This morning I was checking out how the All-Star voting was going, and to my surprise there weren’t a ton of terrible choices on the ballot. It’s the final update until the selections are revealed, and since I’m much more of an AL guy, I’m only going to break down who I feel should be starting for the AL. In the NL I only see one real snub. Matt Kemp not being in the outfield is f***ing ridiculous, I mean Holliday and Berkman have had a nice season and all, but their seasons don’t even compare to Kemp’s triple crown numbers.
Catcher: Russell Martin (2,779,592 votes), Alex Avila (2,345,065 votes), and Joe Mauer (1,699,604 votes). Might be the first year in awhile we don’t have Joe Mauer starting for the AL behind the plate. Russell had a nice start to the season, and has rode the wave of Yankee voters. I’m torn because Avila clearly has better numbers than Martin, but he also plays third and first from time to time. Martin plays catcher every game he plays in. There aren’t any super standout catchers this year, so I’ll say the voters got it right…
First Base: Adrian Gonzalez (4,014,722 votes), Mark Teixeira (3,077,242 votes), and Miguel Cabrera (2,184,480 votes). You’d think first base would be a tough choice with so many stars manning the position. Not so much in this first half, as Gonzo has been going off since opening day. If he decided to sacrifice some of his average for power, he might be in the triple crown race. Hitting .357, with 16 homers, and 71 rbi’s might just be more offense than the A’s have had all season… My runner up for the position isn’t even on the list. I’d have Konerko as my backup above Tex and Miggy, because he’s been a guy on a mission to destroy pitching this year and has done it.
Second Base: Robinson Cano (4,724,816 votes), Dustin Pedroia (2,979,181 votes), Ian Kinsler (1,896,259 votes). For some reason I thought Ben Zobrist belonged on this list, but I guess he was only hot for a quarter of the season since his numbers didn’t look that good when I just looked at them. Cano easily has the best numbers of the AL 2nd baseman, and is also a gold glover in the field. The people made a solid and correct choice imo.
Third Base: Alex Rodriguez (3,735,406 votes), Adrian Beltre (2,935,373 votes), and Kevin Youkilis (2,724,286 votes). I think I’d actually take Longoria if he hadn’t been hurt for a month of the season. This is probably the toughest choice for me. The top three all have similar stats, Beltre has more HR’s and RBI, but A-Rod is hitting nearly 50 points higher, so I’d probably give it to the best fielding 3rd baseman, which is Adrian Beltre. I don’t feel like you could go wrong with either of these three candidates though.
Shortstop: Derek Jeter (3,392,128 votes), Asdrubal Cabrera (2,885,778 votes), and Elvis Andrus (1,971,514 votes). This is the first ridiculous selection. Not sure why Jeter was in the running in the first place, because he started the year worse than we’ve ever seen him play. Asdrubal on the other hand has had a break out year that nobody saw coming. If it weren’t for him, the Indians wouldn’t have had nearly as much success. This is the first eyesore in the AL lineup.
Designated Hitter: David Ortiz (4,237,043 votes), Michael Young (2,235,504 votes), and Jorge Posada (1,453,385 votes). Big Papi is easily the guy here. I would’ve had V-Mart in second place over Young and Posada. Actually, I’m not even sure why Young is on this list since he plays pretty much every position. Ortiz is the right choice though, he’s been mashing the ball all year long, and made people forget that they thought his career was over last year.
Outfield: Jose Bautista (5,263,846votes), Curtis Granderson (4,582,419 votes), Josh Hamilton (3,173,000 votes), Jacoby Ellsbury (3,051,675 votes) Carl Crawford (2,294,337 votes), Nelson Cruz (1,912,783 votes), and Ichiro Suzuki (1,912,062 votes). If you asked me a month ago I would’ve said Matt Joyce deserved to be on the team, but since I wrote about him at the beginning of the month he decided to come back to earth with a prolonged slump. I also wondered out loud why the Asian voters can get Yao into the NBA All-Star game, but can’t get Ichiro in. Ichiro doesn’t deserve it this year so it’s a good thing, but I will miss his pregame speech trying to fire up the AL team. Jose and Curtis are the obvious choices and having monster seasons, but Josh Hamilton as the third outfielder? He’s only played 42 of his teams 80 games. I’d take Joyce or Ichiro over Hamilton’s first half, because they played pretty much everyday. I think Jacoby Ellsbury deserves the third spot of all the guys in the top six in voting. All in all pretty good selections from the voters, and probably the most reasonable choices in years. Are more people paying more attention to baseball this year, because we might miss the first half of the NFL season? Maybe, and it’s reflecting in the voting…