Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is one of five finalists for the National League All-Star final vote. So, too, is teammate and outfielder Yasiel Puig. Despite logging more than 200 fewer at-bats, Puig leads Gonzalez in Wins Above Replacement, 2.4 to 1.9, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs has Puig leading Gonzalez 1.9 to 1.5.
For ostensibly altruistic and not statistical reasons, Gonzalez is supporting Puig for the Final Vote.
Via MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick:
“For me, personally, I want Puig to go,” said Gonzalez, a four-time All-Star. “I’m voting for Puig.”
“That’s what the fans want to see,” said Gonzalez, who was wearing a Puig 66 shirt while being interviewed. “It’s from the heart.”
Gonzalez admits he would feel differently if he had never been an All-Star.
“No, then I’d want to go,” he said. “But that’s why I want him to go.”
Said manager Don Mattingly: “I’m voting for both.”
Puig has taken the baseball world by storm since making his Major League debut on June 3. After going 2-for-4 in this afternoon’s victory over the Giants, Puig is hitting .409 with 17 extra-base hits (eight of which are home runs) and five stolen bases.
Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.
Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.
Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:
I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.
The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.
Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.
Jim Leyland also got in on the action:
Go Puerto Rico.