Monday, July 02, 2007

Vote for Bondo


The Tigers will have at least five All-Star representatives at the All-Star game in San Francisco next Tuesday. Jeremy Bonderman can make the team if enough fans vote for him in the “Final Vote” balloting. It is going to be difficult for Bonderman to beat out Roy Halladay and it has nothing to do with their respective numbers this season. Baseball fans in general tend to vote for the most popular players. I don’t think there is any doubt that Halladay is more popular than Bonderman at this point in their careers. Bonderman should have no problem beating out the other players in the voting so it comes down to Bondo vs. Doc. It’s too bad this vote can’t be based solely on numbers because it wouldn’t be close…

Bonderman---9-1 3.58--1.18--8.2--.247--122
Halladay------9-3 4.27--1.24--5.7--.276--106

Fans can vote as many times as they want until 6pm on Thursday. Voting is incredibly easy. I voted 75 times last night and plan to get in a few more votes before Thursday. Click any of the three giant links to start voting.


Granderson and Sheff were snubbed

All five Tigers that have already made the team were selected by either the fans or the player vote. Jim Leyland did not select any Tigers with what amounted to his two “free” selections. Leyland could have selected Gary Sheffield or Curtis Granderson over Victor Martinez but Leyland stated that he “didn’t feel that would have been right.” IMO, Leyland had every right to take either one of his deserving outfielders. In many measures, their numbers are better than Martinez’s and—even if they are too close to call—Leyland had every right to pick his own guy in the event of a perceived tie. As it turns out, Sheffield wasn’t going to go to the All-Star game anyway but from what I’ve read; Leyland would have picked Martinez regardless.

Here is a comparison of Martinez to both Sheffield and Granderson:



Keep in mind that Granderson doesn’t have near the RBI opportunities as Martinez since he bats from the leadoff spot. Granderson leads off every game without a man in scoring position. That’s 48 at-bats where Martinez has the opportunity to drive in runs that Granderson does not have.

Again, I think as the AL Manager, Leyland had the right to bring his own guy in the event of a toss-up. I don’t see how a Granderson/Sheffield/Martinez can be viewed as anything other than a toss-up. It is possible that Leyland felt bad that Pudge made the team when Martinez is having a much better season. He may have taken the opportunity to make up for that by bringing in Martinez. Similarly though, Sheffield and Granderson were kept out in favor of less deserving outfielders. It’s tough to find three outfielders in the AL that have better numbers than Sheffield or Granderson. Both have better numbers than every reserve OF on the AL roster with the possible exception of Torii Hunter (and that’s even debatable). So it would seem that Leyland could have taken Sheffield or Granderson for the same reason that he chose to take Martinez. Plus, managers almost never select three catchers.

It’ll be interesting to see if Leyland brings Granderson if any of the AL outfielders are unable to attend. I don’t see any reason to not bring Granderson in that situation. Leyland already played the “fairness” game with his initial selections. He doesn’t need to endear himself to anyone else around baseball by bypassing his own deserving players again if a spot opens up.

I don’t have a problem with Leyland picking Johan Santana with his other “free” spot. I’m not sure how Santana wasn’t among the five starting pitchers selected by the player voting. He is the best pitcher in the American League by a mile.

I’m also guessing that Leyland will take Bonderman if any AL pitchers can’t attend. Bonderman was the 7th pitcher among the player vote. Santana was 6th. It only makes sense that Bondo would be the first alternate. Two years ago, Terry Francona stated that any pitching spot that opened would go to his own guy (Matt Clement). Bonderman was deserving of a selection then and that game was in Detroit to boot. It would be nice to see Leyland take the same stance this year with Bonderman. Bonderman should be playing in his second All-Star game this year but it’s possible that he’ll get left out again. Hopefully Tigers fans can continue their strong showing in the All-Star voting by getting Bondo into the game.

And once again…..


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