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Quality Control: a Quick Study of the All-Star Final Vote

Third time's the charm, right?  (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
Third time's the charm, right? (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
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The All-Star Final Vote is ten years old now.  Jesus, time goes by fast.  If you haven't gotten around to it yet, you'd better hurry: voting ends today at 3 p.m. CT.  This isn't going to be an article trying to convince anyone to vote for Paul Konerko.  Anyone reading this site knows he's the most deserving candidate.  Nope, this is going to be a look back at some weird trends that seem to have emerged over the decade that this tradition has existed.  Did you realize that every team has had at least one nominee for the Final Vote except the Seattle Mariners?  Even the Expos at least got their hat in the ring thanks to our old pal Orlando Cabrera.  Or that in 2007, all ten candidates were pitchers?  That's right, now that I've run out of opponent previews I've slipped back into over-analyzing even more meaningless things.  I hope you enjoy the ride.

  • In a somewhat odd and surprising twist of fate, no team has had more representatives than our Chicago White Sox, who have had nine nominees: Magglio Ordonez in '02, Frank Thomas in '03 and '04, Paul Konerko in '04, '10 and '11, Scott Podsednik in '05, A.J. Pierzynski in '06, and Jermaine Dye in '08. 
  • The Phillies have the lead in the National League with seven nominees: Bobby Abreu in '04 and '06, Billy Wagner and Brett Myers in '05, Pat Burrell in '08, and Shane Victorino in '09 and '11.
  • Three teams have had two candidates in the same season: the 2004 White Sox (Thomas and Konerko), the 2005 Yankees (Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui), and the 2005 Phillies (Wagner and Myers).
  • Paul Konerko and Billy Wagner are the only two players to have been nominated three times.  Rather impressively, Wagner's three nods were all for different teams: the Phillies in '05, the Mets in '06, and the Braves in '10).
  • The Cincinnati Reds are the only team with a perfect record for election, as Joey Votto won the vote last year and has been their only representative. 
  • The American League has sent five also-rans to the ASG as substitutes: Jason Giambi in '03, Francisco Liriano in '06, Carlos Pena and Chone Figgins in '09, and Paul Konerko in '10.
  • The National League has sent seven also-rans to the ASG as subs: Luis Castillo in '03, Billy Wagner in '05, Chris Capuano in '06, Roy Oswalt and Brandon Webb in '07, David Wright in '08, and Heath Bell in '10.
  • I really think MLB hates the Mariners.  No A.L. pennant, no Final Vote candidates.  Suck it Pacific Northwest.
  • The Red Sox have won the most Final Votes, having done so three times: Johnny Damon in '02, Jason Varitek in '03, and Hideki Okajima in '07.
  • The Brewers (Geoff Jenkins in '03, Corey Hart in '08), the White Sox (Podsednik in '05, Pierzynski in '06), the Yankees (Matsui in '04, Nick Swisher in '10), and the Phillies (Abreu in '04, Victorino in '09) are the only other teams to win multiple times.
  • Lew Ford of the 2004 A.L. ballot had the shortest and worst career of every player to ever appear on either league's ballot.
  • Nine left fielders have appeared on the ballot for the Junior Circuit, more than any other position.  Only one short stop has ever been listed (Jeter in '05).
  • Starting pitcher is the top spot in the Senior Circuit, with eleven appearances.  Luis Castillo in '03 is the only second baseman to ever have the honor.
  • So far only six positions have won the vote in the A.L.: center field (Damon), catcher (Varitek and Pierzynski), left field (Matsui and Podsednik), relief pitcher (Okajima), third base (Evan Longoria in '08 and Brandon Inge in '09), and right field (Swisher).
  • The N.L. has been even less democratic, only using five positions: center field (Andruw Jones in '02, Hart, and Victorino), left field (Jenkins), right field (Abreu), starting pitcher (Roy Oswalt in '05 and Chris Young in '07) and first base (Nomar Garciaparra in '06 and Votto).