You might have noticed recently that the Padres’ league home run leader Adrian Gonzalez was not included in an online poll about the forthcoming home run derby.
Darren Smith apparently mentioned the oversight on air, which I have been unable to confirm since I refuse to subjugate myself to listening to XX 1090.
I didn’t see it mentioned in that Gaslamp Ball thread linked above, so I’m not sure if it was reported on air, but it is worth pointing out that the poll itself has no bearing on which players actually participate in the contest.
According to the statement printed directly below the online ballot:
Poll results will in no way determine the actual participants of the 2009 State Farm Home Run Derby, since player participation is solely at the discretion of the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
Gonzalez’s inclusion in the home run derby was hotly contested last year. Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun was selected over Adrian as the final NL participant, despite sitting tied for 4th in home runs and seeing slightly more than half his opportunities for homers in a pitchers’ park.
Patrick Courtney, spokesman for the commissioner’s office, corroborated the selection rules:
Asked who decides which players are selected, Courtney said Tuesday, “We work together with ESPN, (Commissioner) Bud Selig, a committee of people.”
Gonzalez, as with any bid for a spot on the home run or all-star squad from a Padre, has an uphill battle. The Padres play in the most extreme pitcher friendly ballpark, and in one of the smallest media markets in the nation.
Hopefully, ballpark and league adjusted statistics will become the norm when measuring ballplayer contributions, but they aren’t right now. Instead we’re stuck with simplistic, misleading counting statistics like home runs and RBIs. There’s not much we can do much about the market size of San Diego.
Strangely, Padres.com currently displays a photo of Adrian Gonzalez with the caption “Enjoying a career year, Gonzalez needs your vote.” Just below is a link titled “Vote for derby participants,” which leads to the famed ballot lacking any mention of our boy.
Not selected him last year was unfortunate. Not selecting the front-running league home run champ to for the damn home run derby this year is a joke. I have a hard time expecting such an oversight this year, but I also hope the team will step up its marketing efforts behind Adrian. Hopefully, since the actual selections are made internally, they already are.
It is also my hope Padres fans step up the pressure publicly. With the impending trade of Jake Peavy, Adrian Gonzalez is clearly the face of the franchise. His participation in such a well viewed event brings recognition for him, and our favorite team.
Let’s be those obnoxious big market fans. Lets make a stink about it. Ok, you don’t have to be too obnoxious if you don’t want to. But it’s highly encouraged!
To help, I put together a little something something for your blog sidebar for forum signature. Below it is the HTML code to copy and paste. The photo is licensed under Creative Commons by Dirk Hansen.
<a href=”http://thesacrificebunt.com/1245/adrian-gonzalez-for-home-run-derby-taking-matters-into-our-own-hands/”><img src=”http://thesacrificebunt.com/blog/wp-content/2009/06/gonzalez4derby_large.png” alt=”Adrian Gonzalez for Home Run Derby” width=”300″ height=”224″ /></a>
<a href=”http://thesacrificebunt.com/1245/adrian-gonzalez-for-home-run-derby-taking-matters-into-our-own-hands/”><img src=”http://thesacrificebunt.com/blog/wp-content/2009/06/gonzalez4derby_small.png” alt=”Adrian Gonzalez for Home Run Derby” width=”200″ height=”150″ /></a>