Monday, July 12, 2004

All Star Debate

Of course, arguments abound about the players selected to play in the All Star Game. MLB requires that every team have at least one representative in the game. This year, Ken Harvey will represent the Royals in the game. Did he deserve it? Good Question.

Mike Sweeney has been to the last 4 All Star Games and without argument has been the Royals one "star." The slow start the Royals had this year has affected all players, including Sweeney. As of the All Star Break, here are the stats for Sweeney:


And for Harvey:

So what do those stats tell you? To me, it looks like both players are pretty equal, except Sweeney drives in a lot more runs and doesn't strike out nearly as much. Harvey had a great first half, no doubt. He led the league in average for a couple of days and had a 13 or 14 game hitting streak. Harvey hits for average. He always has, even in college and the minors. A lot of folks also argue that Harvey's a better defensive first baseman. Possibly. But I've seen just as many gaffes by Harvey in the field as I have Sweeney. I think there's a perception problem here. Sweeney misses a short hop throw and the whole city goes crazy because he's so terrible. Harvey does the same, and it was simply a bad trhrow.

I still think the Royals did the right thing by signing Sweeney to a long term contract. He's the best hitter on this team (by far) and is still one of the best hitters in the AL. I don't buy the "he's always hurt" argument. Harvey's played in 3 more games that Sweeney this year. With Harvey's ugly-ass swing, I think Sweeney will be a productive hitter far longer than Harvey will. Sweeney's the star of this team, and the lone player deserving of an All Star appearance.

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