If you don't have a sympathetic (or unsympathetic) Cubs fan to talk to every so often you might not realize just how poor a season Aramis Ramirez has been having. But at the Hardball Times he and Derrek Lee have made the 2010 Alvin Davis All-Star Team, named in honor of the Mariners' first baseman who didn't have an aging curve so much as an aging cliff.â†µ
From 2004-09, he was very consistent, posting an OPS+ of 126 to 138 every year, with a batting average somewhere around .300 (or higher) and displaying quality power.â†µ
This year . ... he's just sucked. His batting average is barely half of last year's mark, and his power is also far below his typical standards.â†µ
He's been on the DL for a while with a thumb injury, and for that reason arguably doesn't belong on this team. However, given how massively he's fallen this year, it's hard leaving him off. Is a hurt thumb really all it takes to have his OPS+ fall by almost 100 points from last year's mark? It's not like this is the first time he's been injured.â†µ
It's worse than that—Ramirez's season is worse than Brendan Ryan's has been, and if he were qualified for the batting title it would be the worst season by OPS+ of any full-time player.â†µ
Lee's struggles seem more cyclical—he's coming off the second-best season of his career, and he's at least hitting like a bad first baseman, instead of a good pitcher.â†µ
This is what happens to a 33-44 team: bad luck, inexplicable aging, and two starting positions on the wrong all-star team.