Greinke, Reddick Among Worst All-Star Snubs

Each year, about 15 minutes after the excitement of seeing who was named to the All-Star Game has worn off, the next step we take is to start carping about who didn’t make it. It’s a summer rite of passage as old as the game itself. Here at FanGraphs, we’re no different, so let’s take a look at the snubbiest snubs that were snubbed.

First, let’s establish the ground rules, because frankly, we have to narrow the focus — I could go all day here. It’s no secret that Pablo Sandoval isn’t the best third baseman in the National League this year. In fact, by WAR, he is tied for 10th in the NL with Chris Johnson. That’s not a newsflash. It’s also not a newsflash that guys like Derek Jeter had no business on the American League team, and that any sentence that begins with “All-Star Bryan LaHair” will have a 95 percent chance of ending in hilarity. But that’s not what we’re going to look at here. No, today we’re going to focus on the managerial selections, because Tony La Russa and Ron Washington have the chance to rectify the wrongs of the fan and player voting.

For frame of reference, here is a handy chart breaking down who was selected by whom:

Some of the selections were mandatory players — the Diamondbacks, Marlins, Padres and Phillies. For the D-backs, the choice likely came down to Wade Miley versus Aaron Hill. There isn’t much question that Hill is having the better year, as his WAR is 0.7 greater, and you would think that the added bonus of being the first player since 1933 to hit for the cycle twice in the same season would serve as a nice tiebreaker, but it didn’t. Hill is also leading NL second basemen in wOBA, wRC+, homers, ISO, SLG and WAR. And Hill’s WAR total hasn’t been aided much by his defense — his inclusion was really a no-brainer.

Even more egregious on a team level though was the selection of Huston Street over Chase Headley. Street was hurt for a good portion of the season, and has only compiled 0.9 WAR, compared to Headley’s 3.3, a mark this is second among NL third basemen only to David Wright. Street has had a nice season in his own right — his WAR ties him for sixth among NL relievers, and his 1.24 FIP ranks second (min. 20 IP). But that’s the thing, he’s only thrown 20 innings this season, and it’s hard to justify the inclusion of a guy who’s only thrown 20 innings.

Street’s selection has been justified in some circles as the need to have extra pitchers, but that doesn’t fly in my book. The player vote ensures that five starters and three relievers are selected. Honestly, you can’t make it through a game with eight pitchers? Your top three starters can throw two innings each, and then your relievers toss one inning each, leaving two starting pitchers to cover any extra-inning scenarios. At two innings per leftover starter, that takes you through the 13th inning with no problem. Only three All-Star Games — 1950, 1967 and 2008 — have ever progressed past the 13th inning.

However, if you did need more pitchers, it seems unfathomable that you would pick a reliever over a starter, especially when that reliever was a voluntary selection. While Street can hide behind the sole selection, there is no excuse for Jonathan Papelbon’s selection. Even among relievers, his selection wasn’t justified — his 3.02 FIP ranks 18th among qualified relievers, and his 0.5 WAR is tied for 17th. Papelbon has not even been an elite reliever, let alone an elite pitcher. In his place, either Zack Greinke or Johnny Cueto should have been selected. Greinke leads all NL pitchers with a 3.6 WAR and 2.21 FIP, and it’s not like he’s suffered in traditional categories either — he’s 9-2, and his 2.82 ERA is tied for 13th in the NL. He is one of eight NL pitchers to have already crossed that 100 strikeout threshold. Really, there’s no excuse. Cueto has been nearly as good in his own right. To add insult to injury, neither player was chosen for the Final Vote.

Greinke’s exclusion is the most egregious on the NL side. The selections of Ian Desmond (who is leads NL shortstops in WAR and is second in both wOBA and wRC+), Cole Hamels, Clayton Kershaw, Carlos Ruiz (third in the NL in WAR) and Giancarlo Stanton all make perfect sense. However, if Hill and Headley make the team, there is less need for Desmond, and his spot could have gone to Greinke, Cueto or one of the Braves’ outfielders. Then again, one of them should have been selected instead of Jay Bruce. The Braves’ three outfielders, Michael Bourn, Martin Prado and Jason Heyward rank fifth, sixth and eighth in the NL in WAR. Bruce is tied for 44th. Yes, he is tied for fourth among NL outfielders in home runs, but his .257 average ranks 22nd, behind Will Venable. Neither his wOBA nor his wRC+ rank him in the top 10 among NL outfielders. Between the Final Vote and Matt Kemp potentially needing an injury replacement, Bourn may eventually find his way on to the roster, but the fact that justice may ultimately be served doesn’t excuse the poor original selection.

