FanDuel - WFBC

July 03, 2006

These are your 2006 MLB Some-Stars!:
To paraphrase E.B.White, "All-Star voting is the recurrent suspicion that most of the people are right most of the time."
Discussion inside.

posted by grum@work to baseball at 12:59 AM - 59 comments

Looking at the AL fan choices vs the NL fan choices, it seems to me that the NL fans are paying a bit more attention to the games and the results and little less attention to the uniforms players wear. AL fan choices are rather ridiculous. Fan choice vs better choice C - Jason Varitek vs Joe Mauer - this is the most obviously poor one, and thankfully will probably NEVER happen again. At age 23 (and assuming he doesn't get injured), we could be looking at a future double-digit all-star representative in Mauer. 1B - David Ortiz vs Jason Giambi/Travis Hafner- Giambi is hitting better than Ortiz and actually fields the position on a semi-regular basis (337 innings vs 44 innings). If we say DHs can play 1B, then Hafner is a better choice than both of them. 2B - Mark Loretta vs Jose Lopez/Rafael Belliard - an obvious case of "voting by uniform" this year. There isn't a standout choice for starting 2B with 3 or 4 candidates, but Loretta isn't one of them. 3B - Alex Rodriguez vs nobody - yawn. Even in an "off-year", he's still the best. SS - Derek Jeter vs nobody - yawn. Even I reflexively choose Captain Clutch. OF - Vladimir Guerrero vs Vernon Wells - I'm not as upset with this choice because Guerrero is a great player and is probably just in an early season slump. OF - Manny Ramirez vs nobody - yawn. Remember when Boston fans wanted him traded? Heh. OF - Ichiro Suzuki vs Alex Rios - It's hard to argue with exciting over results, but Rios' recent injury/illness makes this a moot point anyways. Still, bring Suzuki along as a reserve and give the starting spot to someone who deserves it. And I'm glad to see that Mark Redman (5.59 ERA) is going to get a spot in the All-Star game as a reserve pitcher, but one of Francisco Liriano or Travis Hafner is going to miss out. Thank goodness all 269 K.C. Royals fans will get a chance to see Redman sit on the bench! To fix this, I'd have chosen DeJesus as the KC rep, dropped Jenks and added Hafner. Then Liriano could get voted in on the "last man" option. In the NL, the only fan choice that smells funny is at catcher. Lo Duca is nowhere as good as McCann, Barrett, Olivo or sentimental favourite, Piazza. Otherwise, all of those selections at the other positions are probably from the best players available. I just don't know the NL well enough to discuss the reserves or the pitchers.

posted by grum@work at 01:25 AM on July 03

I think very good arguments could be made for either Tadahito Iguchi or Brian Roberts (despite missing 3 weeks on the DL, his numbers are slightly superior to Loretta's, if you value SB's) at 2B, and Miguel Tejada at SS to start on the AL team. I don't know about everyone else, but I like Bud's idea of making the game mean something, too.

posted by mjkredliner at 02:20 AM on July 03

My reaction to seeing Mark Loretta named to the team (and a starter no less) may be the first time in my life I've ever done a double-take. Wow. In the N.L I would have liked to have seen Capuano make the team instead of Carpenter. Freddy Sanchez was my favorite reserve pick. And as far as the final man candidates, it'll be a damn shame if Liriano and Garciaparra don't get voted in.

posted by forrestv at 02:22 AM on July 03

Every year when the all-star results come out there is someone who is left out. Hafner or Liriano is probably the best example this year but I think that the important thing to remember is that it is truly an event for the fans. Even as a die-hard Red Sox fan I can't begin to imagine who invited Loretta? I guess my only point is yes the fans in KC (all 269 of them) deserve to see Redman and yes the fans in Japan (all 125 million of them) deserve to see Ichiro. And if all of these fans voting based on the home team and perception can't name an AL second baseman than I guess the guy from Boston will do.

