Democracy, in theory, is a utopia. Citizens of differing race, class, gender, and religion are bound by a government that grants them the right to vote. We the masses, in theory, elect the candidates that are best qualified to represent us and lead us. And, for a time - about 224 years - the system worked. America was a great place to live because of our democratic ideals. Then, we elected George W. Bush to be our 43rd president in 2000.
In light of that, it's no surprise that Americans don't know how to vote for the best baseball players to play in the Mid Summer Classic. Once again, the fans voted in a few random schlubs who didn't deserve the honor instead of, oh, I don't know, PAT BURRELL.
In his 9th (and so far, best) season in Red Pinstripes, Pat The Bat has turned the corner and been a feared force from the right side of the plate. But the Phillies most clutch hitter was not voted in by the fans, most of whom seem to hail from the Chicago and Boston areas (7 Cubs and 7 Red Sox???!!!)
Here's an excerpt from an email I received from Phan contributor Dicky Toe:
Burrell numbers aren't that great. They're decent. He may have "played with a lot of heart", but I didn't get to see it.
A little background on Toe. He's from the Philadelphia area, and grew up an avid Eagles fan. Unfortunately, his time in New England has poisoned his mind much like what happened to Anakin Skywalker in The Clone Wars. As a result, Dicky Toe now roots for the Red Sox, and regularly channels the Dark Side.
Burrell numbers not that great? Mr. Toe clearly has never heard of the most important hitting stat in baseball - OPS. It stands for On-base Plus Slugging Percentage, and it quantifies a hitter's ability to get on base AND hit for power. Anything over a .800 is good. Anything over a .900 is very good. And anything over 1.000 is elite.
Here are the OPS's for the outfielders elected by millions of retarded fans (mostly from Chicago) to rep the NL in the All-Star Game.
Starter - Braun: .865
Starter - Fukudome: .811
Starter - Soriano: .879
Reserve - Holliday: 1.002
Reserve - Ludwick: .944
Reserve - McLouth: .879
And PAT BURRELL? ----> .994
Fuck you, indeed. If you want to dig deeper, Burrell is posting a Bonds-like 1:1 BB:KK ratio (72 K's to 66 BB's as of 7/8/08). And if you ever WATCH the Phils, Toey, you'll quickly notice that Burrell rarely ever strikes out in a clutch situation (coughcoughRyanHowardcough). It's a far cry from the solo-shot hitting pretty boy who batted .209 in 2003. He doesn't swing at bad pitches. He's cut down on the hair gel. And he KILLS the Mets. I'm watching the Phillies play the Cardinals right now, and Burrell just doubled.
www.mlb.com. Click on that. Vote for Pat.
Now, here are the real starting lineups for the 2008 All-Star game, which the American League will almost certainly win.
C Brian McCann (ATL)
Apologies to: Geovany Soto (CHI). McCann, the power-hitting Pillsbury dough boy, is the most talented catcher in the National League, and would be starting this game if he played in Chicago or New York.
1B Lance Berkman (HOU)
2B CHASE UTLEY
SS Hanley Ramirez (FLA)
3B Chipper Jones (ATL)
OF Nate McClouth (PIT)
Rumor has it PNC Park is threatening to pack up and leave town unless Pittsburgh can build a better baseball team. One of the breakout stars of 2008, McLouth is fully deserving of the fan vote.
OF Matt Holliday (COL)
Apologies to: Alfonso Soriano (CHI) and Ryan Braun (MIL). Soriano has been injured a lot, and Holliday is the best all-around OF in the league. Unfortunately for him, the Rockies are a mess this year and the crickets outnumber the fans at vacuous Coors Field.
OF PAT "Delaware Ave" BURRELL
See Above. He doesn't run well, but he parties harder than you pregame. Unfortunately, the fans voted for "Kosuke Fukudome," which sounds like it tastes really good. What a travesty.
NEXT POST - Either the Phan's American League All-Star Picks, or Passed Out At The Free Bon Jovi Concert in Central Park!