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Now that All-Star rosters have been announced, it's time for the annual griping. No one has incited more All-Star-based griping over the last few years than Derek Jeter, as he is continually voted in despite sometimes being nowhere near deserving, this year in particular.

Of course, performance isn't the only valid basis for selection to the game, and that's a whole other can of worms. I want to focus, though, on one particular argument that is often used to defend selections like Jeter.


The argument that a lot of sportswriters such as Joe Posnanski make is that Jeter is who "the fans want to see", as evidenced by the fact that he got more fan votes than any other AL shortstop. This is a logical argument - the All-Star Game is for the fans, after all.

But, of course he got the most votes - because there are a ton of Yankee fans! And, well, the Yankees always have more fans than anyone else, and therefore, a bunch of Yankees start the All-Star Game every year, deserving or not.

So yes, in a sense these are the guys "the fans want to see". But we're talking about a specific segment of fans, which just happens to be the biggest team-based group. If year in and year out the same segment of fans are seeing the guys they want to see while most sub-populations of fans aren't, is that really democratic?

Personally, I'd love to see a system where fans can vote but only for players on teams other than their favourite. Of course, this is logistically impossible but I think the theory is elegant.

Realistically, I don't have any solutions. Do you?
Should Derek Jeter Be An All-Star? | 23 comments | Create New Account
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TamRa - Tuesday, July 05 2011 @ 03:33 AM EDT (#238011) #
the best solution I've come up with is this:

Fans vote for 12 players - the 8 position players, plus the best extra player to DH from all players (a write in) plus three pitchers

The players vote in 12 on the same system

The manager picks the last 10 - but here's the kicker - the manager gets to decide who starts.

so yeah, Jeter would go and he's not worthy as far as his play this year (and some argue it's a popularity contest and that shouldn't matter) but he wouldn't necessarily start.

GabrielSyme - Tuesday, July 05 2011 @ 04:06 AM EDT (#238012) #
Here's the "Jeter Rule": instead of just voting for reserves, the players also vote to veto one of the fan selections - the player with the most vetoes (and reaching a minimum threshold- perhaps 10% of vetoes cast) is excluded the All-Star team starters.  The manager can add him back as a reserve, if he chooses to risk the wrath of the intelligent.

A few more tweaks would be good- have players vote in 3 OF/1B/DH and 2 SS/3B/2B as well as the backup catcher and 4 Pitchers.  Finally, instead of having the Managers select the remaining players, resurrect the offices of League Presidents, and have them fill out the rosters and name the managers.

The last suggestion is not going to happen short of me becoming Earth Tsarô, but I think it would result in better selections, a more intense rivalry, and a reduction of favouritism.
scottt - Tuesday, July 05 2011 @ 06:38 AM EDT (#238013) #
Yes, he goes and he gets to start. But if I was the AL manager, I'd pull him out after one at-bat and one inning on the field.

That would send a message to some fans not to send has-beens  just to be humiliated.



lexomatic - Tuesday, July 05 2011 @ 07:19 AM EDT (#238014) #
Or you get rid of the home-field factor, and then who cares.
It only matters because some undeserving idiot messes up "your" team's playoff chances by being placed on the team by fan ballot. Once the pressure to win has been taken off it can be a stupid exhibition game and all the judgement-errors in the world don't matter.

rpriske - Tuesday, July 05 2011 @ 08:37 AM EDT (#238015) #
A player veto would be a nightmare.
Matthew E - Tuesday, July 05 2011 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#238017) #
Bill James's idea was to do the voting by precincts. So Yankee fans could stuff the ballot box for Jeter, okay, but he was going to win the New York precinct anyway. To be voted to the team he'd need to do well in the voting in other cities too. I could see how this could work.

(As for the this-time-it-counts rule for determining the World Series home field advantage... two points. First of all, I can't imagine that the disposition of one game in October that, chances are, you are not going to be playing in, has any effect on the motivation of an All-Star in July. So I don't really care about that part. However, second, you do have to have some way of determining who has home-field advantage for the Series, and using the All-Star Game to do it makes a little more sense than how they used to do it. Overall I don't think the rule is a big thing or worth getting excited about either way.)

