Yet another All-Star game is upon us, which means lots of snubs, due in large part to the ESPN voters who feel no other teams exist, but the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
How many times do Steve Berthiaume and Chris Berman get to vote?
All this for a game that has consequence on the MLB World Series for some reason.
Here is a non-biased view of who should make the team.
Mauer really had to go and make this a difficult one by not living up to last year's numbers.
.300 BA, .375 OBP, 3 HR, 34 RBI, 42 R, 1 SB
Catcher position is really slim in the American League, but Mauer leads all catchers in batting average, on-base percentage and runs, so he's in.
Victor Martinez would be the most likely to back up Mauer.
.289 BA, .344 OBP, 9 HR, 38 RBI, 36 R, 1 SB
Like I said, it's a weak position.
Why Jorge Posada is second in the voting when we've played close to 80 games and he appeared in 52 of them is beyond me.
Guys Who Just Missed the Cut
John Buck - .263 BA, .301 OBP, 13 HR, 40 RBI, 26 R
Sorry, John, the batting average and OBP are just a bit on the small side. Although you could argue he should be on the team more than the two selected.
As I said before, things would have been much easier if Mauer and Martinez did what they were supposed to do this season.
Here is the complete opposite of the American League catcher position. At first base we have four players who deserve to make the team.
Miguel Cabrera - .337 BA, .412 OBP, 20 HR, 68 RBI, 57 R, 2 SB
Justin Morneau - .348 BA, .443 OBP, 16 HR, 52 RBI, 49 R
Paul Konerko - .295 BA, .387 OBP, 20 HR, 56 RBI, 45 R
Kevin Youkilis - .297 BA, .416 OBP, 15 HR, 50 RBI, 62 R
Judging who to start probably comes between Cabrera and Morneau and you can basically flip a coin with that one.
Cabrera has Morneau in the "sexy" stats of home runs, RBI and runs, but Morneau has Cabrera in average and OBP. Cabrera has Morneau in slugging, but OPS goes to Morneau.
It's a tough year to be at first base in the AL.
Why Mark Teixeira (.234 BA, .345 OBP, 13 HR, 49 RBI, 53 R) is in second in the voting and Carlos Pena (.199 BA, .316 OBP, 16 HR, 50 RBI, 38 R, 2 SB) is in fifth, while Konerko is not even in the top five is beyond me.
Pena and Teixeira are your only real "guys who just missed the cut", but their numbers clearly show why.
Kendry Morales is another guy who would've have been in the mix had he not jumped on home plate.
Finally, an easy one.
Robinson Cano is clearly the starter and the voters have that right.
.353 BA, .404 OBP, 16 HR, 54 RBI, 57 R, 2 SB
Backing up Cano is another issue.
Dustin Pedroia was easily penciled in to make it, but now that he's hurt, there are a couple candidates, none of which really jump out at you.
Ty Wigginton - .258 BA, .342 OBP, 14 HR, 42 RBI, 30 R
Solid numbers, but not really All-Star numbers and he also has only played 35 games at second base this season.
Ben Zobrist - .296 BA, .381 OBP, 5 HR, 41 RBI, 38 R, 14 SB
Here is your most likely other second baseman to make the team. Very good numbers even though he somewhat lacks the power numbers.
Oh, wait, he's only played 18 games at second base this season.
Your best bet is flipping a coin between:
Ian Kinsler - .300 BA, 395 OBP, 3 HR, 26 RBI, 43 R, 7 SB (55 games)
Orlando Hudson - .283 BA, .354 OBP, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 46 R, 6 SB
Another bad position for the American League. By default this goes to:
Elvis Andrus - .292 BA, .374 OBP, 0 HR, 24 RBI, 55 R, 22 SB
with a backup of:
Derek Jeter - .283 BA, .343 OBP, 8 HR, 39 RBI, 51 R, 8 SB
Right now Jeter is of course leading Andrus in the voting, but both should make the team, so that isn't a problem.