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 06:10 AM on July 03

I find it interesting that none of the six White Sox players made it from the All Star balloting. I've never really like the system, and have hated it ever since the best shortstop in the American League two years ago (Carlos Guillen) ended up being a reserve and not even playing! However, I think I will save my anti-All Star game rant for a column that I may write. Anyway, grum Rodriguez made the team ahead of Mauer, not Varitek. Of course, Mauer was still hands down the best candidate for the job and this year's voting shows that many voters don't know shit when it comes to baseball. I don't think either of the AL's remaining catchers should even be considered for the final man, but Hafner, Liriano, and Verlander all should be on the team. In the NL, the situation is much better. Even though Mets players dominate the starting lineup, they have largely been the best at their posistion. As for Garciaparra, it would be a shame but look who he has got ahead of him. Pujols, Howard, and Berkman have all been just as good or better than Garciaparra, so I won't see it as a major travesty if he doesn't make it in.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:19 AM on July 03

Cano was leading the votes until he got injured. Loretta was second, but not exactly close.

posted by jerseygirl at 07:35 AM on July 03

this year's voting shows that many voters don't know shit when it comes to baseball. I presume you're not new to all of this and realize the popularity contest that this generally is, right? Every year, there's a bunch of guys who get voted in by the fans based on the exposure the player gets. Ortiz is, by no means, the best 1B in the AL. He's not even the best 1B on his team. He's played maybe a half dozen games on the bag, but people want to see him at the All Star Game.

posted by jerseygirl at 07:42 AM on July 03

this year's voting shows that many voters don't know shit when it comes to baseball. I presume you're not new to all of this and realize the popularity contest that this generally is, right? Yeah, what I should have said was that this year's voting is just the same as every other year's, showing that many voters don't know shit when it comes to baseball.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:05 AM on July 03

Lance Berkman deserves to start because he's put up the 2nd best stats in the NL...however, because he plays 1B mainly, he's stuck behind Albert Pujoles, he will be a nice late game replacement. How about Phil put Lance in the outfield instead of at first. Lance does play there more anyways.

posted by chemwizBsquared at 08:29 AM on July 03

Looking at the players on the team listed as first basemen (although a few are DHs, and including Garciaparra and Hafner), they've accounted for a total of 182 home runs and 531 RBI so far this season. That's an incredible amount of offense. As for the teams themselves, yes, Loretta is tough to figure, and the manager of the team getting to pick reserves always leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I think Jenks (although he's having a really good year) should be replaced by Liriano. Also, as said above, Guerrero is great, but not having his best year so far. Vernon Wells has been fantastic for the Jays and it would be nice to see him starting. I'd also like to see Verlander instead of Rogers, but that's mainly because I don't like Rogers. It's also pretty interesting to see Buehrle, on the same day the rosters come out, get lit up against the Cubs for 13 hits, 11 runs and 3 taters against his cross-town rivals. Way to solidify that decision!

posted by dyams at 08:41 AM on July 03

Why the anti-Loretta sentiments? He's hitting 26 points higher than Belliard, 35 points higher than Lopez, and he has half as many errors (3 to 6 for each them).

posted by rhickok at 08:43 AM on July 03

I thought it was interesting that apparently, since the MLB sends out the ballots so early, Jim Thome wasn't even on the ballot for quite a while, depriving him of a ton of votes. Obviously it hasn't really mattered, but things like these can really mess up who makes the All Star game. I think Jenks (although he's having a really good year) should be replaced by Liriano. I think that if anyone but Ozzie Guillen was coaching the team, Liriano would be on it. Guillen I think made his decisions a while ago, regardless of the fact that the some of the best pitchers are not on his team.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:09 AM on July 03

Why the anti-Loretta sentiments? Brian Roberts' numbers are identical, except he has 19 SBs and a better OPS. Jose Lopez has 57 (!) RBIs and a better OPS. Iguchi has 6 more HRs and 18 more runs scored. I think 3 errors would be offsent by any of those numbers. Doesn't really matter. the MLB all-star game is fucked.

posted by ninjavshippo at 09:13 AM on July 03

Honestly, looking at it now...I'm kinda in shock Phil Garner selected Carpenter over his own guy (Roy O). Both guys are not having great seasons statistically, but their numbers are paralleled. However, not selecting Carpenter leaves St. Louis with one rep (Pujoles), a travesty considering they're the 2nd best team in the NL. But hey, the 3rd best team in the NL (Cincy) has only 1 all star so hey it doesn't really matter.

posted by chemwizBsquared at 09:16 AM on July 03

I'm happy for Loretta, being a Sox fan and all, but if Cano was healthy, he should have been the starting 2B for sure. I make no apologies for and am psyched about Papelbon though.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:28 AM on July 03

My reaction to seeing Mark Loretta named to the team (and a starter no less) may be the first time in my life I've ever done a double-take. Wow. Why? Loretta might not be the best choice, but he's having a good year. How many worse choices have there been over the years. Thousands? There are far worse choices this year. But that choice makes you do a double take? A guy hitting .317 and making the all star game is the first time you've ever done a double take? That's just bizarre. Manny Ramirez vs nobody - yawn. Remember when Boston fans wanted him traded? Heh. I remember when 'some' boston fans wanted him traded. Any with a brain knew if you don't get someone manny's equal to hit behind ortiz, you're in trouble, and there ain't many his equal.

