so the all star game is around the corner and ive decided who in my opinion deserves to be there this year. there are a number of exceptional candidates and im sure, as always some of the best will be left out not only by me, an avid fan and recent blogger, but where it counts: on Joe Maddon and Charlie Manuel’s scorecards. regardless though, ive finally casted my All Star Ballots online at MLB.com (i suggest you do the same) since it finally started to work on my computer. here are my starters, reserves, and tidbits about each position. feel free to leave any comments and opinions. *NOTE this is very lengthy. i have my picks and i have why. read what you please but beware there is fair controversey in my selections. enjoy!
C Jason Varitek (BOS), 1B Kevin Youkilis (BOS), 2B Dustin Pedroia (BOS), SS Jason Bartlett (TB), 3B Evan Longoria (TB), OF Jason Bay (BOS), OF Torii Hunter (LAA), OF Ichiro Suzuki (SEA), P Tim Wakefield (BOS)
C Pudge Rodriguez (HOU), 1B Albert Pujols (STL), 2B Orlando Hudson (LAD), SS Miguel Tejada (HOU), 3B Ryan Zimmerman (WAS), OF Ryan Braun (MIL), OF Andre Ethier (LAD), OF Raul Ibanez (PHI), P Dan Haren (ARI)
C Joe Mauer (MIN), C Victor Martinez (CLE), 1B Miguel Cabrera (DET), 1B Justin Morneau (MIN), 2B Ian Kinsler (TEX), 2B Aaron Hill (TOR), SS Derek Jeter (NYY), 3B Brandon Inge (DET), OF Adam Lind (TOR), OF Nelson Cruz (TEX), OF Carl Crawford (TB), SP Josh Beckett (BOS), SP Roy Halladay (TOR), SP Edwin Jackson (DET), SP Zach Greinke (KC), SP Felix Hernandez (SEA), Justin Verlander (DET), CP Mariano Rivera (NYY), CP Jonathan Papelbon (BOS), CP Brian Fuentes (LAA), CP Joe Nathan (MIN), CP David Aardsma (SEA), CP Joakim Soria (KC)
C Yadier Molina (STL), C Benjie Molina (SF), 1B Prince Fielder (MIL), 1B Ryan Howard (PHI), 2B Chase Utley (PHI), 2B Clint Barmes (COL), SS Hanley Ramirez (FLA), 3B Pablo Sandoval (SF), 3B Mark Reynolds (ARI), OF Brad Hawpe (COL), OF Jaun Pierre (LAD), OF Carlos Beltran (NYM), SP Tim Lincecum (SF), SP Chad Billingsley (LAD), SP Jason Marquis (COL), SP Matt Cain (SF), SPJohan Santana (NYM), SP Josh Johnson (FLA), SP Johnny Cueto (CIN), CP Heath Bell (SD), CP Fransisco Rodriguez (NYM), CP Jonathan Broxton (LAD), CP Ryan Franklin (STL), CP Trevor Hoffman (MIL)
** here starts the long lengthy explanations. feel free to leave if you have no questins or rage. but read on. do it.
Alright so im sure anyone knowledgable about baseball and paying attention this season reading this is probably looking at a few choices like “WTF?!?!” so ill go in order of some controversial picks and explain them because yes I have an explanation for every single one with stats and evidence to back it up.
Jason Varitek starting at catcher. ok, so even I have to admit that Joe Mauer is obviously going to be the starting catcher and definitely deserves it. however, Varitek has had a resurgance from a more than subpar dismal 2008 and actually deserves to be an All Star this year. Plus, in my Opinion Tim Wakefield deserves to start this game as the 17 year vet is having arguably his best season to date (including 1998 and 2007 where he won 17 gqames). Guy is a CLASS ACT and you couldnt ask for a better teammate. He used to be a SS and now is a great pitcher for his whole career. pretty soon he will be the all time leaders for wins in Boston passing greats like the trophy himself Cy Young and Roger Clemens. No disrespect to guys like Roy Halladay and Greinke who are pitching lights out but put simply, this guy deserves to start and Varitek should be catching for him, hands down.
