State of the Sox: My Analysis of the Boston Red Sox All-Stars

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State of the Sox: My Analysis of the Boston Red Sox All-Stars
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Well after hearing that Boston would have six representatives in this years All Star Game in St. Louis, I have a lot of mixed feelings regarding some of the men going into the game. Therefore, I will be looking at all of these All Stars and I will see if these men truly deserve to be All Stars this season.

Though I am a big Red Sox supporter, I would like to be skeptical towards some of these players (Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Jonathan Papelbon, Tim Wakefield, Jason Bay, Josh Beckett).


Jason Bay

Well there is not much to look at when it comes to Jason Bay. Bay has been the most productive hitter in the American League and he is definitely in for some big money this offseason.

Bay currently has 19 home runs and has knocked in 73 runs. Though he is slumping as of late, Jason has shown signs that he is hitting better again as he continues to hit career numbers. Jason Bay has made Boston fans love trading Manny Ramirez now and this young kid deserves to be in the All Star Game this year.


Josh Beckett

Despite his struggles early on in the season, Josh Beckett has been lights out for the Sox with a 9-3 record. There is no doubt that Beckett deserved to be in this game, though there may be arguments about his poor start this season, though I believe that he has been unstoppable since the end of April.

Josh is likely to have won 10 or more games in each of his past five seasons, which helps his chances as well. I think Beckett is an obvious pick and he deserves to be in this game in St. Louis.


Jonathan Papelbon

I have a lot of mixed feelings when it comes to Papelbon in the All-Star Game. I do think his ERA (1.73) and amount of saves (20) should give him a spot, but I feel that Papelbon is very lucky that he has these great numbers.

If you observe his outing, you see that he never has a quick one-two-three inning, he is always scaring fans in the ninth inning. Obviously he has been solid in some of his games, but he frankly scares me every time he comes out to pitch.

The kid has undeniable talent for sure, but it may be just me, but his numbers are very misleading because he allows so many baserunners. He makes us leave Fenway Park saying, "Wow, that was a close call right there."

Does his ability to get out of these jams earn him a spot? Well maybe, but someone of his caliber should not be getting us into these jams every time he comes out. He has had moments where he looks terrific, but that is just half of the time in my eyes. I just think that Ramon Ramirez or Takashi Saito deserve to be in St. Louis over Papelbon, but that just may be me.

Dustin Pedroia

First of all, I would like to give a stat comparison between Pedroia and two other second basemen of his caliber (Ian Kinsler and Aaron Hill)

               HR    RBI      BA     SLG%     Runs

Pedroia      3      39      .290   .393        59

Kinsler       19    51      .256   .500        57

Hill            20    59     .299    .503        50

Now tell me, does Dustin Pedroia look like an All-Star? No he does not, because this was a simple result of a popularity contest. Aaron Hill and Ian Kinsler should have been going for the starting position and Pedroia should have tried to get in on the final poll. What about Robinson Cano? He has had some All-Star caliber numbers this season.

Dustin is certainly a great player, but he is nowhere near as good as he was last season, especially from an offensive standpoint compared to these two men. I really disagree with this decision and I find it sad for the rest of baseball to see Kinsler fighting for a spot that he deserves and Aaron Hill taking the backseat to Pedroia.

I know this is just the All-Star Game, but even a Sox fan should admit that more players are more suitable for the job than Dustin should not be starting, but that is the beauty of the All Star balloting.


Kevin Youkilis

Youk is certainly deserving of the spot with his MVP season as of late, but my question is over this who debate on Youkilis or Teixeira. I put together another chart comparing the two

              HR    RBI      BA     SLG%     Runs           

Youkilis     14    47      .301    .569      49

Teixeira    20     61      .278   .555      52

Now you have to remember that Kevin Youkilis did miss some time this season and he still has a more solid batting average and a slightly better slugging percentage than Teixeira. I do think that Youkilis was the better man to start, but there is someone that everyone has forgotten.

A name that should be starting this game and would have won by a landslide if he were on Boston or New York...Justin Morneau. Let us look at his stats so far and compare them to the other two men. 

              HR    RBI      BA     SLG%     Runs  

Morneau   21    69     .323     .601       56

Youkilis     14    47      .301    .569      49

Teixeira    20     61      .278   .555      52

Now who really deserves to start? There is no question that Youkilis should be in the game and I now believe that he should not start, but neither should Teixeira. Justin Morneau is the obvious choice for starter in this tight race.

Tim Wakefield

Boston's all time starts leader is now officially an All Star for the first time after his very good season as of late. He is leading the MLB in wins (Tie of 10 wins) and he also has only lost three games this season for the Red Sox.

Wakefield was a substantial staple to the pitching staff in the beginning of the season when Lester, Beckett, and Matsuzaka were all struggling. Wakefield was the savior, but I'm not sure if he should be an All Star and I really feel that Joe Madden had to pick Wakefield.

Wakefield's 4.03 ERA is not that pretty and he also has not been an innings eater as well. I think Madden was pressured into this because, well this was the Red Sox veteran's last chance in my opinion. Who knows if he will ever be this solid again?

Why not give him some respect as his career comes to a close and let him be in an All Star game. There are other pitchers who should have been in this game that will not because Wakefield took the spot, someone like Kevin Millwood of the Texas Rangers.

I really admired what Wake had to say regarding the All Star Game and he is certainly not a publicity hog who died for this game. He just says if he wins, then good for him...if he doesn't, oh well a young kid gets the spot he deserves. I also think his run support has saved his record, but I think Wakefield just deserves to be in this game.


Recap

Although I'm very upset that Dustin Pedroia is in the All Star game, I do think that everyone else earned a spot in one way or another. I'm glad Youkilis is on the bench, but I'm also mad that Morneau is not starting.

Papelbon is also a "lucky" player this year to me. As for Bay, Beckett, and Wakefield, I am glad they are all in the game and this was really Wakefield's last shot.

I look forward to the All Star Game and here are some of my random thoughts about the rest of the game

1. Surprised Josh Hamilton is starting? Me too.

2. Where the hell is Adam Dunn? He is having a great year

3. Adrian Gonzalez and Ryan Howard are on the bench? That just shows that Pujols is a monster. Almost 100 RBIs in the first half of the season is out of this world.

Well that is all for now and I hope you enjoyed another episode of State of the Sox

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