The All-Star vote is broken, and this year's manager picks are atrocious. Looking at the rosters for the 2010 Midsummer Classic, it's clear that the league's best players will not be represented.
So Bleacher Report's Featured Columnists decided to see if we could do better.
In this slideshow are the results of a poll conducted during the last week of All-Star voting. We've certainly got some different ideas about who should play in the Midsummer Classic; in the NL alone, three of the nine real-life voting leaders would be on the bench or at home on July 13 if we had our way (AL results were released yesterday).
As always, each slide features commentary from a different Featured Columnist, but this time there's a twist: In the interest of encouraging minority representation, if a winning player in this poll also came out on top last time, his slide instead includes a write-up from a dissident about why he or she voted for someone else (if you want want more details about an old winner, just go back to last time and update the numbers).
Thanks to everyone who participated!
Note: I sent this survey only to the Featured Columnists who have been active in previous polls. If you are a new FC or you have changed your mind about wanting to participate, send me a message and I'll be sure to keep you in the loop for next time!
1. Albert Pujols, STL—10
2. Adrian Gonzalez, SD—7
3. Joey Votto, CIN—5
Don't forget about: Joey Votto (Jeff Wahl)
Joey Votto didn’t make the All-Star Team? Ugh. Here’s where he ranks among first basemen compared to Ryan Howard and Adrian Gonzalez, who Charlie Manuel picked instead.
BA: Votto 1st, Howard 6th, Gonzo 7th
HR: Votto 2nd, Howard 5th, Gonzo 6th
SLG: Votto 1st, Gonzo 6th, Howard 7th
OPS: Votto 1st, Gonzo 4th, Howard 8th
Runs: Votto 1st, Howard 2nd, Gonzo 8th
Total Bases: Votto 2nd, Howard 4th, Gonzo 5th
So, he’s not good enough for the All-Star Game, but he could finish in the top five in the MVP voting. Makes perfect sense.
May winner: Pujols
June winner: Pujols
Real-life winner: Pujols
1. Martin Prado, ATL—12
2. Chase Utley, PHI—5
3. Dan Uggla, FLA—2
T4. Kelly Johnson, ARI—1
T4. Brandon Phillips, CIN—1
T4. Rickie Weeks, MIL—1
New leader: Martin Prado (Cameron Britt)
Martin Prado of the Atlanta Braves is now the All-Star starter thanks to Chase Utley’s surgery. But there is a looming question: Should Prado have been the man for the job all along?
Prado had a .331/.370/.474 line (that average is the best in the National League) with seven homers, 25 doubles, and two triples through 82 games as Atlanta’s second baseman and primary leadoff man.
Utley’s line looked like this in 72 games: .277/.383/.466 with 11 HR, 13 2B, and two 3B (along with five stolen bases to Prado’s four — so not much difference there).
Outside of OBP, the edge seemingly goes to the less sexy name in Prado.
May winner: Utley
June winner: Utley
Real-life winner: Utley
1. Hanley Ramirez, FLA—12
2. Troy Tulowitzki, COL—6
3. Jose Reyes, NYM—3
4. Rafael Furcal, LAD—1
Don't forget about: Jose Reyes (Jon Presser)
Jose Reyes of the Mets is one of the most exciting players in baseball when he’s healthy, and his absence for most of the 2009 season was a key reason why the Mets fell apart last season.
In June, Reyes hit .314/.360/.533. His OBA each month went from .285 to .311 to .397. He also led all NL players in speed rating with an 8.6 Spd.
The Mets have surged to the top of the NL standings (currently Wild Card leaders and 2.0 GB Atlanta) thanks to tremendous starting pitching and an offense that has taken off again thanks to a hot stretch of play from Reyes.
As Reyes goes, the Mets go, and right now both of them are going pretty well.
May winner: Ramirez
June winner: Tulowitzki
Real-life winner: Ramirez
1. David Wright, NYM—11
2. Scott Rolen, CIN—7
3. Ryan Zimmerman, WAS—2
T4. Casey McGehee, MIL—1
T4. Pablo Sandoval, SF—1
New leader: David Wright (Brandon Williams)
Rumors of David Wright’s demise were premature. Mr. Met is A-OK.
