulations for being an All-Star… .I’ve seen enough of that. No city gets shorted in the voting, nobody gets to go to the All-Star game because his old manager owes him a favor and he’s having a decent year. It’s all stars.
   67. JE (Jason) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4745264)
This just in: Derek Jeter has been named All-Star Game MVP. (Mariano Rivera came in a distant second.)
   68. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4745276)
This just in: Derek Jeter has been named All-Star Game MVP. (Mariano Rivera came in a distant second.)


I bet Rivera will be honored in some way at this ASG.
   69. The District Attorney Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4745294)
Is "utility man" a position now?
It is in the All-Star Game. There's a relatively new rule where you can designate one player who, if removed from the game, is allowed to re-enter in the event of an emergency. (I assume that is determined by umpire's discretion; not sure.) So, for the past couple of years, the managers have been making sure to pick a utility player.
   70. ursus arctos Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4745312)
I assume that Samarzdija will wear a Notre Dame jersey.

There's no way MLB turns down the golden (dome) opportunity to add another special hat, jersey, bp jersey, etc. that they can flog to the masses.
   71. PepTech Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4745313)
Not often do you see someone work his way up from utility guy who plays once every five games to utility guy who plays every day.


He more "devolved" into utility guy, but Mark McLemore. I miss 2001.
   72. madvillain Posted: July 07, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4745314)
It's a shame that Sale pitches for the South Siders as he's criminally under-rated. When people complain about "lack of stars" what they really mean is that MLB does a piss poor job of promoting their players -- like Sale.

This is a guy that is #1 in fWAR for pitchers in the AL over the last 3 seasons and if you don't like that then this year he's 8-1 with a 2.16 ERA and a WHIP of .86, how does this guy not make the All-Star team?
   73. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 07, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4745392)
8-1 with a 2.16 ERA and a WHIP of .86, how does this guy not make the All-Star team?

How can you snub Glen Perkins and his 3.22 ERA/1.10 WHIP in 36 innings when he has 20 saves?
   74. chisoxcollector Posted: July 07, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4745426)
Are the White Sox the most ignored big market team in any sport? Even when they suck, the Cubs/Mets/Yankees/Red Sox/Dodgers/etc get WAY more pub then the White Sox do, even if they're good.

As madvillain pointed out, Chris Sale is a superstar pitcher, and has been for a few years. In the AL since 2012 (min 350 IP):

Rk             Player ERA+    IP
1          Chris Sale  144 493.2
2     Felix Hernandez  133 572.2
3          Yu Darvish  132 510.1
4     Hisashi Iwakuma  128 426.0
5        Max Scherzer  126 521.1
6    Justin Verlander  125 573.1
7         David Price  125 537.1
8        Jered Weaver  120 459.1
9       Jose Quintana  119 448.2
10        Doug Fister  118 370.1
11      Hiroki Kuroda  117 530.1
12      James Shields  115 573.0
13      Chris Tillman  111 397.0 


Only Kershaw and Cueto are ahead of him in the NL, and Cueto has a lot less IP.

Also, notice Jose Quintana on this list.
   75. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4745430)
Are the White Sox the most ignored big market team in any sport?

Maybe. But, to be fair, they rarely act like a big-market team.

I can't remember the ChiSox's last big FA signing.
   76. chisoxcollector Posted: July 07, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4745435)
Jose Abreu?
   77. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4745438)
I can't remember the ChiSox's last big FA signing.


Adam Dunn?
   78. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: July 07, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4745439)
Regarding "utility" players: how can versatility be at a premium when rosters have 34 players for a single game?

Regarding the All-Star MVP award: are they going to bother with a vote, or have they already shipped the trophy to Derek Jeter's house?
   79. chisoxcollector Posted: July 07, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4745444)
At this point it's basically Kershaw, Sale, and everybody else.

