Varitek Gets All-Star Nod

Wednesday, July 9th, 2003 @ 7:33 pm | Sports

The voting for the 32nd members of the American and National League All-Star teams is complete and the fans corrected a major oversight on the part of the players vote — Jason Varitek was named the final American League All-Star, joining teammates Manny Ramirez (starter) and Nomar Garciaparra (reserve).

For the most part, the players did a wonderful job of electing the backup players. Aside from Ramon Hernandez over Varitek, the only truly problematic decision was electing Carl Everett as backup designated hitter. The vast majority of players voted for Edgar Martinez, who also won the fans vote. That meant Everett, who has played 8 games at DH. That decision was summed up best by Jason Stark — Everett was elected by All The Idiots Who Didn’t Vote For Edgar.

However, I can’t think of any reason why players voted for Hernandez over Varitek. Varitek is widely considered one of the best defensive catchers in baseball. Varitek has a higher OPS than Hernandez, more RBIs, more home runs, and more runs scored. Also, he’s done it in 26 fewer at bats.

Furthermore, Varitek is a switch-hitter, whereas Hernandez hits right-handed. Considering the winner of the All-Star game gets home field advantage in the World Series, it seems like Varitek would be a better fit coming off the bench since he negates any sort of righty-righty or lefty-lefty match up.

Actually, when you look at the numbers you could easily argue Varitek was a more deserving All-Star than Jorge Posada, the starting catcher for the American League. Posada has more runs scored and home runs, but Varitek has more RBIs, hits, and a higher OPS. Again, Varitek has done this in 23 fewer at bats. However, the two catchers are so close, and both are switch-hitters, that I’m not going to lose sleep over which of these two was voted in by the fans.

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