Two reminders before we start. First, post any links you find as you cruise the internet in the comments section of this post, and come back during the day to see what others have found. Second, don't forget to chat it up in our All-Star Game thread.
Today is, of course, the All Star Game. With that in mind, today's box score will open up with some All Star Game links.
The voting for this year's All-Star game has been sliced, diced and dissected too many times to count. But I found myself wondering if fans had gotten any better or worse at voting in the most qualified players over time. Matt Swartz, writing at Statistically Speaking, has some answers. For example:
In the Early Era, 51% of All-Star starters had also started the previous year; the figure dipped a bit through the Cable Era, with an average repeat starter rate of 47%. By the Internet Era, only 36% of All-Star starters earned starts again a year later, which is a statistically significant drop.
Find many more interesting trends at the link.
What does Derek Jeter think of Tim Lincecum? This sort of inter-league showdown has always been one of the most entertaining parts of the All-Star Game, and the introduction of interleague play hasn't completely obliterated the novelty. SF Gate writer John Shea decided to poke around the All-Star clubhouses to get some answers:
"I've seen some highlights of him. Doesn't seem like he's much fun," said Jeter, who'll face Lincecum for the first time and bat second in the AL lineup between Ichiro Suzuki and Joe Mauer. "The most I know about him is his video-game commercial. I haven't played it. I'll probably play it tonight and try to find some things out."
Smart move. Pro tip: he likes to establish his dominance with a fastball. Asked if he had heard of A's closer and All-Star teammate Andrew Bailey, Mariano Rivera replied:
"Same league, but I haven't heard of him. Maybe I heard about him, but I'm not too familiar. I don't follow or watch. But personally, I don't know who he is."
Bailey has used tape of Rivera's cutter to refine his own version of the offering.
Maury Brown thinks the All-Star game is suffering from split personalities: entertainment and sports. He'd like MLB to embrace the entertainment and eschew any notions that the All-Star game is a serious contest:
Either make the All-Star Game a Busby Berkeley extravaganza or make it a game that truly has meaning for the Championship season. If you think the rosters are looking like the best that the league has to offer, why don’t you ask what Ian Kinsler and Pablo Sandoval think? Get the game out purgatory and into one pool or the other. The All-Star Game is suffering from an identity crisis.
Ain't democracy grand?
Wondering what the PITCHf/x looked like from the futures game? Of course you are! And where but Brooks Baseball would you go to find it? And of course, Harry Pavlidis reports back from the BASEBALLf/x summit with some juicy morsels over at the Hardball Times.
Have you tried Wolfram's new search engine, dubbed "Alpha"? It can do some pretty nifty things with data, which might lead you to hope it could become a powerful tool in the sabermatrician's workbench. You can forget about that, says CNET writer Tom Krazit.