Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Shut Up, Jayson Stark: All-Star Game Edition

People at ESPN are really stupid and their analyses make absolutely no sense.

Jayson Stark put out this piece of stool today, claiming that because members of the Giants who didn't deserve to be in the All-Star game played well, we were all somehow stupid to criticize their selections. Let's take a moment to discuss how crazily idiotic that statement is.

The All-Star Game has two purposes: one is to showcase the best players in each league, and the other is to determine which league's team gets home field advantage in the World Series (I would say that a third purpose could be honoring great players in their twilight years, which is sort of a subsidiary of the first criterion). These two purposes are occasionally at odds with each other when one considers putting together the All-Star teams. If you're just showcasing the best players, then you might have an unbalanced team, and a better overall team could be constructed that might have a better chance to win the actual game. If you're just trying to win the game, then some players who deserve All-Star recognition might be left off unjustly.

Pablo Sandoval starting over David Wright and Buster Posey starting over Carlos Ruiz have nothing to do with either of these All-Star criteria. Their good performances in the game were not predictable in any real way and have nothing to do with determining deserving All-Stars.

Pablo Sandoval having hit a three-run triple does not mean we're idiots. He got a triple, something that he hasn't done all year. David Wright actually has 2 triples, along with being ahead of Pablo Sandoval in literally every meaningful offensive category. How are we idiots because he hit a triple? If we were smart, would we have predicted that he'd get a hit? Is it a foregone conclusion that this triple is better than what David Wright would have done in the same situation? Based on the way they have played so far this year, Sandoval was less likely to hit a triple/get a hit/do something good in that scenario than David Wright was. The fact that he did get a hit doesn't mean that he was more likely to get a hit than David Wright. It just means that he happened to get meaningful hit. Any player can get a meaningful hit. My question to Jayson Stark is: how can we take this information and use it to select future All-Stars? You know, to make sure we're not idiotic again. How can we predict a player's potential performance in an All-Star game based on criteria other than that player's performance in the season so far? Here's how: YOU CAN'T SO SHUT THE FUCK UP JAYSON STARK.

The fact that Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey, and Melky Cabrera played well in last night's All-Star game does not mean that we should not have criticized the fact that they were chosen to play before more deserving players. That's such a logical fallacy that it hurts my head. By all accounts, the starter for the All-Star game should be the best player at that position to that point in the season. That should be the case if you're just trying to showcase the best players, or if you're just trying to win the game. Any other metric for determining the starters is idiotic. And Jayson Stark implies that we shouldn't use a metric. We shouldn't use any real criteria at all. The criteria we should use, according to Jayson Stark, includes how well a player played in the All-Star game that hasn't happened yet. That, obviously, does not make any GD sense. Good analysis, Worldwide Leader in Dipshits.

P.S. I had no problem with Melky Cabrera starting. Just figured I'd throw that in.