Wednesday, May 4, 2011

They hang, He Bangs, You Vote!

I’ve always taken my all-star voting duties VERY SERIOUSLY. I bleed Phillies red. I can slit my wrist and prove it to you, but I have always voted for the most deserving candidates. Now, if it was close, I’d always give the nod to a Fightin' Phil. The only time I’ve ever deviated was 1989 when I voted for Mike Schmidt after he retired. But to me and many other Phillies and baseball fans that was a special circumstance and was justified.

It goes against my core beliefs to even suggest a thing, but I am telling you, no, DEMANDING you to vote for Carlos Ruiz for the 2011 All-Star Game. It happens so few and far between that we, as Philadelphia Phillies fans, are given credit for doing the right thing so with nationwide props for the “U-S-A, U-S-A” chants is it too much to ask for us to do the right thing twice in the same season?

Chooch may not put up earth–shattering batting numbers. He’s never reached 10 HR’s or had more than 54 RBI’s in a season. But he has been the BEST defensive catcher in the bigs the past 4 seasons. If his last name was Molina, he’d have 3 gold gloves already. But poor Carlos was born a Ruiz and thus works his tools of ignorance in nationwide anonymity. Compare Ruiz to Yadier Molina the past 2 full seasons:

                                    Avg.    2B       HR      RBI    
Ruiz                            .280     54        17        96
Y. Molina                    .278     44        12        116

The big difference is that Molina has 3 Gold Gloves and 2 All-Star appearances. Chooch has none and zero.

I know he is hurt right now and wasn’t having the best statistical season, but Ruiz was worthy and received MVP consideration last season. And I’m talking league MVP not team. He finished 17th  in NL MVP voting. The only other catcher to receive votes in the NL was Buster Posey.

All too often Philadelphia fans are so busy being critical and demanding we forget to take the time to appreciate the great athletes we do have while they are at the top of their game. Ruiz is 32 years old. He is a catcher. We won’t have many more opportunities to do right by him.

The Phillies have the highest average attendance in MLB let alone the NL which gives Chooch an immediate edge, but second is the San Francisco Giants and the aforementioned Posey. So vote early and vote often. Both in person and online. Urge your section’s usher to COLLECT the ballots. If not find a ballot box and stuff it. Stuff it like the Yankees rotation stuffs its faces at the buffet.

You might say that I’m just being a “homer” and rooting for my “boy”, but how many times have you heard the Phillies pitchers give Chooch credit not only for calling a great game, but for giving the them confidence to throw their nastiest breaking stuff when the game’s on the line and runners are on because they KNOW it’s not going to the backstop?  I don’t think any greater compliment or testimony to Ruiz’s talents than what Roy Halladay did for the Panamaniac in spring training. He had and exactly replica Cy Young made for him. Why? Maybe because Halladay had a 2.13 earned run average and held opponents to a .232 batting average last season when Ruiz was catching, but with anybody else behind the plate: 3.75 ERA, .294 batting average. Or maybe he just recognizes what Ruiz means to him and the Phillies. Do you?

See ya at the ballpark!
Jay Wrizight


  1. Chooch has my vote!

  2. I had my doubts when I started reading with Chooch being hurt and all. You convinced me. I will vote till my mouse finger falls off.

  3. you know Chooch has my vote!!! he should have been an allstar and MVP of league a few times over already!!! so i implore you...come on ride the train, CHOOCH CHOOCH ride it!!!