Over on the AL side, the selections of Elvis Andrus, Felix Hernandez and Joe Mauer all make perfect sense. You could argue that a third catcher is not necessary, and that perhaps Josh Willingham was slightly more deserving than Mauer, but Mauer is one of the game’s marquee names, and Willingham is going to have to better than 0.1 WAR in difference to bump him. Similarly, Matt Harrison has pitched very well, and it’s difficult to really be upset with his selection, unless you’re Jake Peavy. Peavy has a better WAR and FIP than does Harrison, but they’re close enough that Washington can’t be killed for picking his own guy. And if he was going to select another reliever, Joe Nathan was clearly the pick — he has led AL relievers in WAR and FIP. But with Nathan in tow, there was really no reason whatsoever to choose Ryan Cook over Josh Reddick. Cook is tied for fourth in the AL in shutdowns, but neither his 2.91 FIP or 0.7 WAR are anything special. Even his 1.54 ERA ranks only ninth among qualified AL relievers, and six of the eight in front of him didn’t make the team.

Reddick, on the other hand, is the only A’s player with a WAR greater than two, and one of just nine AL players to have a WAR greater than three. Six of those nine made the All-Star team, but Reddick, Austin Jackson and Alex Gordon were left out in the cold. Gordon could have easily been the Royals’ selection, as between David Ortiz, Adam Dunn, Mauer and Mark Trumbo, the AL already had plenty of guys who have no business playing the field in an All-Star Game. Gordon should have been the choice over Billy Butler. And while Nathan has been the AL’s best reliever, I come back to the point that eight pitchers are all that is necessary. With Harrison and Hernandez, that made 10. Nathan simply was not needed. You can argue all day that relievers are better suited for the All-Star Game because they are more used to warming up in-game, but there is no reason that the manager can’t map out his pitchers ahead of time, giving each starter the requisite time needed to warm up. Jackson, Edwin Encarnacion or Jason Kipnis were more deserving of Nathan’s spot.

Each season, the convoluted All-Star process makes it difficult to get the best 68 players into the game. But the managers are given the final say, one last opportunity to make things right, and they continuously fail to do so. The Final Vote is somewhat of a measure to do this as well, but the most deserving players aren’t always put on the ballot there either. Wade Miley, Huston Street, Jonathan Papelbon and Jay Bruce could have easily been Aaron Hill, Chase Headley, Zack Greinke and Michael Bourn or Johnny Cueto. Likewise, Ryan Cook, Joe Nathan and Billy Butler could have been Josh Reddick, Austin Jackson and Alex Gordon. That they aren’t isn’t a great crime — after all, it’s just an exhibition game, no matter how many incentives Major League Baseball tries to tie to the result — but it’s disappointing when the best players aren’t recognized.

Apologies to Josh Johnson, James McDonald, A.J. Ellis, Matt Holliday, Madison Bumgarner, Cliff Lee, Brett Lawrie, Mike Moustakas, Ben Zobrist, Jason Hammel and Yu Darvish for being snubbed from being a snub. You all deserved better.



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Paul Swydan is the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for Boston.com. He has written for The Boston Globe, ESPN MLB Insider and ESPN the Magazine, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.


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Justin
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Justin
3 years 10 months ago

This has to be the first time that a SP has been considered a snub for the All-Star Game without a win. The Phillies offense is sick!

Daniel
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Daniel
3 years 10 months ago

Wrong. He was considered snubbed of being a snub.

GUY
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GUY
3 years 10 months ago

Can we just make sure Cliff posts a sub 3 FIP, pitches 200+ and doesn’t win a game all year?
I just want to enjoy all the asinine. baseless articles about what a bad investment he is, yet racks up another 5+ WAR season.

alex
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alex
3 years 10 months ago

Greinke and Cueto couldn’t have pitched since they are pitching Sunday. It makes no sense to include players who can’t play.