posted by justgary at 09:29 AM on July 03

I've got to believe that the size of the markets greatly affects the results of who is in the A.S. Game. Boston, NY, Chi, those big markets generally get more votes because they have more people voting. Question for the SpoFi: If you are Ozzie Guillen, and you have a one run lead in the ninth, do you put Jenks in, or Rivera? (I saw this question on Baseball Tonight with Harold Reynolds and John Kruk, but I want to know what everyone thinks Ozzie will do.

posted by sublime4390116 at 10:21 AM on July 03

On Edit: I would put Papelbon in, but I don't think Ozzie would.....

posted by sublime4390116 at 10:25 AM on July 03

Vladimir Guerrero vs Vernon Wells - I'm not as upset with this choice because Guerrero is a great player and is probably just in an early season slump. Seems out of line with your normal reasoning grum. In that case, ortiz had a couple of slumps earlier in the year so...

posted by justgary at 10:29 AM on July 03

Loretta "only" has 3 errors because he has no range. If it isn't within 5 feet of him, he doesn't get there.

posted by Meathooks at 10:54 AM on July 03

Seems out of line with your normal reasoning grum. In that case, ortiz had a couple of slumps earlier in the year so... Agreed. I'll chalk up my unusual stance on the Guerrero selection as combination "late night posting syndrome" and being a big fan of Guerrero. Vladimir is one of the few players that completely goes against my general feeling about what is a skilled batter. He hacks at anything that comes near the plate and shows very little patience. But damn, he does so well at it. Like Ichiro, he's one of the most entertaining players in the AL, so it's really hard to argue with fans voting him in. Anyway, grum Rodriguez made the team ahead of Mauer, not Varitek. Another case of not double-checking my work late at night. Varitek was leading the voting for a long time, and when I glanced at the player lists, I saw that he was still selected (but as a reserve). I still stand by my statement that any AL catcher other than Mauer is a terrible choice, whether it's Varitek or Rodriguez. Question for the SpoFi: If you are Ozzie Guillen, and you have a one run lead in the ninth, do you put Jenks in, or Rivera? I think he puts Rivera in, but only because he's used Ryan and Jenks the previous inning. I bet he saves Papelbon in case it goes beyond 9.

posted by grum@work at 11:12 AM on July 03

Guerrero is having a good season, but Wells deserves the slot. Heck, Maglio Ordonez has better stats across the board than Vlad this season, but not as good as Wells. BTW, grum, why don't you think Ichiro is deserving? He's scored 65 runs, has 127 hits, 27 steals and a .359 average. Sure, he only has 6 taters and 30 RBI's, but it's not like he's a clean up hitter. His job is to get on and score, and he does it pretty well. I haven't done a player by player comparison between him and every other AL outfielder, but his numbers seem pretty good. He may not be the very most deserving, but he can't be that far off so it doesn't sound like a huge travesty to me.

posted by ctal1999 at 11:23 AM on July 03

There seems to be an anti-Red Sox sentiment amongst all these comments despite the fact that they just finished up a 12-game winning streak, have won 14 of their last 15 games and were 16-2 against the National League. I can see the Varitek thing because he has been somewhat slow out of the gate this year and combined with a weak finish last year has not hit well for close to an entire season but this Loretta attack seems a bit much. Of course I don't watch these other second basemen the way I've watched Loretta, but after hitting around .230 for pretty much of the first two months of the season he has pushed himself up over .300 thanks to a great June and I think he deserves to be there.

posted by robie46 at 11:25 AM on July 03

I bet he saves Papelbon in case it goes beyond 9. And then pisses BoSox fans off when it doesn't go beyond nine innings and possibly the best closer in the game right now doesn't get to play. Of course, since the game is chock full of Red Sox players maybe they wouldn't notice. Unlike us Tigers fans who get to see our All Star not entered in the game year after year.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 11:48 AM on July 03

I'll go against the grain here and say I could care less about the stats. This isn't a game about the best individual NL players versus the best AL individual players. As was mentioned by jerseygirl, this is a popularity contest. I'm always amazed the All-Star game doesn't look like the Mets vs. the Yankees. Why not just announce the leader in (insert your favorite ranking system) at each position as the starter. Let the fans pick the rest of the team. When they converge...great. If not, the fan favorites come in as third inning replacements.