Guys Who Just Missed the Cut
Alex Gonzalez - .264 BA, .303 OBP, 14 HR, 40 RBI, 42 R, 1 SB
Erick Aybar - .278 BA, .339 OBP, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 45 R, 12 SB
Not much to choose from at shortstop.
Gonzalez's numbers are actually pretty good and could be argued to make the team, but we will have to wait and see if there's room for a third shortstop.
In the American League you either have to select the best of bad or one of three that should make it. There is no easy decision.
Third base is one of those multiple possibilities with any one having the chance to start.
Evan Longoria - .292 BA, .368 OBP, 12 HR, 54 RBI, 47 R, 12 SB
Adrian Beltre - .349 BA, .385 OBP, 12 HR, 53 RBI, 40 R, 1 SB
Personally, I'd go with Beltre to start, but, once again, I wish we could just flip a coin. Beltre beats Longoria more in average and OBP than Longoria beats Beltre in RBI and runs.
Both players play extremely good defense and Longoria has Beltre in stolen bases.
Both will make the team and both deserve to start.
Also deserving to make the team:
Michael Young - .315 BA, .361 OBP, 11 HR, 51 RBI, 55 R, 3 SB
Alex Rodriguez - .282 BA, .358 OBP, 12 HR, 56 RBI, 43 R, 2 SB
Not sure why Rodriguez is leading all votes to start...oh wait, I know why.
Another cluster of talent in the outfield. We have a couple of shoe-ins though.
Josh Hamilton - .340 BA, .385 OBP, 18 HR, 58 RBI, 52 R, 6 SB
Vernon Wells - .280 BA, .331 OBP, 19 HR, 47 RBI, 44 R, 4 SB
Carl Crawford - .317 BA, .378 OBP, 7 HR, 39 RBI, 59 R, 29 SB
Also should make the team:
Alex Rios - .307 BA, .363 OBP, 13 HR, 42 RBI, 49 R, 21 SB
Shin-Soo Choo - .285 BA, .389 OBP, 13 HR, 43 RBI, 48 R, 12 SB
Brett Gardner - .317 BA, .399 OBP, 3 HR, 23 RBI, 49 R, 24 SB
Not a For-Sure But Could Make the Team
Nick Swisher - .287 BA, .365 OBP, 13 HR, 47 RBI, 47 R
Torii Hunter - .288 BA, .368 OBP, 12 HR, 53 RBI, 45 R, 6 SB
Magglio Ordonez - .314 BA, .388 OBP, 10 HR, 49 RBI, 45 R, 1 SB
Ichiro Suzuki - .332 BA, .387 OBP, 3 HR, 24 RBI, 32 R, 21 SB
Guys Who Just Missed the Cut
Jose Bautista - .229 BA, .355 OBP, 20 HR, 50 RBI, 48 R, 3 SB
Jose Guillen - .281 BA, .342 OBP, 14 HR, 50 RBI, 42 R, 1 SB
Denard Span - .281 BA, .355 OBP, 3 HR, 34 RBI, 49 R, 16 SB
Austin Jackson - .308 BA, .357 OBP, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 45 R, 13 SB
Here is where the fans prove how ridiculous they are.
Ichiro is first among all outfield voting, Nelson Cruz (41 games played) is in fourth, Curtis Granderson (.235 BA, .311 OBP, 7 HR, 22 RBI, 28 R, 6 SB) is in sixth, B.J. Upton is in 10th with a .226 batting average, Wells is in 11th for some reason and Rios isn't in the top 15.
Michael Cuddyer is also 12th in the voting.
I put Choo as basically a for-sure in because he is clearly the only Cleveland Indians representative and he does deserve it.
Another clear cut winner, but rather than have a backup DH, why not bring one of the third baseman or first baseman who don't make it?
Vladimir Guerrero - .336 BA, .381 OBP, 18 HR, 68 RBI, 51 R, 4 SB
The first and third basemen who don't make it have better numbers than David Ortiz.