Seideberg
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Seideberg
3 years 10 months ago

This argument doesn’t make sense to me. Are they an all-star, or not? If they are one of the best players, they should get the selection, and if they can’t pitch, due to injury, recent use, etc. they should be replaced. It is theoretically possible that a hall of fame pitcher could never make an all-star game because he always pitches on the Sunday before the game? “Joe Schmoe has 300 wins, a career ERA under 3, a ton of strikeouts, but he never made the all-star team. How can I vote for him if he was never selected as an all-star.” That could happen.

Matt
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Matt
3 years 10 months ago

The Brewers actually rearranged their pitching schedule specifically so Greinke could be available for the ASG. He’s pitching on Saturday, not Sunday. I’m most surprised that the players didn’t even vote him in!

Breadbaker
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Breadbaker
3 years 10 months ago

Hernandez is pitching Sunday. The rule was changed; the pitcher can pitch on Sunday and play if he agrees to do so.

Dustin
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Dustin
3 years 10 months ago

Greinke isn’t pitching on Sunday

Snowblind
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Snowblind
3 years 10 months ago

That rule was dispensed with this year. I forget whether it’s up to the manager, player or some combo, but a pitcher can start Sunday and still play in ASG. King Felix is doing precisely that.

Ivan Grushenko
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Ivan Grushenko
3 years 10 months ago

The omissions of Greinke and Headley are head-scratchers. Other than that I won’t really miss any of the other “snubs”. I personally don’t see why they need so many relievers, and would prefer that only 1 or 2 per team be included. OTOH it’s probably safer to have a pitcher available for the 14th inning than to have a 3rd 3B.

Graham
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Graham
3 years 10 months ago

As a Giants fan, I feel bad that Sandoval was voted in as a starter while Headley was left off the team. I think Pablo’s an all-star caliber player, having a nice (if injury-marred) year, but clearly he hasn’t been better than Wright or Headley. These things happen every year, of course; there’s no way Sandoval should’ve been left off the team in 2009, and frankly, he should’ve been the starter that year. But even so, it’s a bummer. Would that I could trade Panda for MadBum or Vogelsong, each of whom are very deserving of selection this year.

Stan
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Stan
3 years 10 months ago

You would rather have Alex Gordon on the All-Star team than Mark Trumbo? Nope.

Why are you hating Ryan Cook? “Even his 1.54 ERA ranks only ninth among qualified AL reliever” How many of those above him were closers? Yes, it Does Matter.

Trevor
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Trevor
3 years 10 months ago

Well if you want to go with an AL West reliever who didn’t become closer for their team until the end of May/start of June, I think Ryan Cook is still your runner-up.

Delirium Nocturnum
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Delirium Nocturnum
3 years 10 months ago

And for G-d’s sake, don’t look at his walk rate!

abreutime
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abreutime
3 years 10 months ago

Who cares what Trumbo’s walk rate is… he is getting on base at an above average clip, and his wRC+ is 164.

GUY
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GUY
3 years 10 months ago

Think he was talking about Cook’s walk rate, which sits above 5 BB/9 right now.

Kevin
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Kevin
3 years 10 months ago

It’s not fair to criticize Washington and TLR for picking too many pitchers/relievers – both All-Star rosters in 2011 and 12 have had exactly 8 starters and 5 relievers, so it’s pretty clear they’re under orders from MLB to fill those spots.

Now, those are stupid guidelines from MLB, since Jim Johnson, Ryan Cook and Huston Street aren’t exactly ‘stars’, but that’s not the managers’ fault.

Dane
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Dane
3 years 10 months ago

I guess nobody wants to acknowledge the 800 pound A.J. Pierzynski in the room.

Guy
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Guy
3 years 10 months ago

Definitely sound like a huge homer, especially with the Peavy post below. But yeah, even by fWAR, Pierzynski is second only to Mauer.

I’m not entirely sure how fWAR is calculated for hitters, but Pierzynski has been better offensively by slash stats than every other catcher except Mauer… except Pierzynski has almost double the innings at catcher. I assume that reduced Mauer’s advantage in fWAR to only 0.3, right? Regardless, I don’t think people are looking at that and see Mauer’s hitting and assume he’s by far the best catcher in the league.

jj tri
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jj tri
3 years 10 months ago

While I agree with some of the conclusions especially in regards to Grienke, it is unfortunate that WAR is the parameter that is being used to justify the snubs. Essentially, we could calculate all player’s WAR and just compare the results and pick the team accordingly. No single stat is able to tell the entire story. Even though WAR is more of an aggregate statistic there is no doubt it is not perfect.