posted by ?! at 11:56 AM on July 03

There seems to be an anti-Red Sox sentiment amongst all these comments despite the fact that they just finished up a 12-game winning streak Well, they're playing well as a team. Doesn't necessarily correlate to individual accomplishment. Vladimir is one of the few players that completely goes against my general feeling about what is a skilled batter. He hacks at anything that comes near the plate and shows very little patience. But damn, he does so well at it. He's amazing to watch, and his fly in the face of convention style works, though it was frustrating in last years playoffs. He just couldn't seem to adapt. Seemed like a time his lack of patience hurt him.

posted by justgary at 11:57 AM on July 03

Ozzie has said he would give Mariano Rivera first shot. He is also going to add Joe Crede if ANYBODY drops out due to injury, etc...57 RBI's and batting .300 at the break say he is worthy.

posted by wdminott at 12:35 PM on July 03

Ozzie can suck my left...oh wait, wrong conversation. What about Phil Garner? Some of his moves are puzzling, from his choice of the starters (there's bound to be someone more worthy than Chris Carpenter...and its NOT Roy Oswalt) to the number of Atlanta Braves, Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies and dearth of Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres on the team. Why not criticize the side that is bound to lose this thing anyways? (though maybe the NL wins a game this year in the World Series)

posted by chemwizBsquared at 01:55 PM on July 03

Jeter over Tejada? Only in America.

posted by markhjohn at 03:03 PM on July 03

Jeter over Tejada? Only in America. On it's face, I agree it looks bad, but when you consider Jeter's OPSing better than Tejada, it's closer than you might think. I can't believe I just defended Jeter. Maybe there's hope in the Middle East after all.

posted by ninjavshippo at 03:45 PM on July 03

BTW, grum, why don't you think Ichiro is deserving? He's scored 65 runs, has 127 hits, 27 steals and a .359 average. Sure, he only has 6 taters and 30 RBI's, but it's not like he's a clean up hitter. His job is to get on and score, and he does it pretty well. Oh, I think Ichiro should be at the All-Star game. I just thought that Rios was a better choice as a starter. I'll be honest and say that choosing Rios over Ichiro is picking a very small nit. In general, the general populace gets it right about 75% of the time as players are popular usually because of their great skill, so voting them in for reason A is the same as reason B. Instead of just posting "here are the 2006 All-Star rosters", I decided to take an adversarial point of view and do a little ranting. I fully acknowledge that Loretta, IRod, Ortiz, Ichiro, and Guerrero are not disgracing the All-Star legacy by playing. Mark Redman as a selection, however, is just putrid. He doesn't even have a meaningless statistic to point at as a reason to be there (like the Pirates' Mike Williams had in 2003 with his 24 saves)

posted by grum@work at 04:59 PM on July 03

Thanks for the clarification, grum. It kind of sounded like you had it in for the guy and I wondered why, but I guess I read too much into it. As for the rest of that comment, you're pretty much spot on.

posted by ctal1999 at 06:21 PM on July 03

As a Yankee fan, I still say the biggest snub was probably Curt Schilling. The guy came back after that operation, and wins 10 games, with an awesome ERA. Possibly his best start to a year with the Red Sox. He definately deserves Mark Redmans place on the roster.

posted by redsoxrgay at 06:22 PM on July 03

As a Yankee fan, I still say the biggest snub was probably Curt Schilling. I'd have put Schilling in there instead of Contreras, just because the White Sox had Buerhle, Jenks, Konerko, Thome and Dye. Or drop Dye, put in DeJesus (from KC) and then swap Schilling for Redman. It gets rid of the terrible pitcher (but leaves KC rep on the team), puts another CF on the roster and give Contreras and Schilling the chance to go to the ASG.

posted by grum@work at 08:35 PM on July 03

Loretta might not be the best choice, but he's having a good year. How many worse choices have there been over the years. Thousands? There are far worse choices this year. But that choice makes you do a double take? A guy hitting .317 and making the all star game is the first time you've ever done a double take? That's just bizarre. Have there been worse choices? That's subjective. This is just the one that got to me. As for the first time I've ever done a double take, yup, that's true. Let's just say Jerry Lewis and Jim Carrey have never been popular in my family.

