Listen, there's nothing that I can write here that will sway anyone's vote. There is officially no time left for fans to select the starters in the All-Star Game. Maybe there was a collective clarity of conscience in the final few hours and Matt Kemp really will be one of the starters for the National League on July 12. We won't find out until the starters are announced on Sunday.
For the last week or so, I've watched Kemp hover in the No. 4 spot for total outfielder votes. In the most recent announcement of the votes, he was bringing up the rear in a line that began with Ryan Braun, of the Brewers, followed by Lance Berkman of the Cardinals, and Matt Holliday of the Cardinals.
N.L. Slugging Pct. Leaders: 1. Kemp .628; 3. Berkman .570; 4. Braun .562 (Holliday apparently doesn't have enough ABs to qualify, but his .555 would be 5th).
Now, I'm usually not one to gripe about the fans and their ridiculous voting ways. There are plenty of examples far more glaring than this one, going back decades and decades. I won't call for the fans' heads and fume that players should do the voting.
In fact, just the opposite.
N.L. home run leaders: 1. Kemp 22; 3. Berkman 20; 8. Braun 16; 29. Holliday 10.
But every now and then I get worked up. It's just the PRINCIPLE of the thing, you know? I really want to see the National League win the All-Star Game. And I also really want to see exciting players that can make things happen and PRODUCE, too. To me, the two players that do that in the National League are Jose Reyes and Matt Kemp.
We'll see if either of them are starting.
N.L. batting average leaders: 2. Kemp .331; 3. Braun .321; 17. Berkman .294 (Holliday isn't listed but he would be third with his .325 avg).
Kemp has yet to start in an All-Star Game. In fact, he's never even APPEARED in an All-Star Game. Not even on the bench! He was one of the "vote-again" candidates, or whatever the hell MLB calls it, two years ago. He didn't make it.
N.L. on-base-plus-slugging (OPS) leaders: 1. Kemp 1.043; 3. Berkman .976; 4. Braun .964 (Holliday doesn't qualify but his .983 would be 4th).
My natural tendency is to pin the blame on the rabid Cardinals fans, but that isn't really fair (although as a kid, this would be enough to make me root against the Cardinals for every game remaining in the season).
The more probable culprit is Dodger fans -- who are more apathetic than they have ever been. (They can blame McCourt as much as they want, but there are still some situations in which you have to perform your duty as a fan).
N.L. RBI leaders: 3. Kemp 63; 4. Braun 60; 5. Berkman 58; 29. Holliday 40.
I know, I know. Kemp will appear in the All-Star Game anyway. The starters can't even go two innings anymore for fear they'll get an "owie" and be lost to their team for a month.
I just can't get over the fact that a player like Kemp who is having such a tremendous season would be virtually ignored like he is.
N.L. stolen base leaders: 4. Kemp 22; 6. Braun 19; 174. Berkman and Holliday 0.
It goes back to the way I have voted since I was a kid. I vote for the players that I believe are the most deserving to be All-Stars. I know that some people say they're voting for their hometown players because that's who they want to see at the game. Well, I want to see the BEST PLAYERS, regardless of team. Why would I want to see Juan Uribe ground into a double play twice and then get replaced by someone better?
N.L. on-base percentage leaders: 3. Kemp .415; 4. Berkman .405; 5. Braun .402 (Holliday would be second with a .428 if he qualified).
I mean you see the numbers. Kemp leads the other three in just about every notable category. He's also the National League leader in total bases and extra-base hits.
He ALSO leads the National League in "runs created," "adjusted batting runs," "adjusted batting wins," "offensive win percentage," and "power-speed number." Hell, I don't even know what most of those are, but I think they all say that Kemp is a FREAKING STARTER IN THE ALL-STAR GAME!
As a tribute to the potential National League MVP (I'm counting on Reyes getting traded to the A.L. before the season's up), I've updated the Dodgers I Collect page with the cards I have of Kemp.
Thanks to a couple of recent trades, I'm one shy of 150 total for The Bison (that's an all-star nickname if I've ever heard one).
You can all go on ignoring the guy -- cheaper prices on his cards for me -- but really, I can't figure out why people don't have a clue. Watch him on TV one time. The guy is a beast who can do absolutely anything on the field. If you can't see it, I can't help you.
A former co-worker said it best, "the masses are asses."
Yup. Both the ones who vote and the ones who don't.
(EDIT: I have 150 cards of Kemp. I miscounted.)