Snowblind
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Snowblind
3 years 10 months ago

Are you new to FG? WAR is absolute, WAR is all, and $/WAR is the one true way to evaluate contracts.

roadbird
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roadbird
3 years 10 months ago

I don’t think WAR should be absolute for 1/2 a season. That’s too short of a span to accurately measure Defensive War. If anything, take an average over the last 2.5 years or so for the defensive metrics.

lester bangs
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lester bangs
3 years 10 months ago

Heh. Both of you guys are 100 percent right.

lester bangs
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lester bangs
3 years 10 months ago

I mean, you could call the site WAR-Graphs. It’s a useful stat, but the way it’s trumpeted as the unquestionable answer key is kind of silly.

batpig
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batpig
3 years 10 months ago

sweet strawman bro

everdiso
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everdiso
3 years 10 months ago

youre on the wrong website, guy. WAR is everything.

the author even includes lawries name as a snub. really???? 330 wOBA but because of an unusually high UZR rating (which inflates his WAR) hes a “snub”.

WAR, WAR, WAR, WAR.

GUY
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GUY
3 years 10 months ago

I thought Lawrie was closer to the top in wOBA among qualifying 3rd basemen, but yeah, he’s right there in the middle.

Guy
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Guy
3 years 10 months ago

Yep, this reliance on WAR is dumb, though predictable.

Going off IP, ERA/ERA+ (which has its problems, sure), and K/BB, I’d argue that Peavy has been in the top three of pitchers in the AL so far this year.

Matt
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Matt
3 years 10 months ago

Hamels wasn’t required, the Phils had Ruiz and Papelbon on the team already.

tyke
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tyke
3 years 10 months ago

came in to post the same thing

Fredchuckdave
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3 years 10 months ago

David Ortiz takes Reddick out of the game: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=21047375&c_id=mlb

GUY
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GUY
3 years 10 months ago

Thank you for including Reddick on this list.
As an A’s fan, it’s about damn time we had a hitter who actually deserved to be on this team.
How he was overlooked for Cook is beyond me.

Delirium Nocturnum
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Delirium Nocturnum
3 years 10 months ago

And if Wash really needed a pitcher, Parker is more deserving than Cook.

GUY
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GUY
3 years 10 months ago

Eh, McCarthy has pitched better (I know he’s injured, but they could still give him the nod). I like Parker, but I think he’s 1 ugly outing away from that ERA ballooning a bit.

Delirium Nocturnum
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Delirium Nocturnum
3 years 10 months ago

probably true (don’t look now in Oakland!) – I just meant if an the A’s player needed to be a pitcher, I’d go Parker over Cook b/c he’s been more valuable to the team. McCarthy is better than both, though, you’re correct and unfortunately injured again.

Matt M
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Matt M
3 years 10 months ago

A J Pierzynski has an .843 ops as a catcher and his name doesn’t come up?

GUY
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GUY
3 years 10 months ago

AJ would have had to get the Coach’s vote, because their is no well in hell the player’s or fans would vote him in unless he was setting the world on fire.

JT
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JT
3 years 10 months ago

Great article!!! The biggest snubs to me were Greinke and Bourn. I thought Greinke should have gotten consideration for being the all-star starter. Bourn easily should be the starting CF with a WAR of 3.9 but the average fan places too much value on home runs and RBIs and not enough on a combination of defense, speed, BA, extra base hits, OBP, etc.

Rob
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Rob
3 years 10 months ago

I wonder if TLR didn’t choose Greinke because of what he said about Carpenter during the NLCS.

vivalajeter
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vivalajeter
3 years 10 months ago

That was my thought as well.

Ian G.
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Ian G.
3 years 10 months ago

Or Cueto for his role in that nasty Cardinals-Reds brawl 2 years ago.

Jack
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Jack
3 years 10 months ago

I thought he just tried to call for Greinke, but accidentally called for Lynn instead.

roadbird
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roadbird
3 years 10 months ago

Lynn was chosen by the players

Jim
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Jim
3 years 10 months ago

-roadbird- you didn’t get that did you…remember the WS ‘pen lapse?

roadbird
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roadbird
3 years 10 months ago

I was wondering the same. No doubt he didn’t take Cueto for past incidence, i.e. ending LaRue’s career.

