My disdain for teams does not know too many boundaries. From the 2009 New Orleans Saints to practically any New York Yankee team, I have a bit of ill-will towards certain teams and organizations. FTP, am I right?
Those of you reading this probably know me so this doesn’t come as a revelation. But one team, and their fans, that many appeared to have adored has stuck in my craw for five years.
The 2015 Kansas City Royals.
While I oftentimes will support AL Central clubs when we are not facing them in the postseason, if we do make it which was not a tendency of the 2010s Twins, the 2015 Royals squad and their fans struck a nasty chord that I have kept in my mind ever since.
That club on their own was not what got to me. Instead, it was their overly obnoxious and self-serving fans.
Let me set the scene for you. It is early July and the Twins are playing some pretty great ball compared to what we had come accustomed to. Major League Baseball’s All-Star Final Vote has just been released and it was a heated battle between the Twins’ luscious locks Brian Dozier and Royals’ Mike Moustakas.
Don’t get me wrong, both players were worthy of the final vote, but the stats back up Dozier to have had the advantage.
Looking at both player’s batting lines from the beginning of the 2015 season up until the All-Star break, we see some stark differentiation between the two.
As you can see, Dozier outdid Moustakas in doubles, triples, homeruns, runs, RBIs, stolen bases, walk percentage, slugging, OPS, wOBA, and wRC+, .etc.
The guy was a monster in comparison to the Royals third baseman.
But that did not stop Royals fans stuffing the ballot boxes with nearly unsubstantiated logic as to why he deserved the spot over Dozier.
While Dozier did have some issues batting for an All-Star caliber average and took more strikeouts than Moustakas, the typical voting metrics that your basic fan uses to vote backed Dozier.
The Final Vote, along with the Royals at one point having eight of the nine starting positions with their players, led the MLB to become suspicious of Royals fans and their methods. Especially after the league’s worst hitter by metrics, Omar Infante, was included. This led to a cancellation of up to 65 million votes.
Yes, the All-Star voting system is for the fans and is voted on solely by them, but it shows that fans are oftentimes beyond illogical and self-serving, something I have touched on before.
Thankfully, Royals manager and AL All-Star Manager in 2015, Ned Yost, understood the value Dozier can bring to a club and selected him as a substitution for the game.
And Dozier proved why he deserved the spot over Moustakas by hitting a game-sealing homerun in the eighth when Moustakas struck out on four pitches. Karma at its finest.
You tell me. When do we start looking at and analyzing statistics and facts more thoroughly to back arguments and our rationale behind what we do? Was it right for Moustakas to get the Final Vote nod over Dozier?
You know where I stand. Dozier was a cornerstone of the mid-2010s Twins and proved himself more than worthy to make that All-Star team and continued to prove his worth in 2016. Fortunately, it worked out in the end, but ballot stuffing and having illogical and irrational beings be the sole deciders of these types of outcomes makes my skin crawl.