Rk              Player WAA/pitch
1      Clayton Kershaw      13.4
2           Chris Sale      12.0
3         Max Scherzer       9.1
4            Cliff Lee       8.9
5      Felix Hernandez       8.7
6           Yu Darvish       8.2
7     Justin Verlander       7.6
8         Johnny Cueto       7.4
9          Cole Hamels       7.4
10      Anibal Sanchez       7.0
11     Adam Wainwright       7.0
12         David Price       6.5
13     Hisashi Iwakuma       6.4
14   Jordan Zimmermann       6.4
15        Zack Greinke       6.1
16       Jose Quintana       5.9
17       Hiroki Kuroda       5.7
18        Mark Buehrle       5.2
19        Gio Gonzalez       5.2
20           Mat Latos       5.2 


Rk              Player  WAR
1      Clayton Kershaw 17.8
2           Chris Sale 16.6
3      Felix Hernandez 13.9
4         Max Scherzer 13.8
5           Yu Darvish 12.9
6            Cliff Lee 12.9
7     Justin Verlander 12.8
8          Cole Hamels 11.6
9      Adam Wainwright 11.5
10         David Price 11.3
11      Anibal Sanchez 11.1
12        Johnny Cueto 10.6
13   Jordan Zimmermann 10.6
14       Hiroki Kuroda 10.5
15        Zack Greinke 10.3
16     Hisashi Iwakuma 10.2
17       Jose Quintana 10.0
18        Mark Buehrle  9.7
19        Jered Weaver  9.3
20          Kyle Lohse  9.2 
   80. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4745447)
Are the White Sox the most ignored big market team in any sport?


The Astros get 0.0 TV ratings, despite playing in a top ten media market.
   81. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4745454)
The Anaheim Ducks come to mind.
   82. chisoxcollector Posted: July 07, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4745460)
I don't follow hockey enough to comment on the Ducks. But when I said "big market", I meant "BIG market". Basically New York, Chicago, LA, and Boston. I know there are other cities ahead of Boston, but when it comes to sports, Boston seems to stand above Philadelphia, Dallas, etc.
   83. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 07, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4745470)
At this point it's basically Kershaw, Sale, and everybody else.


Over your very limited time frame.
I have to think that King Felix is in that "elite 3" right now, especially considering he's been pitching twice as long as Sale and has 4 times the games started.
   84. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4745478)
Uh, yeah. Anaheim = LA. You can call them the Los Angeles Ducks of Anaheim if you like.
   85. chisoxcollector Posted: July 07, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4745482)
Over your very limited time frame.
I have to think that King Felix is in that "elite 3" right now, especially considering he's been pitching twice as long as Sale and has 4 times the games started.


Fair enough. Sale and Hernandez are at the very least both in the conversation for second best pitcher in baseball. But ask most baseball fans, and they would have no idea Sale had been that good.
   86. chisoxcollector Posted: July 07, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4745484)
Uh, yeah. Anaheim = LA. You can call them the Los Angeles Ducks of Anaheim if you like.


Sorry, my "BIG market" remark was in reply to the Astros suggestion. Anaheim is definitely part of the BIG LA market.
   87. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 04:32 PM (#4745492)
As I recall, after the Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2007 their front office had to scramble to get enough people to show up for their victory parade to be non-embarrassing. It's a double whammy: Hockey is a minor sport in LA and what diehard hockey fans DO live there mostly follow the Kings.
   88. madvillain Posted: July 07, 2014 at 04:39 PM (#4745502)
How can you snub Glen Perkins and his 3.22 ERA/1.10 WHIP in 36 innings when he has 20 saves?


Come on man, read the rest of what has been posted here. By saber stats, it's 1A and 1B Kershaw and Sale over the past few years, nobody else is in their ballpark. By traditional stats Sale looks pretty damn good too, that was the point -- no matter what stats you are using, he should be an All-Star.

Great posts chisoxcollector I feel like I'm the only one sometimes that is like "Chris Sale is far and away the best pitcher in the AL and gets no freaking respect".
   89. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 07, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4745516)
Oops. My /sarc tag in [73] is missing.
   90. cardsfanboy Posted: July 07, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4745539)
You could solve this issue in one of two ways - have the players vote after the fan results are announced, or have the players vote for two choices at each position. Either of those options should resolve the Bryan LaHair issue. But since MLB clearly does not care about the Bryan LaHair issue...


