Tuesday, May 27, 2008

East Coast Bias

Jeter (.282/.337/.390/immobile) and A-Rod (missed 20 of 51 games) lead the league in All-Star balloting at the moment. Others leading at their positions: Papi, Pedroia, Youkilis, Manny, and Varitek.

As we speak, furious message board posters are trying to figure out how to blame this on ESPN's notorious east coast bias.


Daniel said...

Ugh. I'm not sure whether I should be indifferent to this since it's just the All Star game or be pissed off because it's annoying. I just don't think it's ever going to change. Fans are always going to root for their hometown favorites, whether they deserve it or not. And MLB is never going to take away the voting from the fans. It just seems like this is worse than usual. Usually at least SOMEONE who deserves it gets the start.

AL All Stars by OPS (as of today):
C Joe Mauer
1B Youkilis
2B Kinsler
3B Crede
SS Young (bad year for AL SS - Jeter was 2nd)
OF Bradley
OF Quentin
OF Hamilton

Now I can see why some of those guys (esp. Bradley) aren't popular with the fans, but in most cases, the Red Sox/Yanks in those positions aren't even close. Would I rather see a lineup of Rangers and White Sox over a lineup of Red Sox and Yankees? Yes, without question. I see the East Coasters enough on ESPN as it is.

Jason said...

dem-o-graph-ics, clap, clap, clap-clap-clap

Jon said...

During the Yankees-Orioles game in Baltimore, they had a shot of a Baltimore fan filling out his ballot. He had selected Luke Scott (.250/.331/.431).

Maybe we can just prevent fans from voting for anyone on the home team? That wouldn't work in Baltimore anymore because most of the fans are for the away team these days, but it might work in other stadiums.

Anonymous said...

Um, Daniel, you might have noticed that 4 of those 9 players play in Texas...

Park factors are kind of important here.

themarksmith said...

All-Star Games have and will always be about popularity. Papi, Pedroia, and Youkilis made a lot of fans last season when they played well in the playoffs/World Series. If you want the Best Players of the First Half Game, I agree, take the voting away from the fans or at least the amount of importance (kind of like American Idol ... oh my god, did I just say that?) For now, the "Stars" part figures to mean the guys with the most "star" power.

joshjs said...

It's not that hard to finger East Coast bias. People vote for who they've heard of.

However, I will admit that, at tonight's Brewers/Braves game, my sister told me she didn't know whom to vote for in the AL, and I said that she probably couldn't go wrong picking a Red Sox at any given position.

I'm sure Julio Lugo would be grateful.

Dayn Perry said...

I wonder if Sox and Yankee fans are aware that most of us in flyover states find them equally annoying. In case they don't ... We don't care who wins; just don't attend road games in the Midwest.

Jason said...


Yes, we're aware that you don't like us.

Overall, I'm a pretty nice person. I pay my taxes on time. I donate time, money, clothes and toys to various charities. I volunteer to coach the kids. I treat others with respect and do it fairly. Yet, I was born into a Yankee household that is located in the Metro NYC DMA and that's who I root for.

But you can continue to hate me. It's OK. I'm OK with it.

(tongue firmly planted in cheek)

Kelly said...

It's America. We vote for the names we know, whether or not they're the best for the job. This isn't surprising.

Though seriously -- Hamilton needs to be in the OF. There is a clear runaway there, right?

Drew said...

Should second half numbers be considered completely irrelevant to all-star games? Otherwise you've got to consider what a guy did in the second half of the previous season as well as the first half of this season when you're looking at a player to evaluate him as an all-star. Give him a full season of play. Maybe, like Ryan Howard (and seriously, I can't stand that guy for some reason, but he's a great example) he's a notorious slow starter. But if you take his second half from last season and his first half of this year, he's still a solid all-star pick. I say don't take the stars of the first half. If you must evaluate a time period, evaluate the time since the last all-star game. That seems most fair to me.

Daniel said...

Yes, I realize that park factors play a role in OPS, but that wouldn't really help the Red Sox on the list either. And a lot of the Texas guys (Bradley and Hamilton especially) were so far ahead of the other guys that I think they would still come out ahead if you adjusted for park factors.

I think the solution is that fans of other teams are just going to have to live with it. It's not ideal, but the fact is that the New York teams and Boston have more fans than any other team. They have a lot of money, they make a lot of money, so they are highly visible. That's the way it goes.

And I understand that it's the All STAR game. Stars are supposed to play a prominent role, whether they're playing at an All Star level or not. I just dislike that the guys who REALLY deserve it (Hamilton, Quentin) won't get the honor of starting, and some guys who really DON'T deserve it, at least not this year (Papi, Vlad, A-Rod), will be in the starting lineup again. Some guys, like Jeter, who are having a decent season (at least compared to other AL shortstops, offensively), I'm willing to give the nod for the star factor.

themarksmith said...