Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Can we just enjoy the All Star game?

or why I want to punch the statheads in the nose sometimes.

When I was growing up, the statheads loved to criticize the fans for electing guys like Mike Schmidt, Ozzie Smith, Ryne Sandberg, and Carloton Fisk to the All-Star Game, even though they might be past their prime and not have put up the best numbers at their position that particular year. They would sneer at this year's elections of Ken Griffey and Barry Bonds. But, the fans did elect Prince Fielder over more established first basemen like Albert Pujold and Derrick Lee, so maybe we've learned.

No, that's not good enough, because now we get arcticles like this lecturing us that half a season is really too small a sample size th evaluate players.

Ok -- I'll make a deal with the statheads -- you stop lecturing us about how we've got it all wrong with our selections, and we won't use All Star selections as the basis for Hall of Fame arguments. Ok? Then can we elect the players we like, and enjoy the game? That is what the All Star game is for, right? To be an exhibition game the fans enjoy watching?

Yes, yes, I know that half a season isn't long enough to evaluate a ballplayer, and that there have been some players for whom their All Star selection represented the lone highlight of their careers. I don't care. That's part of the charm. (As I type this, Carl Crawford just took one into the RF stands). Quit trying to ruin everyone else's fun.