Keith Olbermann, former SportsCenter anchor turned polarizing political pundit, has his own MLB.com baseball blog, and in a post Thursday, he busted out some aggressive words for the Giants All-Star Game selections.
Yes, this is becoming normal and, yes, it's less awkward when an opinionated writer issues a screed instead of a manager, but Olbermann came out swinging nonetheless.
"The only man I’ve ever met with a bigger head than my own, Bruce Bochy, swung and missed, twice," Olbermann wrote. "One could stretch a point and say Tim Lincecum deserved a trip to Phoenix based on his Cy Young yields and post-season work last year and goofy popularity, but it’s still stretching a point.
"But Ryan Vogelsong? Helluva story, but not an All-Star. Not even close. Desperate homerism, pathetic, embarrassing. He was an All-Star, and you guys sent him back to AAA in the spring?"
Olbermann wasn't done there, however. Once he tweeted the MLB link to his 300,000-some followers, a few Giants fans apparently got upset at his harsh words for Bochy and lit up Olbermann's timeline.
Please -don't criticize others. You're obviously an Instantly-Entitled Giants fan, embarrassing an otherwise good franchise
Vogelsong is tied for 29th in the majors in wins. It's a sweet story, but he shouldn't have made the first cut. Sorry.
you Giants fans are making fools out of yourself. How you could pass Yankee & Phil fans for obnoxiousness amazes me
OK, OK, I'm wrong: Vogelsong's an All-Star. In fact, the entire Giants team should represent the NL. They're the wonderfullest!
Olbermann also noted that he's "not [a] Giants hater," he's a "front-runner hater" and continued to beat on the silly notion that Vogelsong's lack of wins -- "just" six! -- are a clear-cut indication that he's not worthy of the selection.
This is an outdated and ridiculous idea; there is an argument that Vogelsong shouldn't have been an All-Star, but it's not based on his win total.
His Wins Above Replacement (WAR), courtesy of Fangraphs, is a better indication -- he sits at just 1.4. (by contrast, Roy Halladay is 4.8 and Tim Lincecum is at 3.2).
Were he to qualify for the ERA title right now, Vogelsong would be fourth in the major leagues with a 2.13 ERA; his 84.1 innings leave him two outs shy of qualifying for the title.
ERA's not the end-all, be-all for pitchers anymore, but it still matters, unlike wins, which, as can clearly be seen by every starting pitcher on the Giants roster, aren't dependent on a pitcher's ability and are typically out of his control.
Look, stats aside, you can make a case that Vogelsong's selection hosed some other National League pitchers. Tommy Hanson could have made the team. Anibal Sanchez was a contender. (And Jack McKeon will tell you that too!) Ian Kennedy's pitched well.
But Olbermann's argument that Kevin Correia of the Pirates should make the All-Star roster simply because he has 11 wins for Pittsburgh even though he's pitched 30 whole innings of less impressive baseball than Vogelsong is ridiculous.
All-Star selections aren't made based on career stats (though you shouldn't tell Derek Jeter that). They're based on success over a single half of a year. And over the course of the season's first half, Ryan Vogelsong's done nothing but pitch well, pitch deep in games, and help the Giants pick up wins.
That his coach happened to pick him shouldn't demean the success he's seen in 2011.