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— Where BTF's Members Investigate the Grand Old Game
Monday, July 08, 2002
2002 Primer Mid-Season All-Star Teams
Who’d be on the playing in the All-Star Game if we were doing the picking.
Over the last few days, we, the authors of Baseball Primer, cast our votes for the American League and National League All-Star teams. We ignored the rule that one player from each team in each league must be represented. Instead, our purpose was to divine who are the most deserving 30 players from each league, so as to see which players who made All-Star rosters were perhaps undeserving, and which players who were left off should have been invited.
First, here’s the American League squad we selected to start the game:
Pitcher - Derek Lowe
Three of those - Lowe, A-Rod, and Hunter - were not only unanimous picks to be on our team, but were unanimously selected as starters. Of the other starters, all but Manny Ramirez, who was left off one ballot, were unanimously picked for our team.
Third base is the only spot that we disagree with the fan vote. Shea Hillenbrand is the starting third baseman on Joe Torre’s team, but the authors of Baseball Primer preferred Chavez. Here are their comparative numbers:
Hillenbrand - .287 EqA, .825 OPS
These are our reserve position players for the American League:
Catcher - A.J. Pierzynski
Hinske and Pierzynski were unanimous selections on our Primer ballots. Of the 13 position players we selected as reserves, 8 coincide with Torre’s picks - Pierzynski, Konerko, Sweeney, Vizquel, Jeter, Garciaparra, Tejada, and Damon - and 5 do not. Here are Torre’s 5 stacked against our 5:
Tony Batista .298 EqA, .851 OPS
Eric Hinske .307 EqA, .880 OPS
It was merely a coincidence that both Torre and Baseball Primer selected 8 reserve pitchers. Here is our group:
SP - Roy Halladay
Torre agreed on 6 of the 8: Halladay, Pedro, Zito, Every Day Eddie, Sasaki, and Rivera. We preferred Weaver and Moyer, while the Yankee skipper went with Mark Buehrle and Freddie Garcia. Here is how they stack up:
Buehrle 11-6, 3.62 ERA, 2.4 SNWAR
Weaver 6-8, 3.18 ERA, 2.4 SNWAR
While we agreed with 22 of the 30 players on the American League team, the Baseball Primer authors only coincided with 21 National League selections. Here is the Senior Circuit squad we selected to start the game:
Pitcher - Tom Glavine
The four unanimous picks for our starting NL team were Helton, Lowell, Bonds, and Sosa. Glavine, Piazza, and Spivey were unanimous picks for the team, also, but not all their votes were as starters. Edmonds beat out Brian Giles as the third starter in the outfield by only one vote; and Jose Hernandez was left off two ballots, but won the starting shortstop position nonetheless.
Here’s how the four players that the fans elected, but we did not, stack up against our choices:
Jose Vidro .301 EqA, .877 OPS
Jimmy Rollins .257 EqA, .730 OPS
Scott Rolen .281 EqA, .798 OPS
Vlad Guerrero .318 EqA, .957 OPS
These are our reserve position players for the National League:
Catcher - Paul Lo Duca
Lo Duca was the only unanimous pick among this group. The hard choice for the National League reserves was leaving off a worthy outfielder or adding another pitcher. Our concensus opinion was to go with more position players and fewer pitchers. Therefore, we picked a team that is 2 pitcher’s short of Bob Brenly’s All-Star squad. Four of our 14 position player reserves - Vidro, Rollins, Rolen, and Vlad - were voted in by the fans to start for the NL. Of the other 10, 5 were picked by Brenly and 5 were not. Here is how Brenly’s four reserves that we exclude stack up against the five fellows we think deserve to go:
Damian Miller .276 EqA, .823 OPS
Paul Lo Duca .301 EqA, .836 OPS
As noted above, Brenly chose to go with 2 more pitchers than we have. Here are our reserve pitchers for the National League:
SP - Randy Johnson
We agree with Brenly on The Unit, Perez, Schilling, and Gagne. Here is how Brenly’s other reserve pitchers stack up with ours:
SP Matt Morris 10-5, 3.27 ERA, 2.4 SNWAR
SP Vicente Padilla 10-5, 3.05 ERA, 2.8 SNWAR
RP Mike Williams 24/26 Saves, 1.89 ERA, 9.9 ARP
RP Robb Nen, 22/25 Saves, 1.70 ERA, 13.5 ARP
To recap, these are the All-Stars for each league who will be in Milwaukee but we found undeserving this year:
AL - Shea Hillenbrand, Tony Batista, Robin Ventura, Garret Anderson, Randy Winn, Robert Fick, Mark Buehrle, and Freddy Garcia.
NL - Damian Miller, Benito Santiago, Luis Gonzalez, Andruw Jones, Matt Morris, Mike Williams, Trevor Hoffman, John Smoltz, and Byung-Hyun Kim.
And these are the players who we think should have been selected, but were not:
AL - Eric Chavez, Bernie Williams, John Olerud, Eric Hinske, Jim Thome, Magglio Ordonez, Jeff Weaver, and Jamie Moyer.
NL - Jim Edmonds, Paul Lo Duca, Ryan Klesko, Jeff Kent, Brian Giles, Cliff Floyd, Vicente Padilla, Robb Nen, and Scott Stewart.
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