Actually, four Braves are in position to start; Gary Sheffield is third among outfielders behind Bonds and Sosa. Javy has a slim lead over Ivan Rodriguez at catcher; there’s really no doubt that he’s having the best year of an NL catcher and is likely to add to that lead. Marcus leads Jeff Kent by about 35,000 votes. Marcus is slumping, but Kent’s missed five games with a sore wrist. It’s a war of attrition, and Jose Vidro (who’s in fifth) probably should be the starter anyway. Rafael Furcal is leading at shortstop by about 43,000 votes over Edgar Renteria, with nobody else close.
Most inexplicable vote: Vinny is second among third basemen, though far behind Scott Rolen.
I hate talking about All-Star voting (but not as much as I hate reading the myriad of columns that come out every year talking about who “really deserves it”). But I’ve noticed that the fans are actually doing a better job in recent years.
Sure, the Super-Super-Stars (Sosa this year, Ripken and Griffey in years past) still get voted in no matter how they’re playing, but how do you explain Marcus Giles this year? Obviously, a lot of voters are paying attention to the stats…
Hey, let the fans vote for who they want. I can’t get worked up if they decide to take a famous guy who’s hitting .300 with 15 homers instead of a less-famous guy hitting .310 with 18.
Right on. When you nit-pick over whose stats are better, you get away from the fact that… most people don’t care. Who hits the farthest home runs? Which pitcher strikes the most guys out? Who makes the best diving catches? Who fits the most super balls in their bat?
I think that Bud Selig has all but ruined the All-Star game. It seems one minute he’s all about the game being an exhibition, but then he switches up and brings seriousness to the game by having the winner decide home field advantage in the World Series. He is making an improvement by letting the players and coaches decide some of the reserve spots, but ultimately letting the fans decide who plays in a game with that much at stake, that just isn’t right.
I’m open to giving the new approach a year or two before making a firm judgment. If the players really do show renewed energy for the All-Star game, and it is fun to watch, that might be good enough for me. Who gets home field advantage under the old system was pretty much arbitrary anyway, since no one can really engineer their team to try to take advantage of the years when their league has the four games at home.
Well, except for the %&@$!*@ Twins, anyway.