Monday, July 03, 2006

Something I hope never to do again...

...defend Ozzie Guillen. I think he did a reasonable job with the All-Star roster. It's worth noting that his picks are made "in conjunction with the Commissioner's Office", and who knows what thaty means - but basically we have no idea who's really making the decisions. There were several snubs, but that happens every year - a natural consequence of fan voting and the requirement of one player from each team. Yes, Mark Redman sucks, but what can you do (and he's friggin' Sandy Koufax compared to the Pirates' lone rep in 2003: Mike Williams, sporting a 7.55 ERA).

In my opinion, there were two massive mistakes, which could've been fixed easily: Justin Verlander should go rather than Kenny Rogers, and Francisco Liriano rather than Jose Contreras. The stats just don't compare, so it's weird. They went with the older guys - maybe they were worried NL had too many new faces? I dunno - I can't explain it.

Other than that, I can come up with 6 snubs. Travis Hafner, Jason Giambi, Curt Schilling, Mike Mussina, Joe Crede, and A.J. Pierzynksi. The fact that two of them are White Sox suggests than Ozzie really didn't go way overboard picking his own (compared to Torre in 2001). Three of the other four were from Boston or New York, a big strike against them given how well those teams did in the voting (too well, actually) - plus Rivera and Paps had to go. And two of them found themselves in probably the most crowded field in All-Star history. Ortiz, Thome, Konerko, Giambi, and Hafner - wow. Why can't they simply have a DH spot for the balloting, even if no DH is actually used?

So that's 8 snubs, which seems like a lot. BUT: (1) at least one (probably several) will actually go; (2) only two of the snubs are really bad - Liriano and Verlander; and (3) given the strength of the AL this year, snubs are to be expected. Compare this to the NL, which only has one bad snub (despite having 2 more teams!), Nomar. He should win the vote easily.

(Speaking of which, don't forget: Vote For Nomar.)

Update: Turns out Contreras and Rogers were voted in by the players. So much for that.

Update 2: The more I think about it, the less sure I am about Ozzie "doing a good job". He only picked 7 players, but four of them (Sizemore, Zito, Redman, and Tejada) were the sole reps from their teams. Meaning he really only got 3 picks...and picked 3 White Sox. So yeah, Ozzie sucks. But still, the problem is in the balloting (fans and players), and the dumb rule about all teams being represented.


  1. (Of course, the choice for Buerhle as a starter is utterly ridiculous.)

  2. I cannot and will not defend Ozzie and his "ways." But the whole voting procedure for the All Star Game puts the managers in such an awkward, no-win situation. Every year. Happy holiday.

  3. Buerhle is ridiculous especially compared to Verlander or Schilling. But like you said (and I noted six weeks ago) Ozzie was 3-3 in "his" selection of Chi Sox. Mussina has good raw numbers but has one only once in the last month. And the ERA is rising.

    I think Crawford is probably a bigger snub than most.

    No real time to get into a full analysis. Italy is going crazy with the WC - fun game last night. One word of advice. Never fly Alitalia. Especially when the WC is going on. cancelled flights. Lost bags - two are still missing. But having fun, nonetheless....

  4. As I sift through articles from the last week, I see yet another one on the shift and Ortiz. A quote from Tito says it is costing Ortiz 10 to 20 points on his average. A nice sound bit, but I would like to see someone at least try to prove this. And it may very well be true, but 10 points is about 4 hits. Probably all singles. And probably not costing that many runs since teams won't deploy the shift with runners on second. Too me, it is a non story.