Three ways...have the players vote, and if the fans and players vote are the same, then the players don't get a selection. More spots for the manager, and as long as it's not Torre picking, it shouldn't be so bad.

I'm not in the camp that believes you pick an all-star based upon 2 months of the year, if you are in that camp though, it's easy to see why Neshek was picked.

Fair enough. Sale and Hernandez are at the very least both in the conversation for second best pitcher in baseball. But ask most baseball fans, and they would have no idea Sale had been that good.


Sale has been that good, but he's also missed 1/3rd of the season to date, again I use last season data, so I would include him, but if you are only going to include a few starters and exclude Sale, at least they picked the right ones.

Mind you that conversation has to include about 6 other pitchers. I think 1 and 2 are obvious with Kershaw/Felix filling those, but I don't see how Sale sails clearly past guys like Wainwright, Cueto, Darvish, Sanchez, Scherzer,
   91. madvillain Posted: July 07, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4745540)
Oops. My /sarc tag in [73] is missing.


Ha. Figured that might be the case.
   92. chisoxcollector Posted: July 07, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4745576)
Sale has been that good, but he's also missed 1/3rd of the season to date, again I use last season data, so I would include him, but if you are only going to include a few starters and exclude Sale, at least they picked the right ones.

Mind you that conversation has to include about 6 other pitchers. I think 1 and 2 are obvious with Kershaw/Felix filling those, but I don't see how Sale sails clearly past guys like Wainwright, Cueto, Darvish, Sanchez, Scherzer,


Here are the rankings of the non-Kershaw pitchers from 2012-14. I'm conceding that Kershaw is better.

ERA+ - Cueto - 2, Sale - 3, Hernandez - 4, Darvish - 5, Sanchez - 6, Scherzer - 9, Wainwright - 14
WHIP - Cueto - 2, Sale - 3, Hernandez - 4, Wainwright - 6, Scherzer - 13, Darvish - 21, Sanchez - 22
IP - Hernandez - 3, Wainwright - 5, Scherzer - 16, Darvish - 20, Sale - 29, Sanchez - 40, Cueto - 64
K/BB - Hernandez - 3, Wainwright - 4, Sale - 5, Scherzer - 9, Cueto - 21, Sanchez - 23, Darvish - 35
bWAR - Sale - 2, Hernandez - 3, Scherzer - 4, Darvish -5, Wainwright - 9, Sanchez - 11, Cueto - 12
fWAR - Hernandez - 1, Scherzer - 3, Wainwright - 5, Darvish - 6, Sale - 7, Sanchez - 8, Cueto - 10
bWAA - Sale - 2, Scherzer -3, Hernandez - 5, Darvish - 6, Cueto - 8, Sanchez - 10, Wainwright - 11
Age - Sale - 25, Darvish - 27, Hernandez - 28, Cueto - 28, Scherzer - 29, Sanchez - 30, Wainwright - 32

To me, Hernandez is the only guy that has a case for being better than Sale.

If you were picking one of these guys for your team, who would pick anybody but Sale or Felix?

   93. cardsfanboy Posted: July 07, 2014 at 06:15 PM (#4745599)

If you were picking one of these guys for your team, who would pick anybody but Sale and Felix?


Selective endpoints, and I don't see fip in there at all. I agree Hernandez and Kershaw are both pretty clearly better than Sale... I don't see Sale as better than Cueto, or Wainwright or Darvish etc..

I don't see any reason to take Sale currently over Wainwright, Cueto, Scherzer, etc. Those selective endpoints include Wainwrights recovery from Tommy John surgery, Cueto injury plagued year while ignoring his breakout year, etc.

