Dark Bilious Vapors

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--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » June 2005 » Here's something to consider as you fill out your All-Star ballot

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06/22/2005: Here's something to consider as you fill out your All-Star ballot

Josh over at The Birdwatch points us to this post at Baseball Musings:

Derrek Lee and Albert Pujols each helped their team to victory last night with home runs. Pujols is having a Pujols year. Great batting average, great OBA and an excellent slugging percentage. Derrek Lee is putting up even better numbers. He's slugging in the .700's, over .100 points better than Pujols.

For whom do you vote when you fill out your all-star ballot? Do you vote for someone based on a great 1/2 season, or do you go for someone who is consistently great throughout his career?
I can't put my finger on the exact cites right now, but the timing of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game has been a bone of contention among some hardcore baseball fans for a while. The All-Star Game comes in the middle of the regular baseball season, and given the natural human tendency to pay attention to things that have happened recently as opposed to taking a longer term view (this is the reason that any given radio station listener poll of "The 100 Greatest Songs of All Time" tends to have 80-85 songs on it that were recorded in the last two years) the placement of All-Star voting in the first half of the season tends to cause fans (or more accurately, those fans who don't reflexively vote for the players on their favorite teams) to focus on not-quite-so-hot players who are having outrageously good April/May/June performances (like Lee, say, who, while putting in a stellar performance so far this season, is performing at a level or so above his norm), while discounting players who performed equally over their norms in the last half of the previous season.

Personally, I give a bit more weight to consistency over what appears to be a fluke half season, myself, but the argument can be made that I'm just giving in to my admiration for Albert the Great (and I'm a big Pujols fan; I have no doubt that the boy is headed to the Hall of Fame). But ultimately, the All-Star Game is about who the fans want to see; that's why we let them vote. So if Derrek Lee wins out over Albert, that's by definition A Good Result. Right?

Len on 06.22.05 @ 07:10 AM CST

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