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Your 2009 All-Star Game-Winning American League

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Your 2009 All-Star Game-Winning American League
(Photo by: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

It is the article everyone is writing, reading, and arguing about. 

Who to pick for the All-Star Game? 

The American League has many options on how to go about beating the National League, and all of them will work. They are superior in all facets of the game. 

Here is the team that will best win.

 

Catcher

Clearly Should Be In

Joe Mauer got himself some power (.394 BA, 14 HR, 42 RBI, 40 R, .467 OBP).

Victor Martinez got himself some health (.324 BA, 12 HR, 53 RBI, 49 R, .404 OBP).

Too Early to Apologize

No need to apologize to anyone, seeing as those two are the clear All-Stars. Rod Barajas was having an honorable mention-worthy year until he recently hit a slump and saw his average dip to .268. No apologies for you. 

Annoying Vote-Getter ESPN Causes

Jason Varitek (.229 BA, 11 HR, 29 RBI, 30 R, .321 OBP)

Forrest Gump is a better captain than him. 

Jorge Posada (.272 BA, 9 HR, 29 RBI, 19 R, .359 OBP) 

How are Varitek and Posada ahead of Victor Martinez in the voting?  How many times can John Kruk vote?



First Base

Clearly Should Be In

Mark Teixeira (.286 BA, 20 HR, 57 RBI, 47 R, .389 OBP)
Justin Morneau (.316 BA, 16 HR, 57 RBI, 50 R, .390 OBP)
Miguel Cabrera (.332 BA, 15 HR, 46 RBI, 46 R, .398 OBP)

Too Early to Apologize

Russell Branyan (.302 BA, 18 HR, 36 RBI, 42 R, .401 OBP) 

I am sorry, Russell. Although you are having a career year and are a huge help to fantasy teams worldwide, you are cut. Start playing a different position.

Annoying Vote-Getter ESPN Causes

Kevin Youkilis (.313 BA, 12 HR, 42 RBI, 44 R, .442 OBP)

Yes, I cut Kevin Youkilis. He is not an annoying vote-getter because he is having a bad year, but rather, because the players above him are having better years. He is getting votes because of ESPN, the Big Red Sox Machine. 

He should only make it as long as Cabrera, Morneau, and Teixeira do as well.

Annoying Coach's Choice

Carlos Pena (.236 BA, 22 HR, 52 RBI, 55 R, .371 OBP). 

I prefer my All-Stars to bat further away from the Mendoza line. He will get voted in by Joe Maddon, however.

 

Second Base

Clearly Should Be In

Ian Kinsler (.266 BA, 18 HR, 49 RBI, 49 R, .344 OBP, 15 SB)
Aaron Hill (.306 BA, 16 HR, 51 RBI, 43 R, .344 OBP)

Too Early To Apologize

Ben Zobrist (.289 BA, 15 HR, 42 RBI, 41 R, .399 OBP, 8 SB)
Robinson Cano (.301 BA, 12 HR, 42 RBI, 46 R, .336 OBP)
Brian Roberts (.294, 7 HR, 34 RBI, 53 R, .359 OBP, 15 SB)

There is much to apologize for. Zobrist lost points because he was below .300 but also did not have the stolen bases or home runs to catch up to Kinsler. Cano lost points because of his OBP and the fact he is in the new Yankee Stadium. Roberts lost points because of his lower batting average and lack of power. 

One or two of them will make the team as backups. 

Annoying Vote-Getter ESPN Causes

Dustin Pedroia (.293 BA, 2 HR, 29 RBI, 52 R, .377 OBP, 12 SB).

Are you noticing a trend? Pedroia's numbers do not match any of the names above, yet he is second in the voting.

 

Third Base

Clearly Should Be In

Evan Longoria (.309 BA, 16 HR, 61 RBI, 45 R, .390 OBP)
Chone Figgins (.330 BA, 1 HR, 20 RBI, 53 R, .405 OBP, 23 SB)

Too Early To Apologize

Brandon Inge (.275 BA, 17 HR, 49 RBI, 44 R, .369 OBP)
Mark DeRosa (.273 BA, 13 HR, 50 RBI, 47 R, .344 OBP)
Mike Lowell (.286 BA, 10 HR, 41 RBI, 30 R, .324 OBP)

Inge and DeRosa lost points for their averages, and Lowell lost points for his lower power numbers and terrible on-base percentage. 

Annoying Vote-Getter ESPN Causes

Alex Rodriguez (.210 BA, 9 HR, 30 RBI, 19 R, .312 OBP).

He is second in the voting at third base.



Shortstop

Clearly Should Be In

Jason Bartlett (.370 BA, 7 HR, 34 RBI, 39 R, .410 OBP, 14 SB)
Derek Jeter (.299 BA, 9 HR, 30 RBI, 43 R, .369 OBP, 16 SB)

Too Early To Apologize

Marco Scutaro (.298 BA, 6 HR, 31 RBI, 57 R, .397 OBP, 7 SB)

This was a tough one. Even with Bartlett's injury, Scutaro only leads him in one category, which makes him the odd man out. 

Annoying Vote-Getter ESPN Causes

Jed Lowrie has nearly half of a million votes, and he has played in five games.