GUY
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GUY
3 years 10 months ago

I’d like to think a manager as great as La Russa is not that petty…

reds1869
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reds1869
3 years 10 months ago

Coming from my admittedly biased perspective, TLR certainly is that petty. I think Greinke and Cueto were both victims of personal grudges.

jirish
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jirish
3 years 10 months ago

You might like to think that, but you’d be wrong.

He is quite petty and small.

Cueto and Greinke are not on the team because they both did and said things that pissed St. Tony off.

GUY
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GUY
3 years 10 months ago

Yeah, yeah, I mean of course you know this is fact.

gonfalon
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gonfalon
3 years 10 months ago

I’d like to know where the Pirates’ James McDonald (and A.J. Burnett) ranked in the player vote and the manager’s rankings, but the absence of Greinke is by far the bigger snub.

everdiso
Member
everdiso
3 years 10 months ago

E.Encarnacion: 327pa, 22hr, 55rbi, .291/.373/.572/.945, .402woba, 156wRC+
M.Cabrera: 351pa, 16hr, 62rbi, .314/.376/.538/.914, .387woba, 144wRC+
B.Butler: 315pa, 16hr, 48rbi, .297/.365/.512/.877, .374woba, 136wRC+
A.Dunn: 343pa, 23hr, 58rbi, .210/.359/.407/.866, .370woba, 131wRC+

Edwin wuz robbed.

hailey
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hailey
3 years 10 months ago

Too much time has been wasted on who “should” or “shouldn’t” play a game that lost it’s meaning for existence long ago.

mcbrown
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mcbrown
3 years 10 months ago

So you’re telling me that an exhibition game with no clear standards for participation and whose rosters are set by the subjective votes of three separate and highly biased groups of humans is going to be played by a collection of players that many consider sub-optimal? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN??????

Doug Lampert
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Doug Lampert
3 years 10 months ago

Exibition game? I’ve been lied to, MLB keeps telling me that it counts!

I tend to agree, the purpose of the Allstar game in MLB was to allow the fans of each league to have more fodder to argue which league was better and what batter X would do to pitcher Y.

With the advent of interleague and its coming expansion of interleague play the day of the ALLSTAR game has largely passed. It remains more important than the equivalent NBA, NFL, and NHL games only because of inertia from older fans and because its in the middle of the season (does the NHL even have an allstar game?).

The “Now it Counts” campaign seems to me to be a desperate attempt to keep the ALLSTAR game relevant when its time has passed, MLB has a 162 game season, and unlike the NHL or NBA the regular season actually does matter. You don’t need to hype an exibition game, eliminate it, give teams another 3 off days during the season, announce all-stars at the end of the season as an honor but with no requirement to play a game.

hailey
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hailey
3 years 10 months ago

You could also add that the All Star game was important prior to the TV coverage we have today. When you only saw games once or twice a week about the only time you saw the great players was at the All Star game. These days it’s nothing.

jpg
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jpg
3 years 10 months ago

I wrote this in Dave’s post last week, as well, but what about Johan Santana? He’s only 17th in the NL in WAR (1.8) but he outperforms his FIP every year, so I’m not sure it’s really fair to judge him. Between the comeback from injury and historic no-no, he would have been a nice, sentimental choice. That he has 2.76 ERA certainly helps. Maybe he doesn’t deserve it as much as guys like Greinke or McDonald but he at least deserves a mention.

Steve
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Steve
3 years 10 months ago

Jeter doesn’t “deserve” to start, but the voting opens in April and from April through about Mid-May, he was a legitimate choice.

Of course, Jeter would probably still win the fan balloting if he came to the plate swinging a baby instead of a bat, but the way the balloting works does reward a hot start to a season, and Jeter was on fire for the first part of the season.

PaulyOH
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PaulyOH
3 years 10 months ago

In the new CBA, there is the “Sunday pitcher” rule. Basically it says a guy pitching on Sunday can still be selected to the All-Star game. And if the player doesn’t want to pitch, a replacement can be added to the team to pitch in his stead. So La Russa could have named Cueto, and then added a replacement for him later.
La Russa saying he left Cueto off because he’s pitching on Sunday could be a violation of the CBA, and Cueto and his agent are considering filing a grievance. If La Russa had just said “Cueto sucks,” or whatever, he’d probably be fine.
I guess the point of the rule is that a player shouldn’t be screwed out of an honor (and the bonus money) because of a quirk in the schedule.