Most likely backup if you really think a DH needs one:
David Ortiz - .259 BA, .366 OBP, 17 HR, 53 RBI, 41 R
A tough decision as to who should start the game, but I'm going with:
Jered Weaver - 8-3, 2.82 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 124 K, 108.2 IP
Also on staff:
Felix Hernandez - 6-5, 3.03 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 116 K, 121.2 IP
Jon Lester - 9-3, 2.86 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 111K, 107 IP
Ricky Romero - 6-4, 2.83 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 103 K, 111.1 IP
C.C. Sabathia - 10-3, 3.33 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 93 K, 116.1 IP
David Price - 11-3, 2.44 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 84 K, 99.2 IP
Cliff Lee - 7-3, 2.45 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 78 K, 95.2 IP
Colby Lewis - 7-5, 3.28 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 94 K, 98.2 IP
Guys Who Could Make the Team
These guys have great numbers, but I wasn't positive enough in them to say they are shoe-ins.
Jeff Niemann - 6-2, 2.80 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 75 K, 106 IP
Carl Pavano - 9-6, 3.30 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 63 K, 111.2 IP
C.J. WIlson - 6-4, 3.34 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 76 K, 102.1 IP
Andy Pettitte - 9-2, 2.72 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 74 K, 99.1 IP
Jason Vargas - 6-3, 2.80 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 62 K, 96.1 IP
Clay Buchholz - 10-4, 2.45 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 64 K, 92 IP
Trevor Cahill - 8-2, 2.74 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 56 K, 82 IP
Guys Who Just Missed the Cut
Francisco Liriano - 6-6, 3.47 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 106 K, 98.2 IP
Ervin Santana - 8-5, 3.92 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 92 K, 105.2 IP
Zack Greinke - 4-8, 3.94 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 92 K, 112 IP
Shaun Marcum - 7-4, 3.44 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 88 K, 107.1 IP
Phil Hughes - 10-2, 3.58 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 81 K, 88 IP
Gio Gonzalez - 6-5, 3.74 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 79 K, 96.1 IP
John Danks - 7-6, 3.62 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 75 K, 97 IP
We go by ERA, WHIP and strikeouts here rather than just save totals.
Your for-sures are:
Neftali Feliz - 21 saves, 2.62 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 37 K, 34.1 IP
Joakim Soria - 20 saves, 2.43 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 36 K, 29.2 IP
Rafael Soriano - 19 saves, 1.57 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 26 K, 28.2 IP
Mariano Rivera - 18 saves, 0.89 ERA, 0.59 WHIP, 30 K, 30.1 IP
Jose Valverde - 18 saves, 0.53 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 32 K, 34 IP
Guys Who Missed the Cut
Jon Rauch - 17 saves, 2.61 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 23 K, 31 IP
Kevin Gregg - 18 saves, 4.20 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 35 K, 30 IP
Jonathan Papelbon - 18 saves, 3.82 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 28 K, 33 IP
Don't give me that shocked look, Derek.
I mentioned 33 players who should make the team, but the problem is fan voting will vote a couple starters who should not be there—period, taking away from a non-starter who should be.
I also did not mention one Baltimore Oriole and I didn't put any Oakland Athletic in a for-sure in position, which could mean two more undeserving players making the team.
Another problem is the American League is heavy at first, third, starting and closing pitchers by my picks, but light at catcher, short, and second, which means if a coach goes with three players from the less talented positions, one player from the deeper positions gets snubbed.
As I stated before, a lot of talent in the American League will either be snubbed at the deeper positions solely because you can't have four first basemen or four third basemen nor can you have one shorstop/second baseman or, as usual, by the voting at the starting positions.
The AL simply has a couple positions that don't deserve an All-Star at all, so I could see the NL pulling out a win and unfairly taking homefield advantage of the World Series even though the AL, as a whole, is clearly better.