Brandon Belt

Assorted thoughts on Giants fans stuffing the All-Star Game ballot inbox

Since by definition I’m in the opinion business, I might as well throw out a few on this whole National League All-Star roster situation before I go on vacation tomorrow. Some of these opinions might be as strong and on-the-mark as a Pablo Sandoval toss from third base when he has time to get set; others might veer off course and sail into the opposing dugout like throws from a hurried, charging Panda.

— David Wright’s numbers — both this year and since 2005 — dwarf Sandoval’s. Wright has played 76 games and his OPS is over 1.000. Sandoval has played in 31 fewer contests and his OPS is .833. Yet, as Grant Brisbee pointed out

 It’s not the Pablo Sandoval selection that gets me. Sandoval is a well-known, popular player, both in his home market and around the league. He’s also been good for a while. Those kinds of players make All-Star teams. Derek Jeter makes every All-Star team, even if he’s hitting .260/.300/.300. Direct democracy can be annoying, but in 20 years, it will have totally made sense that Jeter or Sandoval started the All-Star Game. Once you reach a certain fame/talent threshold, the arguments for or against starting an All-Star Game shouldn’t be that fierce. Historically, teams picked using first-half success alone would be far, far worse than teams made from established stars.

Wait, I started this post of opinions with an opinion from Brisbee. Maybe I should try and add something to that…

— Sandoval is unique, which explains why he is “a well-known, popular player.” He doesn’t run, trot or walk to his position, as much as he bounces. He’s rotund and can hit, and heavyset guys who can hit have been fan favorites since the days of Babe Ruth. The NL All-Star Team featured Tony Gwynn for years, and John Kruk’s at-bat against a purposely wild Randy Johnson is one of the All-Star Game’s great moments.

http://youtu.be/9SH715tr6ek

Back to Sandoval: besides the indiscretion in Santa Cruz (in case you’re wondering, the Santa Cruz Cty Sheriff says it “will put out a press release on the Pablo Sandoval case the week of July 2-6”), he’s one of the players who represents the word “joy” in the hearts of fans as much as anyone in the game — besides A.J. Pierzynski, of course. Sandoval spending the first three-to-five innings at third won’t hurt anything.

— Everyone who’s still talking about Freddy Sanchez, Aubrey Huff, or your sister’s favorite Brandon almost making the team will probably find different topics to worry about by … tomorrow.

— Put it this way: that’s why the fans only vote in the All-Star starters, and not the entire team.

— With Melky Cabrera getting over 7 million votes, it’s hard to believe the volume of votes the Giants received was based 100% on the work of several thousand energetic Giants fans with dozens of free time hours at their disposal. In the past couple years, people have hacked Linkedin, BART, Citigroup, the U.S. government and Sony, along with several other institutions. Is it that hard to believe Silicon Valley Giants fans could have cracked MLB.com’s code?

— Plus, what does MLB care? The voting numbers were ginormous, the rosters sparked conversation, and they harvested millions of email addresses (which is what they really care about). Because everyone needs an update the next time Giants jerseys for cats are 15% off — TODAY ONLY!!!!

— Some might call for a return to the punch-ballot system of yesteryear, when voting meant you’d miss entire at-bats while you delicately tried to pull off a hanging chad without tearing the card and making it look like you voted for two players at the same position. We all know online voting is here to stay, but why can’t it be a little more nimble?

Why was Freddy Sanchez on the ballot the entire time? The same could be asked about Aubrey Huff, Ryan Howard or Chase Utley. It would be interesting to see what percentage of the ballots filled out were done on paper. If the eligible players one can vote for are set before the season starts because the logistics of printing and shipping old school ballots requires it, maybe it’s time to think about dumping/revamping that part of the process. It wouldn’t keep guys like Brandon Belt or Brandon Crawford from finishing far too high at their respective positions, but nonetheless it’s a change that’s far overdue.

— Giants fans are understandably disappointed that neither Madison Bumgarner nor Ryan Vogelsong made the team (yet), but there are a couple reasons to take solace in their exclusion.

First, it’s hard to remember a Giants pitcher other than Brian Wilson who didn’t struggle in the All-Star Game, either in terms of numbers or pregame hydration.

Second, Bumgarner and Vogelsong have pitched fairly well thus far with chips on their shoulders, so perhaps this latest snub will make them even better.

Vogelsong says he has a lot to prove after every good start (which pretty means all of ’em). Whether he’s referring to Keith Olbermann, those who questioned the 2-year extension the Giants gave him before this season, or fantasy “experts” who rated him as a 2012 “bust” candidate, who knows. But now he’s pitching even angrier than before, as evidenced by his reaction to Bronson Arroyo’s brushback hijinks yesterday.

