MLB All-Star Game 2010: Comparing the AL and NL Rosters
The midsummer classic goes to Disneyland in 2010.
Just miles down the street from the happiest place on earth, a collection of the greatest baseball players in the world will meet for one star-studded evening.
Who's ready for a California Adventure?
I sure am.
Here is a position-by-position breakdown of the 81st MLB All-Star Game in Anaheim, California.
Josh Johnson has been the most consistent pitcher in either league this season.
So what if he hasn't thrown one of the exorbitant no-hitters?
With an MLB leading 1.82 ERA, Johnson hasn't given up more than two earned runs in an outing since May 8.
After three innings of the Marlins ace, the Senior Circuit would likely go to fellow Cy Young candidates Ubaldo Jimenez and Roy Halladay.
Not a bad 1-2-3 punch.
Look for the American League to counter with the Mariners' Cliff Lee, the Rays' David Price, and the Red Sox's Jon Lester.
It's tough to be good on a bad team.
To be the best on a bad team is just insane.
But that's exactly what Royals' closer Joakim Soria is.
Tied for the MLB lead in saves at 23, Soria has a 2.48 ERA.
In front of Kansas City's lone representative will be Mariano Rivera and Jose Valverde.
The National League is disqualified from this category for not even including its saves leader on the team: Heath Bell (1.72 ERA).
You can't go wrong with the golden boy of baseball.
Twins catcher Joe Mauer led the MLB in votes this season, tallying the third highest total of all time (behind Albert Pujols and Ken Griffey Jr.). Apparently not just the state of Minnesota loves him.
On the field, Mauer is batting .303 with three home runs and 34 RBIs.
The National League starter is the Cardinals' Yadier Molina with his second straight appearance in the game.
Don't look directly into his eyes.
Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols is a lock for the starting job each and every year.
The Machine is a three-time NL MVP and a perennial triple crown threat in an era that is nearly impossible to complete the triple crown.
This season Pujols is batting .305 with 20 home runs and 60 RBIs.
His counterpart, the Twins' Justin Morneau, is also a former MVP and currently leads the MLB with a batting average of .344
The MVP of the American League so far, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano is the most feared hitter in the most feared lineup in baseball.
Batting .342 with 16 home runs and 55 RBIs, Cano makes pitchers look silly with his lackadaisical swing and big smile at the plate.
With Chase Utley hurt, the National League will be forced to turn to the Braves' Martin Prado to fill the gap (.331 batting average with seven home runs and 36 RBIs).
The American League is stacked at third base.
Leading the way is Rays' all-everything Evan Longoria.
Batting .296 with 12 home runs and 60 RBIs, the Tampa Bay pretty boy is just as good a defender as he is at the plate.
Behind him is the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez and the Red Sox' Andrian Beltre, either of whom could have started without much argument from me.
On the other hand, the National League will counter with David Wright followed by Scott Rolen.
Prima Donna? Probably.
Even better player? Definitely.
Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez can do whatever he wants on and off the field just by hitting those 500 foot bombs.
And boy are they fun to watch fly.
If Ramirez ever grows up he'll win multiple MVP trophies.
Batting .297 with 13 home runs and 53 RBIs, the former batting champion is the clear favorite over the aging Yankee Derek Jeter.
Nobody in baseball is hotter than the Rangers' Josh Hamilton right now.
The slugger is hitting .340 with 20 home runs and 61 RBIs while leading his team to the top of the AL West.
Next to the left fielder for the American League will be the Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki and the Rays' Carl Crawford.
On the opposite side, the Senior Circuit will throw out the Brewers' Ryan Braun, the Dodgers' Andre Ethier, and a replacement for injured Braves rookie sensation Jason Heyward.
Coming off a World Series victory, Yankees manager Joe Girardi is going to win this one by default.
That's because Phillies manager Charlie Manuel made the most head-scratching All-Star selection I've ever heard of.
Omar Infante was not one of the best 34 best players in the National League this season.
He was an above-average utility man.
I understand that in given circumstances, he might be needed to fill a position in a late game scenario. But come on, I'm sure NL home run leader and Reds first baseman Joey Votto (who didn't make the team) wouldn't mind switching positions for a game.
By my count that's six categories for the American League and three for the National League.
So, let's make it easy, that will be my prediction for the game.
AL wins 6-3 and takes its winning streak over the NL to 13 games
MVP: Robinson Cano