Derwood isn't a big fan of the All Star game or the Angels. So it makes perfect sense that he will be traveling to the Big A to watch the game this year while I sit at home and curse him under my breath. He also despises the All Star selection process but I find it fascinating and infuriating. So I'll be your guide through this Joey Votto/Jered Weaver fueled rant. Buckle up kids, it might get nerdy.
Joey Votto: This is the one everybody is up in arms over and it's deserved. All of Votto's counting stats are right there with Pujols. I know the players and especially Charlie Manuel aren't looking at advanced metrics but I sure am. In wOBA, Votto (.424) is crushing Pujols (.409) and more importantly Ryan Howard (.363). Don't like/understand wOBA? Everybody likes WAR and Votto (3.6) is still better than Pujols (3.1) and much better than Howard (1.2).
Votto is at least the best first baseman in the National League this season and deserves to be an All Star. But hey, Omar Infante and his 0.5 WAR might come in handy if you need a 5th short stop in the 14th inning. Actually, you'd probably be better off playing Votto at short stop and not even letting him take the field.
Jered Weaver: Obviously, this one bothered me the most. Weaver was asked to take over the ace role for the Angels and not only did he handle it, he has become one of the best pitchers in the league. Oh yeah, the All Star game is also in his home park.
As Keith Law pointed out yesterday, only 2 of the top 10 pitchers in WAR made the AL squad. But hey, if you look at FIP, 3 of the top 10 made it! Fine, don't like advanced metrics? Weaver leads the AL in strikeouts (124), 9th-ish in least walks (26), 6th in ERA (2.82) and his BABIP is a perfectly sustainable .299. I went a little nerdy there at the end, huh?
CC Sabathia: 1.9 WAR, 3.94 FIP, 93 strikeouts, 37 walks = All Star
Fransisco Liriano: I have him on my fantasy team and didn't realize how good of a season he's having. He leads the AL in WAR (4.2), FIP (2.10) and tied for 3rd in strikeouts (116). I might be crazy but I would rather have Liriano available to close a game than, oh say, Jose Valverde.
Kevin Youkilis: Shame on you Joe Girardi. Youk should be in there over A-Rod and especially over David Ortiz. Youkilis is easily one of the top 10 players in the AL if you look at any stat except for batting average (.299) but you have to get Jose Bautista (.236) in there.
Stephen Strasburg: I'm not calling him a snub so much as I have a problem with Evan Meek. Seriously, would you rather have Strasburg for an inning or Evan Meek. I'll save you the trouble of looking up which team Meek plays for, he's the Pirates lone rep. Simple solution: pull Corey Hart, plug in Andrew McCutchen, pull Meek and put in Strasburg. Everybody is a winner. Well, except for Meek and Hart.
Anybody but Omar Infante: *head explodes*
I could go on but I'd like to actually watch some baseball but I'll leave you with this...
Actual NL Lineup: C Yadier Molina, 1B Albert Pujols, 2B Chase Utley, 3B David Wright, SS Hanley Ramirez, OF Ryan Braun, OF Jason Heyward, Of Andre Ethier
WAR NL Lineup: C Brian McCann, 1B Joey Votto, 2B Chase Utley, 3B David Wright, SS Troy Tulowitzki, RF Andres Torres, CF Marlon Byrd, LF Matt Holliday
Actual AL Lineup: C Joe Mauer, 1B Justin Morneau, 2B Robinson Cano, 3B Evan Longoria, SS Derek Jeter, OF Ichiro, OF Josh Hamilton, OF Carl Crawford, DH Vlad Guerrero
WAR AL Lineup: C Joe Mauer, 1B Justin Morneau, 2B Robinson Cano, 3B Adrian Beltre, SS Alex Gonzalez, RF Ichiro, CF Alex Rios, LF Carl Crawford, DH Vlad Guerrero