Bumgarner’s beef with the public at large? Not enough respect for the rotation as a whole. “In my mind it’s the best staff in baseball,” he told Amy G. after throwing a 1-hit shutout on Thursday against the Reds. When John Shea asked him about the Phillies rotation during the April press conference announcing Bumgarner’s contract extension (which for the Giants is a ridiculously good deal, like getting a new Porsche 911 for $18,995 with Toyota Corolla insurance rates), the 22-year-old said this:

“I mean, just look a the numbers. We got a pretty good rotation right now, ourselves. (The Phillies) obviously have a good one, and one of the best, but who knows how good we’ll be in a few years. I mean, I think we can be just as good, if not better.”

http://youtu.be/iyKjXuOce_8?t=10s

— In short, I’m having a tough time getting upset about any of this. It’s an exhibition game, the fans got what they wanted, and everyone will move onto the next controversy once Bryce Harper beats out Chipper Jones in the “FINAL VOTE.” Or maybe I don’t care because I’ll be in France when the All-Star Game is played. Yeah, that’s probably it.

25 Comments
25 comments
Stan
Stan

Oh,there's plenty of evidence people enjoy reading my posts. Its why the haters get nowhere in having me banned. Try as they might.

Dobber
Dobber

To me, the bigger injustice is that Dan Uggla was voted in.

Slam
Slam

The room full od laptops at garlic fry park was SO tired. High Tech jerkoffs

Tony
Tony

It is a bit silly that Freddy Sanchez was even on the ballot considering he hasn't played a game this year, but at the end of the day I'm happy that the east coasters are upset. Heck, if Brett Pill was on the ballot I'd have voted for him with the off chance that he'd go to the ASG in a Grizzlies jersey. Despite the east coast bias we frequently endure in the sports media and MLB being headquartered in New York, we got our guys in. This is why I feel zero guilt.

Tom
Tom

When I saw that picture of Bum and Amy G. I thought you were going snot rocket for sure.

E
E

Bud Selig took a moribund mid-summer exhibition game and created a TV reality show that determines home field for the WS. Now he's adding sudden-death play-ins and next year never-ending spring-training games that count in the standings, but referred to as increased book rates for TV advertisers; Interleague. Farce. And I don't care except in passing.

BaySean
BaySean

The MLB All Star voting system is inherently flawed but I will say this: If New York cannot outvote SF with a 500,000 vote lead then all they have to blame is themselves.

Stan
Stan

If the All Star Game ever was an exact science..computers would pick the players. Short of that- its the people's will,their fun entertainment to see who they want to see. Nothing wrong with that.

devnull
devnull

I think people just like to say "Uggla". :)

Stan
Stan

SLam,Tom,Simon,..how many ID's do you create to agree with yourself?

Stan
Stan

Again,I dont get it.

simon
simon

Hey Stan, Is ranting on blogs the only thing you've got going? Are you some kind of shut in? Your endless posting of empty vitriol is pretty tiresome. Why don't you get your own blog if you're such a clever fellow?

Stan
Stan

He sure has a Uggla Mama...

simon
simon

Stan, Is this the way you rationalize the prevailing disapproval of all your tiresome posts? The real explanation is that you are an annoying disruption to this blog and most people don't like or care what you have to say!

simon
simon

Oh, that's an enormous surprise!

Stan
Stan

Simon is the perfect example..he cant point out where I'm wrong..he never has,but he talks like he knows more. Its the personal attack republican syndrome. Enjoy Ramstein at full volume.

Stan
Stan

Lol, "disturbed". . Its just Simon using meaner words then usual. We all know that. Or, alternately,your just a mean person. As I said..your all personal attacks Simon,the last resort of a lout. You never prove me wrong and it frustrates your republican mind...disturbs it.

devnull
devnull

Your arm must get quite tired from patting yourself on the back all the time.

simon
simon

Actually Stan, there's no indication anyone thinks your posts are interesting aside from yourself. People may like to read a a non media clone’s opinion but your endless repetitive drivel doesn't quite represent an opinion so much as stray random expressions of a disturbed and childish mind.

Stan
Stan

Actually Simon,the truth is..my posts are interesting,have something to say and a point..and your retread complaints are almost identical under all your names. People might not agree with what I say..but they like to read a non media clone's opinion. My posts can be life changing...

Stan
Stan

And most people haven't been anywhere near as correct as me or as smart. Everybody knows how that goes. I try to be humble..and that's what makes me a better person than you Simon-my modesty. The fact I have no ego is what I love about myself.

Stan
Stan

No,I must gave evolved past that kind of humor.. a photo of Amy G. and Bum = whaa?...

Stan
Stan

Yeah Slam,that's how it pretty much breaksdown. They cant handle the truth and all that... The big tip off?- they have no argument..just ban him!,ban him!. And slam-thrash metal forever huh? Bang your head some more..

Slam
Slam

Anyone who disagrees with Stan is a Republican ? I know your hippy little loser friends at the Mill Vallet Peets think you're cool, but we know the truth. Leave politics OUT of this, you smug asshole

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