Ryan Day - Tuesday, July 05 2011 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#238018) #
the Yankees always have more fans than anyone else, and therefore, a bunch of Yankees start the All-Star Game every year, deserving or not.

But Jeter aside, most of them are usually deserving. This year, Cano, Rodriguez, and Granderson are all going with Jeter, and they're perfectly legit selections. The Yankees have a lot of fans, but they also have a lot of very good players, which leads to them having good teams, which creates more fans, even if many of them are total losers.

If you go back... way back... to 1992, the last time the Yankees weren't a contender, they only had one player on the All-Star team - Roberto Kelly was a reserve. Not even Don "Embodiment of Everything That is Good About Baseball" Mattingly made the team.

A different era, of course. But there were still a lot of Yankees fans. (They didn't know how to use the internet, but it seems many Yankees fans still don't understand how the Caps Lock key works, so maybe it evens out)

Jeter is obviously not the best shortstop in the league any more. But he's a sure-thing Hall of Famer, he plays for the most famous team on Earth, and people love him despite the fact he has a stupid head.

Or you could look at this as balance: Jeter probably missed out on a few all-star games early in his career due to Cal Ripken's hold on the position.

All of which is to say that if you let the general public vote on things, they will make some stupid choices. This really isn't the worst one, so I can't say it bothers me; the best "solution" would be to stop trying to make the game meaningful, and get rid of the silly home field advantage. Let it be a silly, fun exhibition game.

(and then get rid of interleague play. But that's another issue.)
Jonny German - Tuesday, July 05 2011 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#238021) #
Bill James's idea was to do the voting by precincts. So Yankee fans could stuff the ballot box for Jeter, okay, but he was going to win the New York precinct anyway. To be voted to the team he'd need to do well in the voting in other cities too. I could see how this could work.

I like the sound of this idea. And I expect Jeter would still win the vote this year - there are plenty of other shortstops having better years, but there isn't another established Star shortstop in the AL. I'm okay with that.

Even if Jeter didn't win it, the overall voting indicates Asdrubal Cabrera would likely be the guy - and he's a less established player having a clearly inferior season to Jhonny Peralta (Peralta finished a distant 4th in the voting behind the curiously over-hyped Elvis Andrus).
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 05 2011 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#238022) #
Jeter didn't get voted in primarily because there are lots of Yankee fans (if that was the case, Russ Martin would surely be going).  He got voted in because he's a "famous" Hall of Famer. Next up: Alec Baldwin manages the AL and Lady Gaga manages the NL.  Give the people what they want. 
Mick Doherty - Tuesday, July 05 2011 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#238024) #

curiously over-hyped Elvis Andrus

Jonny, I understand why you write this, but take it from someone living in North Texas -- watch him play seven or eight games in a row and you quickly understand, apologies to Hamilton and Cruz, why he's the Ranger MVP.

Jonny German - Tuesday, July 05 2011 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#238027) #
Defence is for wimps.
Chuck - Tuesday, July 05 2011 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#238031) #

watch him play seven or eight games in a row and you quickly understand... why he's the Ranger MVP.

Mick's glasses are less rose-coloured than I would have thought. Fangraphs has Andrus third on the team behind two guys he didn't mention (whose defense FG really seems to love).

Mick Doherty - Tuesday, July 05 2011 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#238033) #

<snicker>
Forgive me Chuck. but rose-colored glasses, ME? I'm used t being called a doomsayer and less flattering versions of that.!
</snicker>

And frankly, Moreland-Kinsler-Beltre-Andrus is the best defensive infield I've ever watched regularly, but thousands of miles. The Ranger pitching is as good as it is (that is, average) in large part due to the infield leather.

92-93 - Tuesday, July 05 2011 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#238036) #
Mick doesn't own a pair of glasses. He predicted the Yankees to finish .500 and in 4th place.

