A.J. Ellis is fast becoming the latest Dodger folk hero. Now, the movement to make him a National League All-Star is gaining steam (much to SoSG reader sanfrandodgerfan's chagrin).
Additionally, despite managing only six home runs in more than 800 Pacific Coast League at-bats, Ellis has added enough pop to his game (five doubles, a triple and three home runs this season) that he is slugging .512 and has an OPS of .974, the latter figure tops among all major league catchers. This despite playing two-thirds of his games this year in the relatively stifling hitting environments of Dodger Stadium and San Diego’s Petco Park.
"To be honest, I didn't think A.J. would be lighting it up offensively," manager Don Mattingly said. "He's really swinging the bat well. We expected the defense, the way he's handled the staff, all the preparation. What we're getting offensively, honestly, is more than I thought."
Jonah Keri of Grantland talked to the man himself:
What about hitting fifth instead of eighth with Kemp out of the lineup? Do you have to change your approach now?
Donnie [Mattingly] talked to me when he made the switch, and he specifically said, "Don't change your approach. Be you, be who you are." I think that's all part of the adjustment to becoming a full-time major leaguer. Just becoming secure in my identity, in who I am as a player. In the past I tried to impress people by doing more things than I was capable of. I'm 31 years old, my growing years are behind me. Now it's about molding, honing my craft, being who I am.
And, as we did once upon a time for a certain surly French-Canadian, Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness has gotten the ball rolling on a full-blown campaign:
If Ellis is going to make it, he’s going to need votes. Today, you can help. Through June 28, you can head on over to the MLB All-Star balloting page and vote for Ellis (and any other Dodger you like) up to 25 times per email address… and who among us has just one email address? Besides, as I’ve been reminded by the wonderful commenters of this site, there’s ways around that; reportedly, you can use the same email address many times from different devices, and if you have a gmail account, well, it’s a fun fact that gmail completely ignores periods even if other sites don’t. That is, the voting process will read firstname.lastname@example.org differently from email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org… even if it’s all the same account.
Vote early, vote often, as they say. And don’t stop there. Spread the word as much as you can, to friends, family, whomever. Use the Twitter hashtag #AJ2KC as often as you can (hat tip to Sons of Steve Garvey for that one).
I am a blogger, and I am stealing it! (Also, as I mentioned once on Twitter, if A.J. Pierzynski fans want to piggyback on that hashtag, feel free. He's in the AL, anyway.)
Come on, people! Only YOU can help A.J. realize his dream of being the starting catcher in the All-Star Game! (Well, it may not be his dream, but if it isn't, it's certainly ours.) If you don't want to do it for A.J., do it to screw with the national sports media!
VOTE EARLY AND OFTEN!
Top image: A.J. Ellis Facts