Wright leads all National League position players with a 4.0 WAR. Look at the NL leaders, and you’ll see Wright at or near the top in RBI (league-best 64), batting average (.317), OBP (.394), slugging (.547), and OPS (.941).
The Mets are atop the NL Wild Card chase primarily because the heart and soul of the franchise has returned to his All-Star ways following a 2009 season (.307-10-72) that had some wondering if the move to Citi Field would hurt his offensive numbers.
New York’s quest for its third World Series will be fueled by the team's anchor, and for Mets fans, that’s all Wright.
May winner: Sandoval
June winner: Zimmerman
Real-life winner: Wright
1. Miguel Olivo, COL—9
2. Brian McCann, ATL—7
T3. Yadier Molina, STL—2
T3. Ivan Rodriguez, WAS—1
5. Rod Barajas, NYM—1
New leader: Miguel Olivo (Dan Tylicki)
In the National League, catchers have not been playing all that spectacularly this season, and seem to be playing well only defensively or only offensively, never both. Miguel Olivo is one of the few who is performing well on both ends.
Unlike Rod Barajas, who has completely disappeared (he’s hitting .194 with two RBI since June 1), Olivo has been consistently good for the Rockies. He’s hitting .307 with 11 home runs and 39 RBI, as well as five triples.
His 3.0 WAR leads NL catchers, and he’s the only regular to throw out over 50 percent of players who try to steal a base on him. When watching him play, one realizes that it’s no question he should be the All-Star representative at catcher.
May winner: McCann
June winner: Barajas
Real-life winner: Molina
1. Ryan Braun, MIL—14
2. Andre Ethier, LAD—13
3. Colby Rasmus, STL—5
T4. Matt Holliday, STL—4
T4. Andrew McCutchen, PIT—4
T6. Carlos Gonzalez, COL—3
T6. Corey Hart, MIL—3
T6. Jason Heyward, ATL—3
T6. Josh Willingham, WAS—3
T10. Marlon Byrd, CHC—2
T10. Jonny Gomes, CIN—2
T10. Matt Kemp, LAD—2
T13. Jason Bay, NYM—1
T13. Jay Bruce, CIN—1
T13. Ryan Ludwick, STL—1
T13. Angel Pagan, NYM—1
T13. Justin Upton, ARI—1
T13. Jayson Werth, PHI—1
T13. Chris Young, ARI—1
Don't forget about: Corey Hart (Adam Rygg)
Coming into this season, few players had been more universally disappointing than Corey Hart. He had performed poorly ever since his inclusion in the 2008 All-Star Game. He won an arbitration hearing giving him a salary few, if any, felt he deserved.
Can you say “image rehabilitation?”
Hart leads a team (which includes Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun) in home runs and RBI. As I write this, he is tied for third in the entire National League in home runs (19) and sits alone in second place with 61 RBI.
Quite a turnaround, and one very deserving of another chance at All-Stardom.
May winners: Braun, Kemp, Heyward/Rasmus (tie)
June winners: Braun, Ethier, Heyward
Real-life winners: Braun, Ethier, Heyward
Don't forget about: Andrew McCutchen (Matt Esposito)
There isn’t a better way to represent the Pittsburgh Pirates in the All-Star game than with the inclusion of center fielder Andrew McCutchen.
He is young and he’s the whole package on offense. He is a speedster, and while base stealing is a significant part of his game, McCutchen also has some pop and will hit his fair share of home runs.
His power and average might not measure up to those of other big names like Andre Ethier, but McCutchen’s ability to get on base is very comparable, and he brings much more speed to the table.
Ethier had fewer games to put up the big numbers and succeeded, but McCutchen effectively piled on the hits and runs scored. His all-around game is extremely underrated.
New leader: Colby Rasmus (Jeremiah Graves)
Rasmus has delivered in every way this season, hitting an outstanding .278/.369/.547 with 16 home runs, 40 RBI, and nine stolen bases. His .916 OPS is second on the team behind only Albert Pujols.
He has posted more impressive overall numbers than the two more experienced outfielders who flank his sides in St. Louis, Ryan Ludwick and All-Star Matt Holliday.
More importantly, his numbers eclipse those of Jason Heyward, who appears to have been voted in largely on the back of his early season success and a whole boatload of hype.
Colby Rasmus, perhaps more than any other National League snub, deserves to be an All-Star.