Yinka Double Dare
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Yinka Double Dare
3 years 10 months ago

I know Sale is scheduled for Sunday and was still selected.

rea
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rea
3 years 10 months ago

Austin Jackson should have been on the team somehow.

AustinRHL
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AustinRHL
3 years 10 months ago

In this article, Jed Lowrie was snubbed from being snubbed from being a snub. Considering that he’s second among NL shortstops in WAR and first in wRC+, that’s awfully harsh.

simo
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simo
3 years 10 months ago

didn’t see this comment when I wrote mine, but thank you for making this very true point… he also beats all three NL shortstop all-stars in wOBA as I mention below

Rippers
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Rippers
3 years 10 months ago

The All-Star game is a joke anyway.

hailey
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hailey
3 years 10 months ago

Sadly, true.

lester bangs
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lester bangs
3 years 10 months ago

Seventeen references to WAR in the article, if I counted right. It’s obviously the solution to everything.

Hason Jeyward
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Hason Jeyward
3 years 10 months ago

Keep beating up that straw man. You’re doing a great job!

Jason H
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Jason H
3 years 10 months ago

“It’s also not a newsflash that guys like Derek Jeter had no business on the American League team”

Can you possibly be more arrogant? Of course Derek Jeter has all kinds of business being on the American League team! The fans overwhelmingly voted for him. In fact he was among the players that received the most votes at any position. The newsflash is that you’re in the minority here.

I get that on FanGraphs WAR decides reality. But even so, for the vast majority the voting period Jeter led all AL shortstops in pretty much every important batting statistic (the ones that go into WAR). It is only the fake fielding numbers that brought down his WAR.

So, we have an all-time great player hitting better than all the other shortstops in the league when the fans were voting, and you think they were wrong for wanting to see Jeter?

Why? Because “smart” people know Jeter is overrated. Ugh.

Jason H
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Jason H
3 years 10 months ago

….sorry for the rant.

rf
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rf
3 years 10 months ago

“Jeter led all AL shortstops in pretty much every important batting statistic”
Is that so?
http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=ss&stats=bat&lg=al&qual=y&type=8&season=2012&month=0&season1=2012&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&players=0

Jason H
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Jason H
3 years 10 months ago

Yep, it’s so. Jeter currently 4th in wOBA, but was leading for most of the season. He’s fallen off a cliff recently (i.e. after most of the votes were cast), but is still amongst the best hitting SS in the AL.

Bad Bill
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Bad Bill
3 years 10 months ago

I’ll agree with the arrogance diagnosis, for the sheer short-sightedness of the thing. I am no Jeter or Yankees fan, but we are talking here about one of the all-time greats at his position, having what may well be the last strong season (and one that, as Jason says, looked more than just “strong” for much of the voting period) of a long, distinguished career. One can argue that there are equally deserving choices based on a different balance between current performance and career greatness, but to say somebody like that has “no business” as a starter … arrogant, as well as pretty clueless about the importance of history in baseball.

monkey business
Member
monkey business
3 years 10 months ago

It was’t a snub in the sense of not going, but Konerko not being the starter is pretty ridiculous.

Gheto Sparetto
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Gheto Sparetto
3 years 10 months ago

“Cook is tied for fourth in the AL in shutdowns, but neither his 2.91 FIP or 0.7 WAR are anything special. ”

You used this sort of phrase many times in the article, treating FIP and a pitcher’s WAR as separate entities. Besides innings pitched differences, FIP and pitcher WAR will rank players the same since WAR on Fangraphs is entirely FIP based. Treating them as two separate entities is misleading.

saskatunes
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saskatunes
3 years 10 months ago

No one at all mentioning Vogelsong? Def a snub to me. Even more than the good #s, he’s gone at least 6 innings in all his starts (not that it’s an important metric, but it is pretty impressive and certainly valuable to a team for preserving bullpen arms).