posted by forrestv at 08:54 PM on July 03

Have there been worse choices? That's subjective. No it's not. A guy hitting .317 going to the allstar game isn't in the universe of bad choices. It's your opinion, fine. But you haven't backed it up with any reasons, and I'm guessing when trying to prove it's an awful choice, it's because you really can't. He's having good year. All Star? Maybe not, but plenty of others have been chosen who were having awful years.

posted by justgary at 09:46 PM on July 03

OK. I'd say Rafael Belliard, Brian Roberts, Jose Lopez and Tadahito Iguchi were better choices. But I wasn't the only one in this post who thought Loretta was a wonky choice. Why should I repeat the other arguments? Sorry if my double take ruined your day.

posted by forrestv at 10:48 PM on July 03

Also, let me qualify my statements by saying this is the first year I've paid attention to the MLB All-Star voting process and voted. So, it's new to me. Sorry for the confusion.

posted by forrestv at 10:57 PM on July 03

Sorry if my double take ruined your day. It didn't ruin my day, forrestv. I just disagree with you. But I wasn't the only one in this post who thought Loretta was a wonky choice. Why should I repeat the other arguments? I never said he was the right choice. I said your reaction was a little over the top. I understand there were better choices. I thought you might have reasons the loretta choice struck you as especially bad. No harm, no foul.

posted by justgary at 12:51 AM on July 04

No worries. I'll admit my analysis is based almost solely on stats and I've got Loretta 5th best on the list. Add that to my west coast bias, the fact that baseball is my least favorite sport and there you go.

posted by forrestv at 02:08 AM on July 04

As a Yankee fan, I still say the biggest snub was probably Curt Schilling. I'd have put Schilling in there instead of Contreras, just because the White Sox had Buerhle, Jenks, Konerko, Thome and Dye. I still think leaving out Liriano is a crime, and Verlander is also very, very deserving. I think it shows a little bit about the picking process and the coach of the team when there is only two players from the best team in baseball on the All Star team.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:59 AM on July 04

Justin Morneau is another one who is getting the shaft because of the clut at 1st base. He was a logshot allstar either way. Another case of the smaller markets getting hosed. I was glad to see Joe Mauer make a huge jump in the voting duriing the last few weeks. Another omition that isnt mentioned much is Joe Nathon, whose only fault is a lack of a save opportunities! There I got my homey talk out of the way!

posted by daddisamm at 09:07 AM on July 04

Ying Yang, are you speaking of the Tigers? I'm a fan, but I'm not sure that they qualify as the best team in baseball. They have the best record going into the All-Star break, but let's see what they do down the stretch. If the young pitchers continue to perform at a high level and the rest of the nucleus stays intact, they're going to be scary good over the next several years, but I'm not sure they're quite there yet. Having said that, Verlander would be a great pick for the final man on the AL roster.

posted by ctal1999 at 09:15 AM on July 04

I think the biggest story this year is how much better the AL is than the NL. The leagues are practically tiered. There are at least six to ten cases in the AL where All-Stars are being over-looked. Hafner being the biggest in terms of a guy who's basically one of the top five hitters in the AL getting the shaft. In the NL, you've basically covered the bases. But really, the leagues - especially the pitching - are no longer comparable.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:28 AM on July 04

I'm a fan, but I'm not sure that they qualify as the best team in baseball. They have the best record going into the All-Star break, but let's see what they do down the stretch. They are the best team in baseball right now, and have yet to prove me otherwise. Are there other teams with more talent, maybe but the Tigers surpass them right now. Sweeping the past two NL champions also helps their resume.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:45 AM on July 04

Good point, YYM.

posted by ctal1999 at 10:00 AM on July 04

Yingster, I know you love your 'gers, but one of these days they're going to have to prove that they can consistently beat the big two in the AL East (Tiggers 1-2 vs. BoSox, 1-3 vs. Yanks, 6-3 vs rest of division). Otherwise, your AL Central crown or your Wild Card berth will be the end of the line. Unless, of course, you play the AL West.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 10:29 AM on July 04

That was my point earlier, TBH. I'm afraid they're going to end up like the Wings and Pistons, with a monster regular season and a fizzle at the end...but YYM, I hope you're right and I'm wrong!

posted by ctal1999 at 11:19 AM on July 04

Yingster, I know you love your 'gers, but one of these days they're going to have to prove that they can consistently beat the big two in the AL East (Tiggers 1-2 vs. BoSox, 1-3 vs. Yanks, 6-3 vs rest of division). Well since they've only played a series against each one of the teams in the AL East, I'd say that there is still time for them to prove themselves. Of course, I'm not saying they have a playoff berth locked up in any way since this is one of the best sets of teams the AL has had to offer in a long while. White Sox are second place in the league, Twins have won ten straight, and the Blue Jays aren't exactly slouching either. However, as long as they play as well as they have been I'm confident I'll be able to watch a few playoff games in October.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 12:27 PM on July 04