First Base. OK I’ll admit being a Boston Fanatic I hate Teixera. Not to mention the guy doesn’t understand the meaning of clutch let alone trying to incorporate it to a game like the ASG where every at bat is clutch. World Series in on the line here folks and I want Kevin Youkilis in there for me. Not to Mention the great seasons Miguel Cabrera and Justin Morneau are having outside of the Bronx Bombshell of Homers.
2B. Pedroia is the reigning AL MVP and Rookie of the Year before that. and he has a WS under his belt. and a silver slugger. and a gold glove. any arguments? didnt think so.
SS. again DJ is obviously going to start and deserves it. one of few yankees i like, but dont forget his numbers are boosted in the bombshell too. Jason bartlett has been huge for the rays though and easily is a leader in that clubhouse and helped them reach the World Series last year.
3B. Longoria definitely deserves to be here again. Brandon Inge is having a HUGE season in Detroit leading the league in homers at his position. yes more than longoria. this guy is why the Detroit Tigers are in first in the Central and will be all year into October. ARod just doesnt have the AVG and sure he can hit homers but he has struck out way too much this year and again has bolstered numbers in the Bombshell. **If Mark DeRosa (CLE) hadnt just been traded to the Cards, he would be higher on my list to make it as he too is having a great season.
OF. Jason Bay is my AL MVP right now. Torii Hunter is keeping the Angels in the October Race through the first half. Ichiro is Ichiro. Nelson Cruz, Adam Lind, and Carl Crawford are all having great years for their teams and are helping keep them all incontention.
P. You’ve heard my argument for Wakefield up with ‘Tek. I can’t see any controversey in this group. Props to David Aardsma for surprising me and having an awesome year for a not so awesome Seattle club. my biggest surprise thus far.
C. I honestly didnt know who to put here. Pudge is having one of those take-that-i-am-still-kicking-ass-detroit and new york-so you might as well kiss mine- type seasons in Houston. and im loving every damn sportscenter highlight of it. so good for him. also the Molina brothers (2 of them at least) are kickin ass and takin names in leading their teams to great seasons that are both again still in the hunt. great stories all around folks.
1B. i have a man crush on pujols. no doubts. i admit it. biggest decision was to leave Adrain Gonzalez off this list, but pujols has TAKEN OVER BASEBALL and i find myself drooling over his every at bat. Fielder is having a huge season on a surpsing Milwaukee club, and Ryan Howard has a bunch of humongadunga homers and is a defending world champ. gotta go with them.
2B. another obvious discrepancy. Chase Utley will start and should. But I cant help recognize what he has done when Mannywood turned sour for 50 games. and he is still doing it. Clint Barmes is also performing beautifully in cinderella land, Colorado.
SS Miguel Tejada. see Pudge Rodriguez. except Miggy has done it for 2 years now with Houston. hard to argue with Hanley Ramirez who i also have an obsession with, but i love me some miggy. Jimmy Rollins is sucking it up in Philly. gimme a break. please.
3B ok so let it begin. i left David Wright off. but he is somewhat much less impressive this year. yes i know he is hitting .340 and that ultimately should get him to St. Louis, but still I love me some Ryan Zimmerman. Pablo Sandoval is just the MAN and kicking ass on a new found awesome potential Giants team. and Reynolds is having a great season stuck on shitty team. if it werent for him Arizona may not be even at double digit wins yet.
OF. Braun and Ibanez are beasting it up on their respective teams and despite all his walkoffs and big games, including a 3 homer game the other day, Andre Ethier is also carrying the best-record-in-baseball Dodgers with an impressive under the radar season. i want him starting. Juan Pierre has done everything you could ask for and more filling in for ManRam and his first half outburst should get him to the ASG. Beltran could easily start and will if he is healthy. Hawpe is having an awesome year in cinderellaville. *it was tough leaving Justin out but im sure he will be here very soon in coming years.
P. im not sure you can really argue with any choices. and if you dont like Dan Haren starting then suck it and go read my previous post on why i want the redsox to get him. he should start. also note it was hard leaving out guys like Yovanni Gallardo in MIL, Huston Street in Colorado, Francisco Cordero in Cincy, and Brian Wilson in San Fran, but there are only so many roster spots.
For all you ARod lovers out there…maybe he’ll be in the Home Run Derby or something…or not. cant say im sorry though. thats just the way the hip..i mean cookie…crumbles folks.