Jake
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Jake
3 years 10 months ago

As far as Mauer’s defense goes. He does belong on the field. He’s the best 1B on the team.

chief00
Member
chief00
3 years 10 months ago

I enjoy this time of year with the All Star selections and, invariably, the snubs. Being Canadian and a Jays fan, neither the snubs (see Encarnacion, Edwin) nor our response to them are new (“It’s them darn Americans freezing us out again, eh!”–note our ironic use of the phrase “freezing…out”).

Given that it began during the Great Depression as a fan-pleasing, money-grabbing venture by altruistic owners, I doubt there’s any better way to select players than what they’ve done/are doing. I do have a suggestion, though. Get the Commish to pick one person for a double-blind selection process. By double blind, I mean choose someone who’s legally blind and use a blindfold. File every player past the ‘Grand Selector’. This individual, whether male or female, uses their other senses to pare it down to 34 players for each team. For example, players like the 2011 version of Adam Dunn stink, so they’re obviously out, and so on and so on. When 68 players have been chosen, the rest receive “Participant” ribbons ( “WARticipant” may be a better ribbon but I don’t know what colour it should be. Chartreuse perhaps …), thereby leaving them with the impression that they were actually part of the team.

Of course, as with all other selection processes this one has its unique weaknesses. Not only would fans of the “Participants” (“WARticipants”) cry foul if their player wasn’t selected (“That dang Selector’s from Milwaukee!”), but some players stink even though they’re playing well, like the Popeye-tossing version of Pedro Martinez…

Great article. Enjoy the game everyone!

simo
Member
simo
3 years 10 months ago

No one gives Jed Lowrie any love… better average WAR (between fangraphs, baseball ref, and baseball prospectus) than Furcal, Desmond, and Castro, and he also has a better wOBA than any of those three for the people who think defense is too fluctuating to this point in the season… he is super-snubbed

Ian
Guest
Ian
3 years 10 months ago

Austin Jackson – 11th in the majors in player WAR, and he’s missed 23 games!

LionoftheSenate
Guest
LionoftheSenate
3 years 10 months ago

Not sure how you can write this and not mention that Tony LaRussa hates Grienke. Last year in the playoff Grienke basically called Chris Carpenter crazy. This is all about that incident.

DCN
Guest
DCN
3 years 10 months ago

I hope Johnny Cueto stays healthy. That guy always had nasty stuff, and he’s finally getting the control down.

Jeff in So. Indiana
Guest
Jeff in So. Indiana
3 years 10 months ago

Finally?

He’s been amazing for the past year and a half now.

ken45
Member
ken45
3 years 10 months ago

When the All-Star game was an exhibition game I voted for whoever I wanted to see and couldn’t complain with anybody’s vote because deciding who is a “Star” is personal and subjective. It is a product of charisma, marketing, and fame. Talent, ability, and statistics alone do not make a ballplayer a star.

Now that the All-Star Game “counts”, I vote for who I think gives their team the best chance to win a future game. WAR is not the appropriate stat for that because WAR quantifies the past; it does not predict the future. The only stat on this site that predicts the future is ZiPS(RoS).

Using that metric, Albert Pujols is clearly the biggest All-Star snub. As a fan rooting for the national league fan I would rather face Konerko or Fielder than Puhols, so I’m glad he is off the team, but if I wanted the AL to win a single game, I’d want Puhols as my first baseman in that game over anybody.

Some people use their all-star vote as an MVP or player of the first 1 month, or 2 months or 3 months (depending on when they cast their ballot), which I think is what the author of this article has in mind. Then fWAR is appropriate, but I’d argue that bWAR or rWAR are better for measuring impact on actual wins and losses of games that were already played, particularly for pitchers.

ZiPS(Update) may be a good compromise of past performance and the future predicted performance. But in the end, one cannot eliminate subjectivity. Even if you are going to pick one stat, your choice of stat is subjective. Rookies (including first year foreign players) are hardest to predict as the leagues adjust to them and they need to show they can maintain excellence in their new MLB environment and in late season pressure situations that they have yet face in this long 162 game season, so they may be the most prone to debates.

My “final vote” picks? I voted straight Peavy in the AL and split my vote between Hill and Bourn in the NL, with more to Hill. I’m not sold on Darvish yet and the relievers have pitched too few innings. I’m torn in the NL because Bourn is the more valuable player, but Hill may be the best second baseman in the NL (I voted for him initially and he’s right there with Uggla), while Bourn is no better than the 3rd best CF (clearly behind Kemp and McCutchen).

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