I think we can all agree – that is all of us who don’t live in the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area and perhaps even a few people in the Philadelphia area who watched David Wright wreck the Phillies last night with 4 RBIs–that the biggest travesty of this year’s All-Star game is Pablo Sandoval over Wright at NL 3rd base. Who’s responsible?
Every couple of years, fans in some city stuff the ballot box for a hometown favorite, and something like this happens. As local favorites go, Sandoval isn’t bad – as we go to press, he’s hitting .313 with seven home runs and is one of the primary reasons the San Francisco Giants have overtaken the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. So you can’t say he doesn’t belong on the All-Star team.
David Wright, on the other hand, has 4 more home runs, counting his host last night off the Phillies’ Cole Hamel., and is outhitting Sandoval by about 40 points. Wright is also a better fielder than Sandoval. In Fact, Wright is probably the best all-around player in the National League.
Are New York fans to blame for this injustice? Mostly, yes, I think so. Sandoval got more than 5.7 million votes while Wright clocked in at slightly better than 4.1
Really, what can you say when a San Francisco 3rd baseman is getting
outhit by a New York first baseman by 60 points and out polls him in the
All-Star balloting by 1.6 million? The area from which the Mets pull
their support is about 8 times more populous than the one the Giants
draw on. Does this indicate a laziness on the part of New York fans?
Apathy? I don’t know what else you can call it.
But we can’t put this off just to New York fans. David Wright has been
in the league 9 years to Sandoval’s 5, and he has been one of the NL’s
best players for nearly that entire stretch. How could fans in other NL
cities not know that Wright is a great player and, by a mile, the best
3rd baseman in the league?
All this just goes to prove that the old prejudice about New York
players, that they always get favorable treatment in the All-Star game
and MVP voting, is nonsense. And it also proves that the old saying
about New York as the country’s best baseball city is also nonsense.
Josh Hamilton set an All-Star record of more than 11 million votes.
What kind of country do we live in where New York fans couldn’t give
David Wright at least half of that? A big wrong doesn’t make Wright.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 6, 2012