If anyone saw last night’s game and post-game wrap, vote Pablo, you’ll know that the entire organization has gone batty for this All-Star Final Vote thing. Duane Kuiper inserted a "Vote Pablo!" into his grand slam call, and then he ended the night putting "Vote Pablo!" stickers on every possible surface and orifice in the booth. It was pretty danged funny. But behind the good natured team spirit, there’s a stone-faced, dedicated seriousness. Pablo Sandoval needs to make the All-Star team. He deserves it, of course, but it’s more than that. Sandoval on the All-Star team would mark a tangible end to an unbelievable player development drought. It would be the greatest thing to happen to the franchise since video was released of Tommy Lasorda falling down a flight of stairs.In 1996, Matt Williams made the All-Star team. That was the last time a Giants-developed position player made an All-Star team for the Giants. For thirteen years, there hasn’t been a player who made the long, perilous journey through the Giants’ minor league system to appear, Andy Dufresne-like, on a National League All-Star team. There have been nice players to come and go. Bill Mueller, for one. That other guy, with the ten fingers, was another one.
But it’s been far too long since a position player has captured the imagination of Giants fans like Pablo Sandoval has. We’ve suffered through countless Tony Torcatos and Todd Lindens raising our hopes before crushing them. Giants fans just wanted a homegrown hitter to cheer. Every other team had one. Before 2008 started, Sandoval’s ETA was probably 2011, if he reached the majors at all. Then all of a sudden, he appears fully formed, swinging the bat like a rotund Vladimir Guerrero. And he’s a likable, jolly, ball of fun. He obviously loves the game – his baseball-related mirth is something that I can’t remember another Giants player exhibiting in my lifetime. He is, as of right now, the perfect storm.
I know how lucky we are to have Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, and the Giants haven’t lacked for All-Star pitchers in the same timeframe. Sure, when a Giants pitcher actually gets to the All-Star Game, he usually embarrasses the franchise, but at least he gets there. So please don’t consider this to be a post that’s chock full of whining. But I wanna All-Star hitter. I wanna, I wanna, I wanna. And I will hold my breath to get one.
So if you know of anyone who is on the fence as to whom they should vote for, send them here. We can drown them in stats -- Mark Reynolds has more home runs, stolen bases (though at a 73% success rate), and errors, but Sandoval leads in every other category, from wOBA to UZR to batting average to on-base percentage to puppies rescued from the shelter. The stats say that Sandoval is the clear choice.
If that’s not enough, though, then the thesis of this post can be summed up thusly: Just freaking give us this one, world. We’ve been patient.
Also, Pablo Sandoval should make the All-Star Game. And he should be in the Home Run Derby, too.