The fans may not have given the Red Sox much love when casting their ballots for the all-star game, but opposing players and managers- as well as Major League Baseball itself- certainly did as six Red Sox were chosen to play in the Mid-Summer Classic next week in Los Angeles.
And now Sox fans can help to make certain that another player gets to go along too, as a seventh player (1B Kevin Youkilis) is one of five non-selectees nominated in the MLB.com Final Vote.
The American League starting squad will consist of two players each from the Minnesota Twins, NY Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers, as well as one Seattle Mariner… and in spite of the fact no Red Sox player was selected to start the game, The Olde Towne Team tied the Yankees for the most players to be selected for the AL squad, with six.
Boston players so honored were C Victor Martinez (4th selection), 2B Dustin Pedroia (3rd), 3B Adrian Beltre (1st), DH David Ortiz (6th), RHP Clay Buchholz (1st) and LHP Jon Lester (1st).
Unfortunately, Martinez and Pedroia are injured and won’t be able to participate in the ballgame. They will be replaced by Texas 2B Ian Kinsler and Toronto C John Buck, respectively.
And we will learn in the next 24 hours if Clay Buchholz will share their fate, as unconfirmed reports indicate he will likely join his teammates on the disabled list sometime this week.
Red Sox fans also have the opportunity to send Youkilis to the game- which would give the Red Sox an MLB-high seven all-stars!
He is one of the five players eligible to be selected to the team by fan balloting, along with 1B Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox, OF Nick Swisher of the NY Yankees, OF Delmon Young of the Minnesota Twins and 3B Michael Young of the Texas Rangers.
Voting can be done exclusively at MLB.com… click here to vote for YOUK!
Here are your 2010 all-stars… starters are in bold-faced type:
C: Joe Mauer, MIN (Victor Martinez, BOS*; John Buck, TOR)
1B: Justin Morneau, MIN (Miguel Cabrera, DET)
2B: Robinson Cano, NYY (Dustin Pedroia, BOS*; Ian Kinsler, TEX; Ty Wiggington, BAL)
3B: Evan Longoria, TB (Adrian Beltre, BOS; Alex Rodriguez, NYY)
SS: Derek Jeter, NYY (Elvis Andrus, TEX)
OF: Carl Crawford, TB; Josh Hamilton, TEX; Ichiro Suzuki, SEA (Jose Bautista, TOR; Torii Hunter, LAA; Vernon Wells, TOR)
DH: Vladimir Guerrero, TEX (David Ortiz, BOS)
SP: Clay Buchholz, BOS; Trevor Cahill, OAK; Fausto Carmona, CLE; Phil Hughes, NYY; Cliff Lee, SEA; Jon Lester, BOS; David Price, TB; and C C Sabathia, NYY
RP: Neftali Feliz, TEX; Mariano Rivera, NYY; Joakim Soria, KC; Matt Thornton, CWS; and Jose Valverde, DET
C: Yadier Molina, ST L (Brian McCann, ATL)
1B: Albert Pujols, ST L (Adrian Gonzalez, SD; Ryan Howard, PHI)
2B: Chase Utley, PHI* (Brandon Phillips, CIN; Martin Prado, ATL)
3B: David Wright, NYM (Omar Infante, ATL; Scott Rolen, CIN)
SS: Hanley Ramirez, FLA (Troy Tulowitzki, COL*; Jose Reyes, NYM)
OF: Ryan Braun, MIL; Andre Ethier, LAD; Jason Heyward, ATL (Michael Bourn, HOU; Marlon Byrd, CC; Corey Hart, MIL; Matt Holliday, ST L; and Chris Young, AZ)
SP: Chris Carpenter, ST L; Yovani Gallardo, MIL; Roy Halladay, PHI; Tim Hudson, ATL; Ubaldo Jimenez, COL: Josh Johnson, FLA; Tim Lincecum, SFG; Evan Meek, PIT; and Adam Wainright, ST L
RP: Jonathan Broxton, LAD; Matt Capps, WAS; Arthur Rhodes, CIN; and Brian Wilson, SFG
NL nominees for fans Final Vote: RHP Heath Bell, SD; OF Carlos Gonzalez, COL; 1B Joey Votto, CIN; LHP Billy Wagner, ATL; 3B Ryan Zimmerman, WAS.
* unable to participate due to injury
And with that, there is already much discussion about the snubs in each league.
In the American League, the biggest snub was Youkilis, who has been the best player on the Red Sox thus far in 2010. Beyond Youkilis, I have to admit I was surprised that LAA RHP Jered Weaver wasn't named to the team, since he leads the league in whiffs and the game is being played on his home field. Also, what about Seattle righty Felix Hernandez - who is arguably one of the best pitchers in the league even though his record doesn't reflect his ability (he does, after all, play for the Mariners)? And Twins lefty Francisco Liriano is in the process of returning to the form that once made him a future Cy Young winner -- before his injury. The last 'worst snub' candidate in the AL is CWS OF Alex Rios, who finally appears to have harnessed his immense potential.
NOTE: NYY lefty C.C. Sabathia is scheduled to pitch on Sunday and, by rule, he won’t be permitted to take a spot on the AL’s active roster. While I suspect Joe Torre would prefer to name his own pitcher, Andy Pettitte (who has 10 wins) to replace Sabathia, it seems likely the league will say the Yankees already have enough players on the roster, and that either Weaver or Hernanadez will be tabbed to replace the big lefty on the active roster.
The betting here is Youkilis wins the Final Vote, and Weaver is chosen to replace Sabathia because of the fact the game is being played in Anaheim.
In the National League, Bell, Gonzalez and Votto are on the Final Vote ballot. In addition I would add a couple of other snubs - C Miguel Olivo of the Colorado Rockies (.308 / 11 / 39) or RHP Mike Pelfrey of the NY Mets (10-2, 2.93).
It says here that Votto will win the Final Vote, although I will vote for Bell, who leads all of baseball in saves.