Most Minnesota counties voting for Morneau in All-Star Game final vote
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After getting his career back on track in Colorado, Justin Morneau has a chance to return to the Twin Cities as a National League All-Star.
It's not a done deal yet, but Morneau has a lead in the Final Vote for the last National League All-Star roster spot. Morneau led a "tight race" after 36 hours of voting, according to MLB.com.
As a writer, it's easy to pull for compelling stories. As a writer based in Minneapolis, picking the best story line out of these five names is a cinch.
Morneau has the support of the country of Canada (67.2 percent) and nearly every Minnesota county, according to this data vizualization map from MLB.com. He also owns the Colorado and Wyoming. The two Minnesota counties in which Morneau is not the leading vote getter are Yellow Medicine and Otter Tail. Both favor Anthony Rizzo.
I like stats in baseball more than any other sport, but to me the final roster spot (like Derek Jeter starting at shortstop) is less about numbers than it is an honorary nod. Still, I can't blame people if they'd prefer to optimize the roster based on performance and positional fit. The National League already has two first baseman, and even if it needed another, lineup optimizers might look in a different direction.
Here's how the final vote contestants stack up in the National League based on Fangraphs' Wins Above Replacent:
2B Anthony Rendon, WAS ... 3.3 WAR
1B Anthony Rizzo, CHC ... 2.7 WAR
OF Justin Upton, ATL ... 2.5 WAR
3B Casey McGehee, MIA ... 1.9 WAR
1B Justin Morneau, COL ... 1.5 WAR
How would you assemble an All-Star team if it were up to you?