(*) FANALYTICS: What is an All-Star?
With this week's Major League Baseball All Star Game, we got to watch the best of the best, as mostly chosen by the fans. Yes, it was a little one-sided. I'd prefer that over a tie, any day.
While this was an exhibition, it does decide home field advantage for the World Series. I've always thought it odd that player selection for this important game was left in the subjective hands of such highly biased people as... us.
Who were we voting for? The best overall players or the best players of the first three months of 2012? Players who deserve the honor or hometown favorites? Of course, then add in the lack of limits to how you can vote, and how often.
Leaving it in the hands of the fans without specific directions means that we end up with a mess, yielding nearly meaningless results.
Of course, sportswriters are no better when it comes to the major end-of-season awards, or even the Hall of Fame. It has all become so subjective. Maybe that's the point. Controversy provides column fodder.
But I prefer definitive methods for determining success. I want objectivity. When it comes to sports, we are already measuring performance with statistics, so why not use something that is both definitive and objective?
For fantasy leaguers, particularly Rotisserie players, we have dollar values. Are they perfect measures of overall baseball performance? Of course not. But to measure performance for this particular game, they are perfect. It is like measuring wealth using money.
This past week's column I wrote for USA Today looked at the Rotisserie All Stars of 2012. While it provided the necessary objectivity regarding value, it still did not answer one of the questions, and added one more. Should the All Stars be "the best overall players or the best players of the first three months"? That question is actually answered somewhat by the second question...
Should a fantasy All-Star be the best player at his position or the player who has been the most profitable?
I think there is no contest.
Ryan Braun and Mike Trout are both earning about $35 in roto value thus far this season. But Braun is not likely winning his owners any half-season fantasy titles on his own. He is earning about what we paid for him. He is a building block, for sure, but he is not a difference maker. Trout, whose price tag includes about $30 of profit, is likely on the roster of many standings leaders right now.
And since success has to be measured in fantasy championships, the all-stars have to be those players who are pushing their teams closer to that goal. It's all about profitability, so the current all-star crop includes players like Carlos Ruiz, who is providing his owners with about $23 of profit. Mark Trumbo and Jason Kipnis, both clearing about $20. On the pitching side, R.A. Dickey leads all starters with $32 worth of profit. Fernando Rodney? Undrafted in most leagues and currently earning $41. If that is not the definition of all-star, I don't know what is.
The complete list of profit all-stars appears in the article on USAToday.com.