Pedroia may not get All-Star spot, but that doesn't mean he isn't one
There’s not much more time left for All-Star voting, which ends Thursday at midnight. Papi seems to have his spot locked in. Dustin Pedroia, however, not so much.
Pedroia is still about 1.1 million votes behind Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, and this isn’t sitting well with Red Sox fans. ESPN Boston pointed out that Pedroia’s Wins Above Replacement should get him the spot. With a WAR of 4.3 and 11 defensive runs saved versus Cano’s 3.1 and -2 respectively, he should absolutely be the All-Star. Pedroia also has a .322 average while Cano is at .287.
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But many people seem to be wondering when we start rioting in the streets because of this. I’m not too sure people should really be that concerned. Just take a look at the rest of the list that ESPN provides for the American league All-Star voting. Based on numbers alone, not all of the voting is accurate to the abilities of the players. Jason Kipnis has numbers that put him at the top of the second basemen. He’s better than Cano even. Yet he’s not one of the top five vote-getters.
In the outfield, quite a few players are gunning for the third spot. Currently, the Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista has it with Nick Markakis, Torii Hunter, Nelson Cruz, and Nate McLouth close behind. Jacoby Ellsbury and Coco Crisp are about a million votes behind, which shouldn’t be the case. And the Orioles’ J.J. Hardy has a pretty firm grip on the shortstop position even though I wouldn’t ever say he’s the best by that much. You could also probably argue that he isn’t the best.
So what’s to be learned from this? All-Star voting is about one part analysis and two parts popularity contest. As much as we all love Pedey, Cano is more popular with baseball fans in general.
Sure, we’d love to see Pedey on the All-Star team. He’s a better player, and he’s fun to watch. But if he doesn’t make it, his reputation is not at stake. The guy is still a three-time All-Star with a Silver Slugger award, an AL Rookie of the Year, an AL MVP, a two-time Gold Glove winner, and, oh yeah, a World Series Champion.
So remember, if any Yankees fans try to use this against you, you just show them the numbers.