Let me preface this by saying I actually like Jason Varitek. I have no problem with him. I don't care what team he plays for.
But he is having one God awful season.
And his fellow players have put him into the All-Star game.
There have been some terrible All-Stars over the years, sometimes due to the absurdly bad popularity contest that is the fan vote, sometimes just due to the fact that SOMEONE has to go from every team, and it's not always the most deserving guy. George Sherrill, 2008 Baltimore Orioles, for instance. You might have more need to have Sherrill there than, say, Brian Roberts. (Go vote for Brian Bob in the Final Vote!)
The problem I have is Varitek wasn't voted in by the fans. Even Red Sox fans have got to admit that Varitek freakin' sucks. And he wasn't even put there by his manager. He was put there by the moron players, who either just think he's a great guy or have a total misunderstanding of how good Jason Varitek is anymore. He used to be a hell of a ballplayer. That is no longer the case.
I'm sure if you ask Jason Varitek, he's pretty surprised he's going to New York for the game. Doesn't seem like the sort of cat that doesn't know he's having a bad season, or isn't really disappointed by it, or isn't working hard every day to find his swing.
What is the critera the players used to select Varitek? They know who he is? He's "respected"?
You can argue that it really doesn't mean anything, but that's as hollow as Major League Baseball insisting that the game does mean something. And if you're going to put this stupid exhibition game into the role of World Series home field advantage decider, then how can you really allow for someone as bad as Varitek to be there?
Here's an easy list: AL catchers ranked by VORP.
- Joe Mauer, MIN, 27.1
- A.J. Pierzynski, CWS, 14.8
- Dioner Navarro, TB, 13.1
- Gerald Laird, TEX, 9.3
- Ivan Rodriguez, DET, 8.9
- Jorge Posada, NYY, 8.6
- Kelly Shoppach, CLE, 8.3
- Miguel Olivo, KC, 7.6
- Rod Barajas, TOR, 7.0
- Mike Napoli, LAA, 5.6
- Gregg Zaun, TOR, 5.2
- Kurt Suzuki, OAK, 4.3
- Ramon Hernandez, BAL, 1.3
- Victor Martinez, CLE, 1.3
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, TEX, -1.2
- John Buck, KC, -1.6
- Jason Varitek, BOS, -2.3
- Jeff Mathis, LAA, -2.5
- Jose Molina, NYY, -6.3
- Kenji Johjima, SEA, -8.2