If I had to pick a guy 3 years from now, Sale gets the nod over Wainwright and a few others, but I don't see how he gets it over Wainwright this year/next year or last year. Same with Cueto(who I despise as a piss poor human being, and hopes he has a career ending arm injury)

Since you missed it using your selective endpoints.
Fip Kershaw(2), Felix(3), Wainwright(5), Scherzer(7), Sanchez(9), Sale(13), Darvish(17), Cueto(19),
hr/9 Kershaw(2), Hernandez(4), Wainwright(5), Sanchez(12), Cueto(18), Darvish(38), Sale(48), Scherzer(52);


Again, Sale is on the short list, but it's bigger than him and Felix, and Felix is well ahead of him.
   94. chisoxcollector Posted: July 07, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4745603)
Maybe we're talking about two different things. I'm talking about who is the best pitcher now, and going forward. I don't necessarily care who has had the best career, so I guess I don't see much value going back more than 3 years. Do the various projection systems go back that far?
   95. cardsfanboy Posted: July 07, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4745606)
Maybe we're talking about two different things. I'm talking about who is the best pitcher now, and going forward. I don't necessarily care who has had the best career, so I guess I don't see much value going back more than 3 years. Do the various projection systems go back that far?


I'm talking about who is the best pitcher now and next year. And I don't see how anyone could put Sale ahead of Wainwright and a few others with confidence. 3 years from now, I have no confidence in any pitcher, but I wouldn't be surprised if Harvey and Fernandez exceed the majority of the names we are talking about.
   96. chisoxcollector Posted: July 07, 2014 at 06:41 PM (#4745611)
hr/9 Kershaw(2), Hernandez(4), Wainwright(5), Sanchez(12), Cueto(18), Darvish(38), Sale(48), Scherzer(52)


There's a misleading stat. Chris Sale plays at US Cellular Field. Here are the home/road totals for these guys (career numbers, didn't know an easy way to get cumulative seasonal splits):

Kershaw
H - 39
R - 38

Hernandez
H - 75
R - 74

Wainwright
H - 50
R - 48

Sanchez
H - 41
R - 50

Cueto
H - 59
R - 52

Darvish
H - 24
R - 24

Scherzer
H - 61
R - 65

aaaand Chris Sale
H - 34
R - 22

Either Chris Sale is the best road pitcher in the history of baseball, or he pitches in a homer-friendly ballpark. Cueto is the other pitcher that pitches in a homer-happy ballpark, and even his numbers aren't anywhere near as lopsided as Sale's.
   97. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: July 07, 2014 at 06:52 PM (#4745615)
Until Repoz posts this (because it does mention Jeter), Gabe Kapler weighs in on what the new MLB commish should do about the All-Star Game.

And FFS, it's the fans' game. Whoever the fans wind up picking should play, whether each player meets some test of performance or not. Whether the selection system results in such a group of players can be fine-tuned for sure, but I'm not going to agonize over the selections.
   98. cardsfanboy Posted: July 07, 2014 at 09:21 PM (#4745687)
Either Chris Sale is the best road pitcher in the history of baseball, or he pitches in a homer-friendly ballpark. Cueto is the other pitcher that pitches in a homer-happy ballpark, and even his numbers aren't anywhere near as lopsided as Sale's.


Or maybe he has pitched at home more than on the road. 24 games started at home, 324 innings pitched, versus 16 games started on the road, 263 ip... that still puts his hr/9 at .75 on the road only, just using road only stats puts him at 15th on the list. Of course his era is higher on the road so he'll drop in a few other categories if we just used his road splits only.

   99. cardsfanboy Posted: July 07, 2014 at 09:22 PM (#4745689)

And FFS, it's the fans' game. Whoever the fans wind up picking should play, whether each player meets some test of performance or not. Whether the selection system results in such a group of players can be fine-tuned for sure, but I'm not going to agonize over the selections.


But the selection isn't always what the fans want, it's what a few aggressive internet happy fans want. I really think the real ballots and the internet ballots should be weighted as 50/50.
   100. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: July 07, 2014 at 09:27 PM (#4745693)
Not that anyone else here cares, but I've been really impressed with All-Star Dee Gordon this year. Before the season began, he would not have been near the top ten in most likely Dodgers to make the all-star team. But he deserves it!
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