Right, but we're agreed much of the Tigers' strength is actually scheduling, or do you believe a .700 team just sprang straight from the head of Zeus?

posted by yerfatma at 04:40 PM on July 04

Poor guy. Tigers heading down the same path as the Wings.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:54 PM on July 04

Face it: the big market clubs get the most national exposure, and it shows in the All-Star balloting. It should return to the players and coaches/managers. At that time, we fans agreed with a much higher percentage of the picks. As for pitchers, the managers now seem to pick according to who has been rested, and can therefore pitch most effectively on Tuesday, as the outcome has a bearing on the home field advantage in the World Series.

posted by TERP at 09:15 AM on July 05

Right, but we're agreed much of the Tigers' strength is actually scheduling, or do you believe a .700 team just sprang straight from the head of Zeus? That's a bit strong. Five key acquisitions: Pudge and Guillen in '04, Polanco and Magglio in '05, and Kenny Rogers off the scrap heap in '06 (despite his transgressions, has always been a great pitcher when nothing was expected of him). Plus, the development of guys like Shelton and Inge and their whole corps of great -- not good, great -- pitchers: Verlander, Bonderman, Robertson, Maroth, Zumaya. Plus, they have a winning manager. Two things need to happen for the Tigers to get deep into the playoffs. One: Kenny Rogers has to have a serious injury in September. If he pitches in the playoffs, the Tigers will lose. Two: somebody has to step up and convincingly grab the closer job from Todd Jones. Otherwise, this club is more talented than recently successful Twins and Angels teams. As for ASG voting, I'm always amazed at how good fans are about NOT voting the straight party line. Since A-Rod doesn't have the same number of votes as, say, Bubba Crosby, it's clear SOMEBODY is voting their conscience, at least to some degree. That said, Varitek is a more outrageous selection than Loretta, though neither is in the top three at their position. Varitek is behind Mauer, Posada, Victor Martinez, Ramon Hernandez, Pierzynski, Johjima, and Pudge in OPS. He's sixth among them in RBIs, and four have scored more runs. Terrible selection from a statistical standpoint, but if that's who the 13-year-old in Cambridge with the new laptop and the copious spare time wants to see, who am I to begrudge him?

posted by BullpenPro at 04:40 PM on July 05

Two other things: Liriano and Capuano are the most egregious omissions from their respective teams -- less so Hafner, largely because first base is traditionally deep and it is always the case that a Hafner gets dropped. And... Guillen is dumb if he doesn't use Jenks as his primary closer. Right or wrong, he still has to manage his team after the ASG and he should be sending the message to Jenks that in any situation he's Guillen's top choice. It does no real disservice to Rivera or anybody else -- it can only serve to boost Jenks' confidence.

posted by BullpenPro at 04:52 PM on July 05

Well, I can't argue with any of that. Not without trying, anyway.

posted by yerfatma at 05:09 PM on July 05

One: Kenny Rogers has to have a serious injury in September. If he pitches in the playoffs, the Tigers will lose. Could you expand on that? I can't see where you're coming from. Two: somebody has to step up and convincingly grab the closer job from Todd Jones. Right on, but unless Jones starts blowing save after save I don't think its going to happen. I would love to see Zumaya at closer but since he's a rookie, Leyland may be reluctant to put him in the role. However, if the Tigers make the playoffs Zumaya could become similar to Jenks last year, except he wouldn't be coming out of the blue as much.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:26 PM on July 05

YYM, i think Bullpen is referring to what The Gambler has done in the postseason. actually it's more like what he hasn't done in the postseason, and that is pitched well.

posted by goddam at 08:48 PM on July 05

YYM: goddam's got it. My lingering post-season memory of The Gambler will always be the deer-in-the-headlights look as he stumbled off the mound after walking in the Series-losing run in Game Six of the 1999 NLCS. He is a terrible, terrible pitcher under the white hot spotlight. I did forget to mention the budding Curtis Granderson among the Tigers newfound assets. I'm a big fan of neither The Baseball Crank nor the Win-Shares stat, truth be told, but I do think Granderson is giving the Tigers a lot of help at the top of the lineup and the middle of the field.

posted by BullpenPro at 09:15 PM on July 05

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