 

Outfield

Clearly Should Be In

Jason Bay (.281 BA, 19 HR, 69 RBI, 49 R, .393 OBP, 5 SB)
Torii Hunter (.310 BA, 16 HR, 54 RBI, 48 R, .387 OBP, 12 SB)
Carl Crawford (.310 BA, 6 HR, 32 RBI, 50 R, .370 OBP, 37 SB)
Adam Lind (.309 BA, 15 HR, 52 RBI, 44 R, .385 OBP)

Too Early To Apologize

Nelson Cruz (.264 BA, 18 HR, 45 RBI, 41 R, .331 OBP, 11 SB)
Curtis Granderson (.263 BA, 17 HR, 42 RBI, 45 R, .343 OBP, 13 SB)
Jermaine Dye (.273 BA, 16 HR, 42 RBI, 40 R, .345 OBP)
Johnny Damon (.286 BA, 14 HR, 41 RBI, 54 R, .361 OBP, 6 SB)
Adam Jones (.307 BA, 12 HR, 43 RBI, 47 R, .362 OBP, 5 SB)
Jacoby Ellsbury (.307, 3 HR, 24 RBI, 37 R, .356 OBP, 30 SB)

There is a good chance you will see a lot of these players make the team, but I could not put them in my "clearly in" category because that is far more difficult to make. 

Cruz, Granderson, and Dye lost points for batting average. Damon missed the cut by just a bit, but lost points for being in the new Yankee Stadium. Jones and Ellsbury just missed the cut, but I did not feel bad due to the fact that if they don't make it this year, they will be making many more in the future. 

Annoying Foreign Vote

Ichiro Suzuki (.361, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 31 R, .394 OBP, 12 SB).

We used to let the Ichiro vote slide based on stolen bases, runs, and batting average. Not this year with those numbers. 

The Idiot Vote

Josh Hamilton (.240 BA, 6 HR, 24 RBI, 20 R, .290 OBP)

He's played in 35 games, people. Really?

 

Pitchers

Clearly Should Be In

Zack Greinke (9-3, 1.90 ERA, 111 Ks, 1.02 WHIP, 5 CG)
Justin Verlander (8-3, 3.31 ERA, 118 Ks, 1.15 WHIP)
Felix Hernandez (7-3, 2.74 ERA, 98 Ks, 1.21 WHIP)
Roy Halladay (10-1, 2.53 ERA, 88 Ks, 1.04 WHIP)
Edwin Jackson (6-4, 2.40 ERA, 79 Ks, 1.07 WHIP)
Jered Weaver (7-3, 2.53 ERA, 78 Ks, 1.08 WHIP)
Cliff Lee (4-6, 2.94 ERA, 74 Ks, 1.33 WHIP)
Kevin Millwood (7-5, 2.62 ERA, 65 Ks, 1.22 WHIP)
Mark Buehrle (7-2, 3.17 ERA, 58 Ks, 1.13 WHIP)

 

Closers

Jonathan Papelbon (17 saves, 1.74 ERA, 24 Ks, 1.12 WHIP)
Joe Nathan (16 saves, 1.63 ERA, 32 Ks, .83 WHIP)
David Aardsma (15 saves, 1.57 ERA, 43 Ks, 1.17 WHIP)

Too Early To Apologize

Josh Beckett (8-3, 3.74 ERA, 88 Ks, 1.26 WHIP)
Matt Garza (5-5, 3.61 ERA, 85 Ks, 1.16 WHIP)
James Shields (6-5, 3.36 ERA, 71 Ks, 1.26 WHIP)
CC Sabathia (6-4, 3.71 ERA, 70 Ks, 1.14 WHIP)
Joba Chamberlain (4-2, 3.81 ERA, 69 Ks, 1.41 WHIP)
Dallas Braden (5-6, 3.26 ERA, 62 Ks, 1.29 WHIP)
Jarrod Washburn (3-5, 3.24 ERA, 54 Ks, 1.19 WHIP)

Brian Fuentes (20 saves, 4.07 ERA, 28 Ks, 1.36 WHIP)
Bobby Jenks (18 saves, 3.46 ERA, 24 Ks, 1.12 WHIP)
Andrew Bailey (8 saves, 2.23 ERA, 50 Ks, 1.04 WHIP)

Beckett, Garza, and Sabathia have too high of ERAs to be certainly in. Shields' strikeout count was a bit low, but he just missed the cut. Chamberlain's WHIP and ERA were too high. 

Braden and Washburn will most likely not get recognition for their fantastic seasons based on the market they are in. However, I took them off based on their lower strikeout count. 

Fuentes and Jenks have ERAs that are far too high for All-Star closers although they are top two in saves. Bailey's strikeout count is amazing, but his lack of saves is what got him paper, scissors, cut. 

I have only 27 "certainly in," which leaves room to add some of the apologized, and I am certainly open to suggestions. I also have no representations from the Baltimore Orioles or Oakland A's, but could easily sub Braden, Bailey, Roberts, or Jones in the vacant spots.

Be sure to fix all the mistakes Baseball Tonight is causing by getting out there and voting. 

Remember, unlike government elections, your vote actually counts.

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