AL All-Stars: Who Will Start, and Who Deserves To?

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AL All-Stars: Who Will Start, and Who Deserves To?

I am ready for the agony. Are you?

The All-Star Game is at Yankee Stadium...so it will be like going to any other Yankee game. It will be like it is every year: The New York Yankees taking on the people with the best careers (not seasons) in the National League.

I recall the "glorious" day in which the AL had an all-Yankee infield with C Jorge Posada, 1B Jason Giambi, 2B Alfonso Soriano (who the Yankees traded the previous off-season to acquire…) 3B Alex Rodriguez, and SS Derek Jeter.

I am sick of it.

The All-Star Game should consist of the players with the best seasons...not with the best careers. If I wanted to see a team based on amazing careers, I would vote for Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens.

If voting for the All-Star game ended right now, the roster for the American League would consist of:

C Jason Varitek (BOS), 1B Kevin Youkilis (BOS), 2B Dustin Pedroia (2B), 3B Alex Rodriguez (NYY), SS Derek Jeter (NYY), OF Manny Ramirez (BOS), OF Josh Hamilton (TEX), OF Ichiro (SEA), and DH David Ortiz (BOS).

Last year’s AL All-Star team didn’t have a starter hitting under .319. With the roster above, only four starters would be hitting over .300, with two players hitting under .252.

Jeter doesn't deserve to be an All-Star.

Derek Jeter has had an amazing career. He has played in six World Series, winning four of them. He is the captain of a legendary franchise. He has a higher career batting average than Paul Molitor, George Brett, and Hank Aaron.

But he is underachieving this season. He is currently tied for fourth n shortstop batting average with Julio Lugo, hitting .278...way under his career average of .316. Robert Horry has never made an All-Star game because of his championships.

But will he be there? Yes. Will he start? Yes. Will he take up a roster spot of someone else who deserves to be there? Yes.

A-Rod doesn't deserve to be an All-Star starter.

Alex Rodriguez has had an amazing career. He is on pace to break Barry Bonds’(*) home run record. But he has been hurt this season, and is nowhere near any of the top statistical categories.

He is currently second in batting average with .333**, but Joe Mauer, .335, has 40 more at bats than A-Rod, and third-place Milton Bradley, .332, has 20 more.

But will he be there? Yes. Will he start? Yes. Will he take up a starting spot of someone else who deserves to be there? Yes.

Ichiro Suzuki doesn’t deserve to be an All-Star starter.

Ichiro Suzuki has had an amazing career. He won the Rookie of the Year, MVP and a Gold Glove in 2001 with a Mariners team that won 116 games. He set the single-season hits record in 2004 with 262, and hit .372 that season.

But this season, he is hitting only (only?!?!?) .293. This isn’t 2001. This isn’t 2004. It is 2008.

But will he be there? Yes. Will he start? Yes. Will he take up a starting spot of someone else who deserves to be there? Yes.

David Ortiz doesn’t deserve to be an All-Star.

David Ortiz has had an amazing career. One of the most clutch players in playoff history, nobody has had more games decided by his swing than Ortiz. But major league ball clubs have invented the “Ortiz Shift,” and it is affecting his game. Ortiz does have 13 home runs, but is only hitting .252.

But will he be there? Yes. Will he start? Yes. Will he take up a spot of someone else who deserves to be there? Yes.

Dustin Pedroia doesn’t deserve to be an All-Star.

Dustin Pedroia, so far, has had an amazing career. He is a reigning world champion and AL Rookie of the Year. He hit .347 as a rookie last season. But he is only hitting .273, which is currently sixth among AL second basemen.

But will he be there? Yes. Will he start? Yes. Will he take up a spot of someone else who deserves to be there? Yes.

Jason Varitek doesn’t deserve to be an All-Star.

Jason Varitek has had an amazing career. He has caught four no-hitters. He is the captain of the Boston Red Sox. He is a two-time World Champion. But, simply put, he is hitting only .236 this season. There should be a law against hitting .236 and being an All-Star starter…or even an All-Star at all.

But will he be there? Yes. Will he start? Yes. Will he take up a spot of someone else who deserves to be there? Yes.

So, you all may be asking, “If this guy is so smart, who is he voting for to make the All-Star team?”

C Joe Mauer (MIN): Currently leading the AL in average at .335.

1B Kevin Youkilis (BOS): Batting .301 with 11 home runs and 44 RBIs.

2B Ian Kinsler (TEX): Batting .306 with 11 home runs. Kinsler is leading Pedroia in every offensive statistical category.

3B Joe Crede (CHW): Crede is one of the many reasons (other than playing in a bad division) that the White Sox are in first place. Crede is leading third basemen in home runs and is second in slugging percentage.

SS Nobody: I left SS blank on my ballot because there is no dominant shortstop in the American League this year. The glory days of Ripken, Nomar, and Jeter are gone.

OF Josh Hamilton (TEX): If you don’t vote for Hamilton, you shouldn’t vote at all.

OF Carlos Quentin (CHW): Hitting .281, and is second in the AL to Hamilton in home runs, and fourth in RBIs with 56.

OF Jose Guillen (KC): Hitting .289 with 12 home runs and 57 RBIs, second (to Hamilton) among AL outfielders.

DH Milton Bradley (TEX): This season, Bradley is making David Ortiz look like Pee Wee Herman. Bradley has more home runs (15 vs. 13) more RBIs (48 vs. 43) a higher average (.332 vs. .252), more hits (47 vs. 36), and stolen bases (4 vs. 0). Current DHs that have a higher average than Ortiz: Jason Kubel, Frank Thomas, Billy Butler, and Matt Stairs.

Baseball fans have gone crazy. Why worry about sports scandals like gambling, steroids, the BCS, and drug abuse when the greatest injustice in the history of sports is its All-Star voting system?

Had anybody outside of Minnesota ever heard of Torii Hunter before he robbed Barry Bonds* of a home run during the '01 All-Star Game?

So let your voice be heard, BleacherReport.com. Stop revolving around conformity and start embracing a world of baseball that not revolve around the Yankees or Red Sox.

Shouldn't the fans of Texas be allowed to be on the national spotlight with their good players, rather than be stereotyped as a organization with no talent? (There is plenty of hitting talent...but if you can throw the ball over the plate, please call 1-800-Rangers...)

*Sorry…couldn’t resist putting an asterisk next to Bonds’ name…

**All stats as of June 22

 

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