Guys, I think it's time that we have our own closed door meeting.
I know the Phillies have been frustrating to watch. Injuries, silent bats, an unpredictable bullpen, and bad decisions are just a few of the issues I've seen over the first 57 games of the season. It's tough to get excited about that kind of play. But while everyone is sighing heavily and rolling their eyes at the 274th time Hunter Pence grounds out with men on base, something else is going on.
CARLOS RUIZ IS BEING MASSIVELY AWESOME AND EVERYONE IS MISSING IT.
I mean, this is pretty embarrassing. Chooch is putting up insane numbers and everyone seems to be ignoring it. With all the shitty things going on with the Phillies -- Roy Halladay is injured, Cliff Lee is still winless, Utley and Howard are STILL out, I don't really want to go on because it's horribly depressing -- why can't we focus on the good things? Or, thing?
If you only looked at the All-Star voting, though, you'd think that Chooch wasn't doing anything special. This is how the voting stood yesterday:
Yadier Molina, Cardinals: 1,100,048
Buster Posey, Giants: 1,072,464
Brian McCann, Braves: 707,508
Carlos Ruiz, Phillies: 562,021
I mean, what the hell is that!? Neck Tats is up more than 500k votes over Chooch! And the fact that Brian McCann is ahead of Chooch is just embarrassing. Even if you decided to ignore the fact that Chooch is absolutely killing it at the plate these days, the three catchers ahead of him should make Phillies fans want to vote. Am I the only one who remembers the Cardinals in the postseason last year? What about the Giants the year before? And the Braves are a division rival!
To properly understand how ridiculous the vote totals are in comparison to actual performance, here's some context:
Yadier Molina, Cardinals: .328/.373/.527
Buster Posey, Giants: .294/.358/.463
Brian McCann, Braves: .242/.320/.405
Carlos Ruiz, Phillies: .358/.407/.585
You may notice that the numbers that Carlos Ruiz is putting up are all *better* than the ones that all of the other guys are putting up. (Just look at Brian McCann's slash line. Chooch is doing over 100 points better than McCann in average and slugging. How are you not enraged by this!?) Not enough yet? Here's a bit more context. As of today, Carlos Ruiz is leading all Major League catchers in batting average. He's tied for second in on-base percentage. And he's leading in slugging percentage. That's not just the National League. That's all catchers in both leagues.
Feel embarrassed yet? Have you been shamed into voting? Well, I don't want to be a downer. I believe that positive reinforcement is better than the opposite. So here are a few reminders of what Chooch has done this year in just 57 games.
On May 2, Chooch had SEVEN RBIs against the Braves. He put up more than half of the Phillies 13 runs that game, and they STILL lost.
When the Padres came to town, Chooch celebrated by going 3-for-3 and hitting a home run.
Just three days later, Chooch went 4-for-5 against the Cubs.
With Chooch in the clean-up spot for the first time in 2012, he went 3-for-4 against the Nationals.
Chooch didn't even start this game! But here he is pinch hitting, swatting a game tying two-run home run against the Mets. This was last week!
I'm cheating a little bit. This isn't from 2012. But I couldn't leave it out, because holy shit remember how awesome that was!?!
So, how can you help? How can you help to right this massive, unforgivable wrong that is throwing the universe off kilter and threatening to plunge the Earth into the sun?
- Vote. Simple enough, right? Go here and vote. I don't care who else you vote for. Just make sure Carlos Ruiz is on the ballot. You can vote up to 25 times per email address.
- Tell Everyone You Know. I don't care if they like baseball or not. Tell them the story of Chooch. Send them this outstanding article about Chooch. Email them the link to vote. Stand beside them as they do it to make sure they don't screw it up. When you're done, start telling strangers on the street, in elevators, on the train, and in line for a sandwich. Wear a Chooch shirt. It's a great conversation starter!
- Vote Again. Just because you've already voted 25 times with one email address doesn't mean your work is done. Everyone has more than one email address. (Some people, like me, have an obscene number of email addresses just for occasions such as this.) Yahoo and Hotmail emails are still ridiculously easy to create. Have some fun and make up wildly implausible names. Princess Whilimena von Popcorn is a huge fan of Chooch! And so is Biff Thongstein!
Voting doesn't close until June 22, so there's still enough time to fix this. Just because the Phillies are disappointing doesn't mean that Chooch should be ignored. I hear the dulcet tones of CHOOOOCH being yelled at the games (or at a bar...or in my house), and I've yet to meet someone who doesn't love him. But that's not enough. He deserves to be the starting catcher for the 2012 All-Star Game. Carlos Ruiz can hear that the fans love him. Now let's show him just how much.