McCann deserves an All-Star start

As an objective journalist, I’m not supposed to serve as Brian McCann’s campaign manager.  But while presenting the facts, it seems like it would be pretty easy to persuade you to click here  and show McCann the final-week support he needs to earn the nod as the National League’s starting catcher during this year’s All-Star Game.
 
When the latest ballot results were released on Monday, it wasn’t too surprising to see that Yadier Molina was still leading the way among NL catchers.  St. Louis fans have always shown strong All-Star support to their favorite Cardinals.
 
But it didn’t make much sense to see that over the course of seven days, Molina had doubled his lead over McCann to 315,973 votes.
 
While hitting .279 with five homers and a .736 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage), Molina is enjoying a solid season and if you want to bring defense into the equation, then maybe you can make a case for him pleasing the hometown fans with his presence in the starting lineup during this year’s All-Star Game, which will be played at Busch Stadium on July 14.
 
But even while accounting for their gloves can you truly say that Molina is more deserving than McCann, whose .318 batting average is 39 points higher than Molina’s mark, which ranks second among NL catchers? 

In addition, McCann’s .915 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage)  is 169 points better than any other NL catcher.
 
Having essentially missed the month of April while dealing with blurred vision, McCann doesn’t possess the same kind of power number that have helped him gain an All-Star selection during each of his first three full Major League seasons. 

But even with this long absence, McCann ranks second among NL catchers in homers (6) and third with 29  RBIs. 

With 52 fewer at-bats, McCann has tallied five more RBIs than Yadier Molina.  And in 63 fewer at-bats, he has moved to within 12 RBIs of the leading mark posted by San Francisco’s Bengie Molina, who also paces the NL catchers with 10 homers. 

Dating back to the start of the 2006 season, McCann leads all Major League catchers in doubles, homers, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.   

While these marks shouldn’t necessarily affect this year’s voting, they do serve as further proof that McCann and Minnesota’s Joe Mauer have undoubtedly established themselves as the game’s top offensive catchers. 

With this in mind, there’s little doubt that McCann will gain a fourth consecutive All-Star appearance.  But while he’ll never admit it, the satisfaction of this latest selection would be accompanied with the disappointment that will be felt if he doesn’t get the starting nod that he seemingly deserves. 

Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until July 2 at 11:59 p.m. ET. 

The Yankees are here:
   When the Yankees last visited Turner Field in 2000, the opener of that three-game series pitted Greg Maddux against Roger Clemens.    During this battle between eventual 300-game winners, Maddux allowed seven earned runs and 13 hits in 5 2/3 innings.  But with Clemens allowing six runs  — four earned –  in five innings, the Braves claimed an 11-7 win that was aided by Brian Jordan’s  four-RBI performance.
 
With Tommy Hanson slated to start against Chien-Ming Wang tonight, this week’s series opener doesn’t provide the same kind of epic pitching matchup.  But it’s going to be fun to see how Hanson handles himself while staring at the Yankee pinstripes during what will be just his fourth Major League start.
  
When asked yesterday about the potential anxiety he might experience while pitching to Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez, Hanson said, “They’re hitters, so if I make my pitches, I feel like I’m going to be alright.”
 
If asked to compare Hanson to former Braves, I’d have to say he possesses Kevin Millwood’s quiet confidence and John Smoltz’s dominant arsenal.  The kid is going to be special and his celebrity will instantaneously grow if he produces a gem in front of the New York media tonight.
 
Heyward update:  Jason Heyward missed three weeks with a strained right oblique.  Since returning to the Class A Myrtle Beach lineup last week, he has four hits in 17 at-bats.   The rosters for this year’s Futures Game will be announced later this week and there’s obviously a chance that Heyward will be among those invited to participate. 

52 Comments

I did not realize that Yunel Escobar was in the movie, “The Goonies”. Great job Yunnie~

http://a0.vox.com/6a00b8ea0715a11bc000c2251c9c90549d-pi

Mark, can’t Charlie just start McCan? and Is Escobar playing today?

Ha, thats really not all that funny, Yunels pretty good looking.

Costa that’s pretty lame you had to carry that over from the previous article. What are you, a two year old starved for mommy’s attention?

That’s not true, I’m a man, I’m 40, pick on me!

Why aren’t the Braves pushing Escabor for the ASG?When you look at Rollins and the other top vote getters,are they having a better year than YE?No and I dopn’t understand why YEscabor is not being promoted like Chipper and Mac.Also why is he not getting paid early like Mac and Frenchie were offered early in their careers.Escabor is making less than KJ and Frenchie and that’s an insult.If Prado was an everyday player instead of a utility player like KJ,he would be making more money also.Makes you wonder….

I remember that Maddux-Clemens matchup… I was 13, and I had such high hopes that it would be a pitching matchup for the ages… oh well, maybe tonight will be one instead! Although, to be honest I would like to see the offense break out tonight. The starting pitchers are finding themselves in a pitching duel every single night, because they’re great and the hitting is brutal. I want Hanson to get a shutout, but he shouldn’t have to get one to win.