Derek Jeter deserves to start the All-Star Game. It's not the All-Production Game, and Asdrubal Cabrera and Johnny Peralta are NOT stars, no matter how subjective an argument you're making. I really hate the idea that the All-Star Game should be a collection of the guys having the best 2-3 months. Play well enough over your career and there will be plenty of time for you to be recognized for your skills.
dan gordon - Tuesday, July 05 2011 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#238041) #

One of the main reasons why big name/famous players like Jeter get into the all-star game even when they aren't playing well is the fact that the allstar ballots are for both leagues.  There are a lot of fans who follow their team and the league they play in much more closely than the other league.  So you have a lot of voters who don't really know the players in the other league, yet they are voting for those players just as much as they are for the players in the league they follow closely.  For instance, I know a lot of Blue Jay fans who know very little about NL players.  When filling out an all-star ballot, they would just vote for NL players that they had heard of, and were at least somewhat familiar with.  This would usually mean veteran guys who had been around a long time.  I think a guy like Jeter gets a ton of votes from fans of NL teams, because they're all familiar with the name, and don't know a guy like Asdrubal Cabrera, or realize the kind of season Peralta is having, for instance. 

I think this has hurt the chances of several Blue Jays over the years - Bautista is the exception because he was so overwhelmingly good last year and this year, and he got a lot of notice around baseball because he had made such a dramatic improvement, I think even NL fans are quite aware of what he is doing. 

TamRa - Tuesday, July 05 2011 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#238042) #
That would send a message to some fans not to send has-beens  just to be humiliated.

You know how these things usually go, right? We'll spend two weeks griping about it then Jeter will go 3 for 3 with 5 RBI and win MVP....

That's what baseball does.
Mylegacy - Tuesday, July 05 2011 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#238050) #
OFF-TOPIC...

Jason Grey at ESPN Insider has two blog entries with scouting reports on Thames. He says: ...power with short compact swing...juice with bat speed & upper body strength...not just a pull hitter...willing to go the other way...keeps hands inside & has good extension...stays on ball well...fairly patient...must be careful not to expand zone.

Despite all that he's not too high overall - saying Thames must hit to stay up and shouldn't be drafted in Roto leagues at the moment - sees him as possible platoon solution long term. Reminds me a bit of KLaw's mediocre opinion of Thames. Hopefully - Eric out performs their projections. Personally, I think the guy has a spectacular bat with above average pop, except for a noodle(ish) arm...what's not to like from a LFer...

scottt - Tuesday, July 05 2011 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#238055) #
You know how these things usually go, right? We'll spend two weeks griping about it then Jeter will go 3 for 3 with 5 RBI and win MVP....

From the bench?


Alex Obal - Tuesday, July 05 2011 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#238059) #
No pinch-runner, eh?
sam - Tuesday, July 05 2011 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#238063) #
Is there we vent about Edwin being safe and the general poor umpiring this year?
TamRa - Wednesday, July 06 2011 @ 12:47 AM EDT (#238070) #
No pinch-runner, eh?

who was still on the bench? Molina?

well, yeah, could have went with Escobar but he can't DH if the game goes to extras.


Dave Till - Wednesday, July 06 2011 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#238102) #
Meh. If the fans want to see Derek Jeter, they should get to see Derek Jeter. No biggie.

Want to see something interesting? Compare Jeter's career slash lines with Roberto Alomar's:

Jeter: 17 seasons, .312 BA, .383 OBP, .449 SLG
R. Alomar: 17 seasons, .300 BA, .371 OBP, .443 SLG

Basically, 12 points of batting average is all that separates Jeter from Alomar. Jeter played shortstop to Robbie's second base, true, but Jeter didn't have exceptional range at short, especially to his left. Both men were/are considered exceptionally smart players. They're basically the same player.

Mick Doherty - Wednesday, July 06 2011 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#238106) #

Should Derek Jeter Be An All-Star? | 23 comments | Create New Account
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