All that carpal tunnel syndrome Giants fans developed in the last couple days may have gone for naught. After nearly 70 million online and text message votes were cast, Pablo Sandoval has missed out on making the 2009 All-Star Team via the MLB Final Vote fan poll. Shane Victorino of the Philadelphia Phillies has been declared the winner.
Pablo Sandoval, nicknamed "Kung Fu Panda" except on KNBR where they've one-upped that by dubbing him "the KFP", bests Shane Victorino in every important statistical category. Comparing Sandoval's stats to Victorino's stats, we see that Sandoval has a higher batting average, more home runs, more RBI, and higher on-base and slugging percentages.
Additionally, Victorino's nickname "The Flyin' Hawaiian" is substantially less clever than Sandoval's nickname.
But Shane Victorino's stupid team won the stupid World Series last season, and he's a five-year vet. Pablo Sandoval is on his first full season, and just not as well-known a player. This was, after all, a fan-vote popularity contest.
But Giants fans have no reason to hang their bobble-heads, because Sandoval could still make the All-Star team. The Mets' Carlos Beltran is on the disabled list and certainly will not be able to play in the All-Star game, and the Phillies' Raul Ibanez is just returning from the DL and may not want to risk aggravating his groin injury. And really, who would?
So NL All-Star manager Charlie Manuel may still have to fill a slot or two, and he'd be wise to consider the first runner-up in the Final Vote. That way Sandoval would make the team, and utter panda-monium would break out in San Francisco.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who has no intention of handling this disappointment like a mature grown-up adult.