Oh, and I agree. Posting that brutal “joke” on both posts – LAME. But let’s move on.

I also agree about how Escobar should be being pushed for the ASG… I just didn’t see your post before mine went up.

McCann is the best catcher in the NL and should start.

Yeah I’ve been voting for Yunel. I have no idea why it seems like it’s nothing but Phils, Mets and Cards. Mac should be starting hands down. Yes move on, but come on guys, you have to admit, he does look a bit like Sloth!

Costas, if it’s any consolation, I thought it was hilarious.

PWHjort, now that I think more about it, it really kinda was!

It would be funny but yunel’s not bad looking, Maybe if you posted it about Diaz, it would be funy.

Heres a few good ones: Why is it so hot at Marlins games?
Because theres not a fan in the placeWhats the Difference between UPS and Bennet on a bases loaded 3 – 2 count?UPS knows how to throw a strike
And lastly (espiecally because of the series finale in Boston)
One Day the Devil challenged the Lord to a baseball game.

Smiling the Lord proclaimed, “You don’t have a chance, I’ve got Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and all the greatest players up here.”

“Yes”, laughed the devil, “but I have all the umpires!”

I’m going to be honest Jurrjens4NLCY, that was awful.

Costas….hilarious!

Jurrjens4NLCY….uuhhh.

biffsniff, Yes but must Baseball jokes are. I occasionally love the cheesy ones, and those fit under the category, so I posted it. Anyone would be hard pressed to find an actual non cheesy, good baseball joke, because that is just how baseball jokes are.

Costas is the guy who kept posting that lame short story, right?Yunel doesn’t look that bad but he’s insanely unphotogenic. It’s understandable that he’s not getting the votes because no one outside of Atlanta knows who he is.

You guys need to stop posting jokes. It’s not exactly your forte.

I liked them, they were very cheesy, but I liked them. Yunel isn’t ugly (well, that’s up for debate), but he actually looks a whole heck of a lot like that thing. Which is what makes it hilarious.

You can’t say you don’t see the resembelance. http://tinyurl.com/knea7s

greatest thread of all time

I feel like we’re paying Mark no mind discussing rubbish. I’ll be serious for a second. McCann is clearly the best catcher in the NL and should start the All-Star game. He leads all NL catchers in Runs Created / 27 outs with a minimum of 175 PA’s. He’s hitting .318/.409/.506. A monster season. If he played in Boston or New York you’d be so damn sick of hearing about him, nobody would ever shut up about McCann. He gets half the respect he deserves. Thank god he plays in Atlanta. I hope he stays a Brave forever.

It’s kinda like Romper Room in here. Discussing the merits of an ugly picture. What’s next fart jokes?

Ok. Its not like I came up with the jokes, I just heard them. I got a whoooole lotta Non baseball related jokes, but their are neither clean nor appropriate for a Baseball blog.
McCann better be an All Star starter or there shouldn’t even be an All Star game. Although, the starters have very little to do with the outcome of the game (2008 All Star game). Btw McCann totally tagged him out last year, but whatever.

Looks aside, can Yunel ever hit the ball off the ground?

This reminds me of that episode of the office where the office members analyze which celebrity is hotter, I wonder the name of that episode.

He has the highest % of balls put in play on the ground of any player in MLB.

I bet he does, secondly, Why is Hanson considered “flamethrower?” He average fastball is at 93mph. Lemme put that in perspective, Kenshin Kawakami can hit 93mph. Is it supposed to be faster? Will it improve with age?

During his past three starts, Hanson has limited opponents to two hits in 17 at-bats with runners in scoring position. The Yankees have stranded eight runners through the first four innings tonight.

Hanson has stranded 25 runners over the past 16 innings that he’s completed. This is through the fifth inning of tonight’s game.

Jeter’s fourth-inning leadoff double was the 425th of his career, moving him past Babe Ruth for fourth all-time in Yankees history. It’s pretty cool to hear somebody announce that you’ve just witnessed somebody pass Ruth in any statistical category.

Jurrjens:
It’s because Hanson sits 93 and can hit 96 or even 97 on occasion. According to FanGraphs, Hanson’s avg. fastball velocity entering tonight was 93.3 mph. That would tie him with Roy Oswalt and place him ahead of pitchers like Tim Lincecum, Joba Chamberlain, and Jake Peavy. KK’s avg. is well below that though KK might touch 93.

Has Gonzo been demoted from Closer? And if so, what for? He has been more lights out lately than when his job was in jeopardy early in the year and he kept the position… Does this reflect some problem with signing him, or does Wren think he can sign Soriano more, or is he limiting saves so they can’t(neither of them, Soriano or Gonzo) jack up their price… or… what?

