The 2008 MLB All-Star Game is scheduled for July 15 at Yankee Stadium.
The format for my selections is not exactly how the MLB actually does it, as I will have the nine starters for the National and American leagues, one backup per position, four starting pitchers, three relief pitchers, and one designated hitter per team since the game is being played in an American League park. Also, I don't base my selections on popularity.
I hope so, because here it goes.
AMERICAN LEAGUE STARTERS
1B—Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox: Youkilis finally gets some All-Star love.
2B—Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers: The AL isn't very deep at second base, but Kinsler is having a solid season.
3B—Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals: For me, it's not a popularity contest. It's a production contest. Gordon has been productive for the improving Royals.
SS—Derek Jeter, New York Yankees: Like second base, shortstop is not very deep in the AL. Jeter is still the guy.
C—Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins: No home runs this season, but one of the best batting averages in baseball gives him the nod.
LF—Carlos Quentin, Chicago White Sox: If the season ended today, it would already be Quentin's best of his young career.
CF—Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers: With home run totals down, Hamilton is a legitimate triple crown threat.
RF—Magglio Ordonez, Detroit Tigers: The Tigers have been a disappointment thus far, but Ordonez has not.
DH—David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox: The batting average is down, but the home run and RBI numbers are high.
SP—Joe Saunders, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Saunders is among the top pitchers in the AL in terms of wins and ERA.
AMERICAN LEAGUE BENCH
1B—Casey Kotchman, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
2B—Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
3B—Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
SS—Michael Young, Texas Rangers
C—Jason Varitek, Boston Red Sox
LF—Manny Ramirez, Boston Red Sox
CF—Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians
RF—Milton Bradley, Texas Rangers
SP—Cliff Lee, Cleveland Indians
SP—Daisuke Matsuzaka, Boston Red Sox
SP—Ervin Santana, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
RP—Scott Linebrink, Chicago White Sox
RP—Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals
RP—Francisco Rodriguez, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
NATIONAL LEAGUE STARTERS
1B—Lance Berkman, Houston Astros: Like Josh Hamilton of the Rangers, Berkman has an outside shot at the triple crown.
2B—Dan Uggla, Florida Marlins: Uggla's numbers are slightly better than Chase Utley's, so he gets the start.
3B—Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves: If Berkman is going to compete for the triple crown, Jones' above-.400 average will have to subside.
SS—Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins: He's been the best player for the surprising Marlins.
C—Geovany Soto, Chicago Cubs: Soto has been by far the most productive NL catcher this season.
LF—Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers: Braun plays LF and 3B, but he had to make this team somehow.
CF—Nate McLouth, Pittsburgh Pirates: McLouth is well on his way to his best season in the big leagues. What a surprise he's been.
RF—Ryan Ludwick, St. Louis Cardinals: Like McLouth, Ludwick has been a surprising outfielder for an NL Central team.
DH—Matt Holliday, Colorado Rockies: Wasn't exactly room for Holliday in the outfield, but there is always room for his bat.
SP—Brandon Webb, Arizona Diamondbacks: A possible winner of 30 games? Probably not, but he'll come the closest.
NATIONAL LEAGUE BENCH
1B—Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
2B—Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies
3B—Aramis Ramirez, Chicago Cubs
SS—Miguel Tejada, Houston Astros
C—Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves
LF—Pat Burrell, Philadelphia Phillies
CF—Aaron Rowand, San Francisco Giants
RF—Xavier Nady, Pittsburgh Pirates
SP—Edinson Volquez, Cincinnati Reds
SP—Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants
SP—Carlos Zambrano, Chicago Cubs
RP—Carlos Marmol, Chicago Cubs
RP—Brandon Lyon, Arizona Diamondbacks
RP—Jose Valverde, Houston Astros