Purgatory Online

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

In the most recent update to the AL All-Star balloting, Troy Glaus has expanded his lead over Eric Chavez to 33,000 votes (up from 11,000 or so on June 2). Chavez has actually lost some ground to the Yankees' Robin Ventura, currently in third place for the eminently logical reason that he's a Yankee.

And now, the obligatory moment of crankiness: it's great to be able to vote online and all, but the way the online ballot works has got to change. There's a handy little link at each position to allow you to see how the candidates stack up against each other, statistically...if the only stats you care about are ABs, batting average, homers, RBI, and steals. Nothing else. And would it kill them to add a comparison utility, wherein you could check off players on your short list and then see just those players?

Okay, anyway, here's the current analysis of the real contenders:

Glaus - 209 AB, .297 / .391 / .579, 14 HR, 7 SB.
Chavez - 217 AB, .253 / .332 / .479, 12 HR, 5 SB.
Blalock - 212 AB, .349 / .405 / .580, 11 HR, 0 SB.

Chavez is on that list solely because he's in second. He clearly doesn't dserve serious consideration compared to either Glaus or Blalock. Tony Batista's numbers are just as good, if not better, than Chavez's.

Huff has been removed from the list since my last evaluation, because - silly me, why don't I follow the Devil Rays more closely? - I didn't realize that his inclusion at third base was one of those quirks of the All-Star ballot that seems to happen every year: a guy gets listed initially at a position he's expected to play, then things change and he spends the majority of his time at another position, and they can't change the ballot because they've already printed a jillion of them. In this case, Huff's played only eight games at third base, with the remainder of his time at first.

And boy, Glaus and Blalock are pretty close, aren't they? Blalock's outhit Glaus 77 to 62, but Glaus has drawn more walks, 33 to 20. Otherwise, Blalock would seem to have a slight edge in everything except homers - including defensively, where Blalock has a .927 fielding percentage, a 2.67 range factor, and a .711 zone rating, compared to Glaus's .925 / 2.41 / .699. Glaus is certainly a worthy All-Star, but there's not much doubt that if the Rangers had won the World Series last year, and Blalock been the Series MVP, he'd be leading the pack right now.