Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Win One For Chooch

Caption: Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz hits a game-winning home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates, June 26, 2012.

Image credit: Screenshot of a Major League Baseball highlight video by Cujo359

As injustices go, this is a small one. Still, it's bugging me for some reason:

Carlos Ruiz is losing ground in his quest to be the starting catcher for the National League in the All-Star Game.

He is in third place in fan voting with 2,448,942. He trails San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey by 887,040 votes. Posey has 3,335,982 votes. St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is second with 3,119,530 votes.

Ruiz entered Monday ranked third in the NL in on-base percentage (.418), fourth in batting average (.348) and seventh in slugging percentage (.560) and batting average with runners in scoring position (.351). But it looks like the Phillies' slow start and his lack of name recognition compared to Posey and Molina are hurting him.

Ruiz needs votes for starting spot in All Star Game

Ruiz, known as "Chooch" to many Phillies fans for reasons I can't explain, has been one of the best catchers in the league for the past six seasons, and yet has yet to be invited to the All Star Game. Like the MLB article says, he's having a terrific season this year, all the more remarkable because he's almost alone among Phillies hitters in being able to find the ball and hit it somewhere useful. He's also been one of their better clutch hitters lately, not that this would take all that much.

Buster Posey and Yadier Molina, the other two catchers mentioned in that article, are also having good years, and they've had exemplary careers, albeit a rather short one so far in Posey's case. All three deserve to go. It would just be nice if all three got the recognition they deserved, instead of leaving it up to an All Star ballot that names several players who have yet to play a game, and fans who can vote over and over again despite not knowing who is even having a good year on all those other teams.

If you'd like to do something about that, the article goes on to say:

Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via mobile device -- using the -- 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Ruiz needs votes for starting spot in All Star Game

There's nothing we can do about our economy's spiral into third world status, losing our civil liberties, or our short-sighted foreign policy, but this we can do something about.

So, fans, vote early, and vote often.

UPDATE: The first edition of this article said that Ruiz has been one of the best catchers in the league for the past five seasons, but that phrase left out the 2006 season, which was a pretty good one. That's why it now says "the last six seasons".

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