And I repeat, lights out. That was another amazing outing, even in as a set-up man, a role where he hasn’t done well in the past. That was quite possibly the best I’ve seen Gonzo pitch this year… I guess the matchups make sense for Soriano, but still, I dunno…

And not to string a ton of posts together, but McCann has yet again proven why he is a starter at the all-star game. Not that I wouldn’t mind him getting a bit of a rest for those knees over the break, though. Same for our pitchers. I hate any of our players even playing in it just because I feel like our players need the rest…

Do players get paid for the all-star game?

Soriano is the better pitcher. Though Gonzalez has had better games for the past 2. I think Bobby’s still using the strategy of “play the match-ups” with his 2 closers.

John Kruk just said ?The bottom line is, a win goes in the column when Livan Hernandez pitches?. I laughed so hard I threw up. Then threw up again because I threw up. And started laughing again because I just threw up because I threw up. Then I remembered why I threw up, because I was laughing. Then I remembered why I was laughing, because Kruk said ?The bottom line is, a win goes in the column when Livan Hernandez pitches?. And I again started laughing so hard that I threw up.

So I guess free speech doesn’t exist here either?

I’m sorry but I can’t vote for Yunel over Hanley, just wouldn’t be right. But anyways, hey Mark! I just started a Braves blog, check it out!
bravesblogbyjake.mlblogs.com

PWHjort, Now thats the funniest baseball joke – ever.

So I guess free speech doesn’t exist here either? ———————————————————————–Ugh, this isn’t starting here too is it? Quick Mark “pull a Peter” and close the option to comment here. Just kidding PWHjort I got your back bro. Bill, this quarrel started at http://www.capitolavenueclub.com/ (The finest in Braves blogging) And it will die here. Good night fellas, great game today. And as always… Go Braves!http://knoble.mlblogs.com/

Funny stuff folks, funny!! Great win lastnight, hopefully great things continue tonight. I’ll be there, so that’s certainly a fantastic start. No, but all jokes aside, keep the W’s coming!!!!!! Go Bravitos!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you see any Braves fans sitting on their hands while the Yankee losers are screaming and hollering, punch them in their face. Man, woman or child, doesn’t really matter to me. The Braves pitcher have towed the line the past two games and from what I can tell,watching on TV, the other team’s crowd is much louder. So, for all you people in Atlanta, get off your ***** and support this team. Quit sitting around waiting for something good to happen before you do. Get to the ball park and be a part of helping something good happen.

Other than that enjoy the game. They are on ESPN tonight, so at least I get to watch in High Def.

Maybe Frosty the Shortstop (AKA Yunel Escobar) would play more like a baseball player rather than a prima donna if he was paid in Baby Ruths. We all know how much Sloth loved those Baby Ruths.

Jurrjens4NLCY:

“The finest in Braves blogging” is the best joke told on here since I have been watching. Your snoz is so brown they would have to classify it as “brown Facing” as opposed to “brown nosing”. Get that thing all the way in there fella.

Oh, and since your weighing in my comment had nothing to do with the midless chatter over at Hjort’s little blog. It had to do with having two comments disappear here. I would expect becuase they criticized Braves managment.

I’m watching this on YES and I want to puke. Why the heck doesn’t ESPN2 have it on like it says they should? ESPNEWS? WTF? Gag. I hate the Yankees… this is frustrating.

Is it me or does anybody else notice that chip caray always sounds like he is against the braves when he annouces the games, he makes negative comments about the braves at the wrong time. maybe it is just me i hope that he pulls for the braves.

Bill, I give credit where credit is due. PWHjort knows a lot about baseball and specializes in statistics. That’s very cool, I respect a lot of people on this blog. Rother, Tomatalk, Wisbrave, Darion, PWHjort, Vivabeta (because I have a 99.999% agreement rate with him, and yes I got that stat from PWHjort), and many more. There is a fine line between respect and a$s kissing, and as I have nothing to gain from “brown facing” these people, I hope you realize that line was my previous comment. And the best joke on this thread was the one comparing Jeff Bennet to the UPS strike. Sorry.http://knoble.mlblogs.com

Neverwhere, not sure why you are not seeing it, but I am watching the game on ESPN 2 right now.

I wonder if it is because I am in NY? This is ridiculous. They even said at 7 oclock, “Welcome to all of our viewers from Atlanta and New York.”

This sucks. I really don’t want to listen to these schmucks saying Joba is the fricking second coming. Makes me want to puke.

That looked like it hurt, I hope Kenshin is okay. He’s been lights out – as has our outfield in covering him.

Let me surf a bit and see if it’s on another ESPN, not ESPN2? If anyone has ANY idea, please let me know. This is frustrating enough that I might call the cable company but I don’t want to sound like a dufus.

****, our bullpen is going to be hurting after tonight. Is it really that bad? We needed 6 innings from him…

Yeah I have the game on ESPN 2 and I’m from Wisconsin.

Jesus H. Christ….that had to hurt…I hope KK is gonna be alright.

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