Jun 8, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) watches a ball in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. The St. Louis Cardinals won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

All-Star Balloting Getting Chippy

A good friend of mine recently discovered a video on the internet he thought I would find amusing.  The Milwaukee Brewers and their catcher Jonathan Lucroy pokes some harmless fun at Yadier Molina and the St. Louis Cardinals in what appears to be a spoof of a political ad campaign commercial to get Lucroy voted in to the All-Star game.  This ad has apparently sparked some controversy and a plethora of different opinions.  I will offer mine.

I do not see anything wrong with this campaign to get Jonathan Lucroy voted in to the All-Star game.  In my opinion, it was a very light-hearted joke (for lack of a better term). It just goes to show how dominant Yadier Molina has been as a catcher in his career. It also demonstrates how great the St. Louis Cardinals have been in the NL Central. The Cardinals have been atop the division so many years that they will always have the proverbial target on their back. Not just the team has that target, but every single player has it as well. Keep in mind this video was intended for Milwaukee’s fan base.  Of course they are going to target a division rival.

Just for fun, let’s see if Lucroy even has a valid “argument” here.  Through 63 games Molina is batting .284 with 26 RBI and 6 HR.  Lucroy is batting .341 with 37 RBI and 8 HR through 68 games.  Molina has 17 walks and an uncharacteristic 33 strikeouts, while Lucroy has 28 BBs and 31 Ks. When it comes to OPS, Lucroy has a very clear advantage with a .942 compared to Molina’s .739.  Statistically speaking, on the offensive side of things, Lucroy does deserve some serious consideration.  However, defensively Yadier is still the best at his position.  Molina has caught 47% of runners attempting to steal (14 of 30) while Lucroy has only caught 27% (12 of 44).  I might add that many of the successful stolen bases Molina has allowed were stolen off the pitcher, not Yadi.

However, as we all know when it comes to All-Star voting, the more popular name generally gets voted in regardless of how he is playing that season.  As of right now, Yadi is the leading in votes for NL catcher ahead of Buster Posey and Jonathan Lucroy. No surprise to see Posey up there as well.  When you think of catchers in the NL, the two that come to mind fastest are Molina and Posey.

While I am glad Molina is leading in the All-Star balloting for catcher, it really is a shame that Lucroy is not garnering more votes.  He is second in the league in average, tied for first in hits, second in doubles, fifth in OBP, and fifth in OPS.  He deserves to be at the All-Star game.  He may not win the vote to be the starter, but he should make an appearance late in the game.

All of that being said, this comical ad starring Jonathan Lucroy is nothing more than a fun joke to try to muster up some late votes.  I found it funny and non-threatening.  When you are the best at what you do, you will always be the target of the up-and-comers.  If anything, to some extent, this ad was a compliment to both Yadier Molina and the St. Louis Cardinals.

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