Sunday, July 6, 2008

Blind Homerism Carries 7 Cubs, Red Sox, To All Star Game

Yes, Cubs and Red Sox fans have voted 7 players in from each of their respective teams. Of those 14 players, 7 were voted in as starters, and at least one of them even deserves to start! Which one? That will be revealed shortly as I go position by position. Let' start with the American League, which I'm sure will find a way to win despite having what seems like a vastly inferior roster. The fans' choices will appear first, and if I disagree, the player I think should be starting will follow.

(All stats are as of July 5th)

Catcher: Joe Mauer, Twins. .325/4/37.415 OBP. I have no problem with this. He's hitting .325, and no other catcher in the AL is putting up numbers worthy of supplanting him here.

1st Base: Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox. .310/13/53. Youkilis is having a fine season, but Justin Morneau (Twins - .307/12/65) is having a better one. Not exactly a banner year for AL 1st baseman though.

2nd Base: Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox. .312/9/39/60 R/9 SB. Pedroia is another fine young player, but the fact that Ian Kinsler (Rangers - .332/14/53/79 R/23 SB) isn't starting here is a damn shame. Kinsler is having what is easily the best season of any AL 2nd baseman and deserves to start.

3rd Base: Alex Rodriguez, Yankees. .320/17/49/.407 OBP. Despite missing a couple weeks, A-Rod is having a typically swell season and deserves to start. His competition isn't exactly fierce either, as the only other 3B on the AL roster is Joe Crede (Withe Sox - .261/15/47).

Shortstop: Derek Jeter, Yankees. .280/4/36. These are probably the worst numbers Jeter has ever had at this point in the season, which says a lot about his career. Michael Young (Rangers - .292/7/46) is having a better year, but whatever. The game is in Yankee Stadium and it's Derek Jeter.

Outfield: Josh Hamilton, Rangers, (.309/19/84). Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners, (.303/3/21/61 R/34 SB). Manny Ramirez, Red Sox (.279/16/53). Hamilton is a no-brainer. Ichiro will be voted in as a starter 3 years after he's dead. And Manny... well, you could argue that Carlos Quentin (White Sox - .273/19/61) is having a better season - and he is - but Manny hit his 500th home run this season, he's having a pretty good year, and whatever, he's Manny. Quentin is only 25. He'll get his chance.

Designated Hitter: David Ortiz, Red Sox (.252/13/43). Ortiz is hurt and wont be able to play. He will be replaced by Milton Bradley (Rangers - .320/17/54) who is having a very good season. Whatever. Look, voting for a DH in all star games is stupid. Yes, there should be a DH regardless of where the game is being played, but fans shouldn't be forced to choose between guys who just DH. The DH should just be whatever position player got the most votes among non starters. Theres no reason for Ortiz, who has missed over 30 games this season, to be voted in as a starter.

Starting Pitcher: Starters have yet to be determined, but I think Cliff Lee, Indians (11-1/2.43 ERA/1.04 WHIP/99 K/19 BB/ 118.2 IP) should start. He's struggled a little as of late, but overall he's been phenomenal this season.

That's it for the American League. National League will be done tomorrow.


Zwill said...

C) Mauer is a no-brainer.

1B) Youkilis, Morneau and Jason Giambi are all having basically the same season at the plate. Giambi gets the edge with his OBP and power but Youk and Morneau are very close in all regards. Youkilis deserves the nod for his defense but all of the three are deserving. Of course, if they all played in the NL, they wouldn't even be on the team with Pujols, Berkman and Adrian Gonzalez ahead of them.

2B) You're absolutely right about Kinsler. A case can be made that he has been the best 2B in the games thus far ... but I know you will disagree with that. Pedroia has been strong for sure but Brian Roberts deserves the nod over him and Kinsler has been better than both of them. Roberts was somehow left off the team and George Sherrill is representing the O's.

3B) A-Rod is another no-brainer but how does Joe Crede make it over Evan Longoria? Or Mike Lowell?

SS) Very shitty year for SS not playing in the NL East. Jeter was always going to make this team but he has really been horrendous this year. 23 XBHs in 360 PAs - Yuniesky Betancourt's had more power than that. I can't wait for Hank to call him out.

OF) Where is Jermaine Dye? JD Drew deserves to start and all but at least he made the team. Dye is nowhere to be found. He's on the ballot for the final fan vote and I'm guessing that he'll make the team as an injury replacement but his omission on a bench that includes Crede and Varitek is pretty awful on Francona's part.

P) Lee and Halladay have clearly been the top two starters in the AL this season. Either of them would make a good choice to start the game, along with Justin Duchscherer, John Danks or Shaun Marcum as other options. Oh wait - Danks and Marcum didn't even make the team. Now I realize that nobody is going to miss either of those guys, each of whom is likely performing way over his head this season. But is it really necessary to bring six closers to the ASG? Again, George Sherrill? He's not even the best reliever on his team. Jim Johnson has pitched 47 innings for the Orioles and allowed only six runs all season. Forget the closer tag, Johnson has been much more important to the squad.

I can't wait for Part Two tomorrow, especially if you can help me understand how Cristian Guzman and Miguel Tejada are having better seasons than Jose Reyes. I look forward to it.

On Deck Sports said...


Brian Roberts over Pedoria? I don't quite agree with that, everything else....agreed.

Lionel McClure said...

Guzman is the only representative for the Nationals. Tejada I can't defend. Reyes is clearly having a better year.

Zwill said...

Roberts over Pedroia is a gimme. Pedroia's BA is 15 points higher than Roberts and he has a couple more HR. But Roberts has reached base more than Pedroia despite 25 less PAs. His OBP is 20 points higher. He also 46 XBH to Pedroia's 36, including 7 triples for Roberts. Roberts is also more useful on the bases, stealing 24 in 31 attempts. Pedroia hasn't been caught in 9 attempts, which is a point in his favor but Roberts' contribution is still greater on the bases. Fielding is basically a wash between the two.

Furthermore, whereas Pedroia is an emerging player on a team full of stars, Roberts is clearly the best player on the O's. For the ASG, I believe that each team should have its top players representing their team. Unfortunately, George Sherril, perhaps the O's fourth- or fifth-best RELIEF pitcher, will be wearing the Birds' colors rather than their clear star.