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Ken Griffey 3rd In All Star DH Voting

Once again the All Star voting is proving to be a popularity contest with almost no correlation to how a player is performing on the field.

A case in point is that Ken Griffey Jr. is third in voting for designated hitter even though he is the only DH who hasn’t hit a home run and whose seven RBI are 19th among 22 DH’s. His .252 OBP is 21st ahead of only Randy Ruiz who signed with a Japanese team last week.

Griffey’s .186 batting average is 20th on the team and he is only hitting .136 with runners in scoring position. This is not a vendetta against Griffey who may or may not actually play in the game but I am making a stand for other players who are more deserving but have less chance of making the team with so many votes going to Griffey.

Jose Guillen is an example of a player being left out in the voting. He is leading all DH’s in home runs with 11 and second in RBI with 31 but is not even in the top five of the voting. I understand Vladimir Guerrero being the top vote getter for DH’s since he has the best numbers across the board.

Pat Burrell is fourth in voting but has had such a terrible season he has been released by Tampa Bay. He is fourth in voting but is hitting .202 and is slugging .292.

The first base position voting also shows a case where popularity is ruling the voting. Mark Teixeira leads Justin Morneau by almost 140,000 votes even though Morneau is having a much better season. Granted Teixeira is near the top of the first baseman in RBI with 30 but is hitting only .209 while Morneau is hitting .383 and 31 points ahead of second place Ichiro Suzuki. Morneau is slugging .701 while Teixeira is slugging .378.

Then there is the case of Paul Konerko who is leading the majors in home runs but didn’t even make the Top 5 in voting. Carlos Pena who is fourth in voting has no business being ahead of Kendry Morales who has more home runs and RBI than Pena plus is outhitting Pena .288 to .191.

I am not saying the Rays are stuffing the ballot box but it sure looks that way with the Rays placing a player in the Top 5 in each position.

The outfield voting shows Vernon Wells who is leading the AL outfielders in home runs with 11 and in RBI with 33 in 11th place in the voting with the Yankees having Curtis Granderson 5th, Nick Swisher 7th and Brett Gardner 8th in voting.

Alex Gonzalez leads all shortstop in home runs with 10 and in RBI with 30 and is slugging .538 which is 138 points higher than second place J.J. Hardy. Derek Jeter is first in the voting and 520,000 votes ahead of Gonzalez who has had the better first half so far.

Wells and Gonzalez may be victims of poor attendance with the Blue Jays one of worst drawing teams in 2010 and with less fans there will be less votes cast at the ballpark for their players.

The Yankees lead in three of the four infield positions with Alex Rodriguez second in the voting at third base behind Evan Longoria. Jorge Posada is second in the voting at catcher behind Joe Mauer.

I am resigned to the fact that the fans will continue to be allowed to vote for their favorite players but still wish there was a more equitable way for players who are from smaller markets and have posted better stats could take the field for their leagues in All Star games.

The manager will add some of these players who are not first in the voting for their position but they almost certainly won’t be on the field when the game starts.

The  AL All Star voting to date:

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100524&content_id=10391982&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb


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10 thoughts on “Ken Griffey 3rd In All Star DH Voting

  1. Ron Sayles on said:

    But, hasn’t it always been a popularity contest. Hank Aaron made it year after year even once his skills diminished. It is who the people want to see, not who is having a good year. If the player the people want to see is also having a good year, all the better. I agree with you though now that the All-Star game actually means something, the best players should go and not the most popular. In the old days when the game didn’t mean anything, who cared.

  2. I would like to see the players and managers do the voting and they wouldn’t be allowed to vote for their own teammates to insure the integrity of the voting.

    Will be interesting to see if any Brewers are leading in the NL voting. I can’t see Charlie Manuel adding Trevor Hoffman to the NL team pitching staff.

  3. thedark2 on said:

    Maybe Ken will fall asleep and miss the game so someone else can play who is having a better year.

  4. I agree about him falling asleep. Griffey should do like Mike Schmidt and walk away in the middle of the season instead of occupying space on the roster and he sure isn’t helping the team hitting .136 with runners on scoring position. His walkoff single last week probably bought him some time. No home runs from a player who used to hit over 50 a year?

  5. Ken Goldstein on said:

    Personally I always take a player’s overall ability and recent history into account in my voting, and not just who might have gotten off to a hot start. Yeah, Alex Gonzalez might have had a hot April (he’s had 0 HR and 3 RBI over the past two weeks, btw), but does that make him the best shortstop in the league, deserving of a starting spot? Of course not. If he’s still among the leaders at the break he’ll get a spot, but I’m not giving him a vote based on one hot streak of a few weeks.

    Is Joey Votto having a slightly better season than Albert Pujols so far? Sure. Nothing against Joey, but I’m still giving Pujols my vote until I have a very good reason not to.

    • I still believe that if a player has the best stats when it is time for the All Star game they should be the starter. However I can see where you are coming from and respect your opinion. They start the voting so early now that players who have been voted for early could fall into a slump and another player at that position could overtake them.

      The best way to make the voting more current would be to wait till two weeks before the All Star game before the voting starts. I am a stats person so if a player has the best stats he should get in at that position regardless of how well known they are or what they have done in previous years. In the case of Gonzalez he could get hot again by All Star time but it is a foregone conclusion that Derek Jeter will start at shortstop this year regardless of what any other player does.

      As much as I like Pujols he shouldn’t go in ahead of Votto just because he is Albert Pujols and for no other reason.

      • Ken Goldstein on said:

        I believe that the All-Star Game should showcase the best players in the game, and not just the best players in April and May. My problem with going only by this year’s stats means that July through September are never considered.

        In an extreme example, everybody might agree that player X is the best player in the game, but if he traditionally gets off to a slow start he’ll never be an All-Star, staying at home in place of whoever has a hot start. Fan voting actually solves this potential injustice.

        I agree the Griffey votes are just ridiculous, though.

  6. I can see what you mean about players getting off to slow starts like Mark Teixeira has a history of having horrendous starts.

    Biff Pocoroba is an excellent example of a player who probably should not have been on the 1978 All Star team. He hit .262 with 4 home runs and 24 RBI in the first half but hit only .167 in the second half with 2 home runs and 10 RBI.

    He was the 4th catcher on the NL team behind starter Ted Simmons, Johnny Bench and Bob Boone.

    The All Star voting will be flawed as long as fans don’t look at the stats before voting.

  7. Vote24Junior on said:

    Help Ken Griffey Jr. get voted into the 2010 MLB All-Star Game as American League DH. Let’s give Griffey what Ripken got, one more all-star memory!

    Good voting everyone!
    http://vote24junior.blogspot.com/

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