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All-Star Duds Blow From Windy City


Yasmani Grandal's .177 Batting Average Did Not Deter Chicago Fans From Stuffing Ballot Boxes For Him


Thank goodness all fans do not live in Chicago. Judging from the first round of the Major League Baseball All-Star voting, neither the North Side nor the South Side folks pay attention to the stats of the sport.

On Sunday, June 4 baseball released the final contenders for the starting teams in the American League and National League, three candidates for each position as well as nine for the outfield. Probably because of home team bias, especially in Chicago, some of the worst batting averages have made the list.

No one in the history of the game has made an All-Star team with a worse batting average than Yasmani Grandal, the White Sox catcher who is hitting an anemic .177. Teammate Jose Abreu is suffering one of the worst seasons of his career, yet the reigning Most Valuable Player somehow is leading the vote getters at first base.

Chicagoans have shown nearly as much ignorance when choosing their ballots for the Senior Circuit, or else how could shortstop Javier Baez make the cut with just a .225 batting average? A mere two points better rests Willson Contreras, who looks like an sad anomoly on the catcher ballot with future Hall of Famers Buster Posey of San Francisco and Yadier Molina of St. Louis.

Also presumably benefiting from the stat-challenged electorate in Chi-Town is outfielder Joc Pederson, a former Los Angeles Dodger who is batting .233. Anthony Rizzo, who like Abreu on the South Side, made the next round in spite of a below average season.

Granted, it is not unusual for fans to vote for their home team guys to some an extent, but there is something else that is mystifying about the ballots of Chicago fans this year. They have obviously shunned the one home town player who, unlike the aforementioned names, actually deserves to win a spot on the starting All-Star team.

Tim Anderson, leadoff man and A. L. batting champion, did not finish as one of the top three vote-getters at shortstop. For some reason those same Chicago fans who found Grandal's .177 batting average warranted him an All-Star spot, balked at the .295 mark of Anderson.

The shortstops left on the ballot are worthy, the trifecta of Boston's Xander Bogaerts, Toronto's Bo Bichette, and Houston's Carlos Correa. Most fans would argue that Correa, in spite of good numbers, should have been shunned on the ballots.

He was, after all, part of the Houston club who cheated its way to a championship in 2017, along with other All-Star candidates Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman. “Ass-tros” fans must have amped up their voting efforts, for few people outside of Houston who would honor these guys with by checking their names on a ballot.

They are less responsible for Correa's inclusion, however, than the White Sox fans, who should have given Anderson the same support they obviously showed for the underachieving Grandal and Abreu. Anderson should feel slighted by his home town fans, portending potential trouble during the three years remaining on his contract.

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