Saturday, July 02, 2005

Get Your All-Stars!

Ortiz will be there
Lost in the NBA Draft excitement is the fact that the All-Star teams will be announced in a matter of days. Here are my versions of the team, taking into account the fan voting (controversial), representation rules (ridiculous), and all of the other weird twists and turns in the selection process. Be sure to weigh in with your own choices.


Adam Hoff said...

This will be a two part post: NL in one, AL in the other. Here is how I think the National League All-Star roster should look, taking into account all of the restrictions.

1B - Derrek Lee and Albert Pujols (in lead to be voted as starter). Lee has been the best player in baseball this year and is hitting .386 with 25 jacks and 67 RBI. He trails Andruw Jones by one HR and Carlos Lee by five RBI for the league lead, so he's still very much in the hunt for the Triple Crown. He gets my NL MVP for the first half. As for Pujols, he's quietly having another monster year with .349/21/65 on the board.

(Sorry, Carlos Delgado.)

2B - Jeff Kent (starter) and Chase Utley. Apologies to Marcus Giles, but Utley is just as good defensively and on the bases, but has more power.

3B - Scott Rolen (starter) and Morgan Ensberg. You can make a case for Aramis Ramirez, but Ensberg's 21 HR and sizzling bat in June get him the nod. Rolen gets the nod more for his career work than his injury-plagued 2005.

(Sorry to Ramirez and my boy David Wright.)

SS - Cesar Izturis/David Eckstein (starter), Felipe Lopez, and Omar Vizquel. The race for the starter is going down to the wire, but neither really deserves the spot. Lopez has been the best shortstop not named Miguel Tejada in the majors this year and is hitting .321 with 14 HR and 48 RBI. Vizquel is on the team because the Giants need a player, which is the saddest thing I've ever written. (Alou gets snubbed because of the NL's outfield depth and the time he missed while injured.)

C - Mike Piazza (starter) and Yadier Molina (manager's pick). NL catcher is a cess pool. Believe it or not, Piazza has the best offensive numbers at the position, while Molina has thrown out an incredible 20 of 31 runners on the bases. Maybe if we combined these guys, we'd have a decent All-Star.

OF - Carlos Beltran (starter), Bobby Abreu (starter), Jim Edmonds (starter), Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Lee, Andruw Jones, Jason Bay, Jose Guillen, and Cliff Floyd (final fan vote). Abreu is a stud and Edmonds is fine as a starter, but Beltran shouldn't be here. I like the guy and think he'll go off during the second half, but there are just too many good NL outfielders. Cabrera is my wild card for NL MVP, by the way.

(Apologies here to the wildy underrated Reggie Sanders who has improbably racked up 17 home runs and 13 stolen bases while hitting .280. Did he switch bodies with Corey Patterson? Someone needs to look into this.)

SP - Pedro Martinez, Chris Carpenter, Roger Clemens, Dontrelle Willis, Jake Peavy, Roy Oswalt, John Smoltz, Brandon Webb, Chad Cordero, Trevor Hoffman, Billy Wagner, and Brian Fuentes. Pedro and Carpenter will be dueling for Cy Young honors and the next six starters have all been studs this year. In the pen, Chad Cordero leads a trio of outstanding closers. Then of course, we have Webb and Fuentes, who take deserving spots away from guys like Livan Hernandez and Brad Lidge just because we need players from the D-Backs and Rockies. Representation rules suck!

Adam Hoff said...

Here are the AL All-Stars:

1B - Mark Teixeira (starter) and Paul Konerko. At least, I hope Teixeira hangs on and beats out Tino Martinez for the spot. If Tino is starting at 1B, I might not watch. As it stands, Teixeira is one of the five best hitters in the AL and putting up monster numbers (.286/22/64 with 60 runs). Konerko's average is poor, but he's hit for power on an amazing White Sox team.

2B - Brian Roberts (starter), Alfonso Soriano, and Jorge Cantu. Big ups to the fans for taking note of Roberts fine season. His 1.043 OPS is second in the majors behind Lee and he has 18 steals to go with his 13 home runs, and AL-leading .359 average. Soriano has quietly put up very nice numbers with .277/20/51 and 57 runs/8 stolen bases. Cantu gets in as the lone Devil Ray with .302/14/48.

3B - Alex Rodriguez (starter) and Melvin Mora. A-Rod is lurking in Triple Crown territory: .323 (fourth), 20 HR (second), and 66 RBI (third). Meanwhile, Mora just keeps raking for the contending Orioles (.300/14/46 with 7 steals).

SS - Miguel Tejada (starter), Michael Young, and Derek Jeter (final fan pick). Tejada is the first half MVP of the AL with .321/19/60 and leadership to spare. Young has outperformed Jeter in every way but stolen bases (.325 to .303, 12 HR to 10, 43 RBI to 35, and better fielding), but both will make the team thanks to the fan vote for the final roster spot.

C - Jason Varitek (starter) and Ivan Rodriguez. Varitek deserves the spot for his leadership as well as his bat. His OPS is more than 100 points better than any other full time catcher. Pudge makes the team for his excellent defense (gunning down 50% of would-be base stealers) and solid hitting.

DH - David Ortiz (starter) and Travis Hafner. Easy choices. Big Papi is making a run at an MVP Award and Hafner was just killing people in June.

OF - Manny Ramirez (starter), Vlad Guerrero (starter), Johnny Damon/Ichiro (starter), Torri Hunter, and Gary Sheffield. So much for Manny being "done." He hit his 20th home run today and now leads the AL with 70 RBI. Plus, his average has climbed 32 points in 19 days to .277. As for the other guys, these are pretty easy picks. Hunter has been stealing bases and playing his usual great D, Sheffield has been solid, and the loser of the Ichiro/Damon derby for a starting spot makes the team as a reserve anyway.

SP - Roy Halladay, Mark Buehrle, Johan Santana, Jon Garland, Bartolo Colon, Matt Clement (even after he got pasted today), Rich Harden, and Andy Sisco. Kenny Rogers gets the boot for slugging that cameraman and is replaced by Harden (even though he missed about a month) since the A's need a rep. The first four guys are easy. The real story here is that middle reliever Andrew Sisco makes the team over guys like Chris Young, Jeremy Bonderman, and Freddie Garcia because the Royals need a rep, and he's literally all they have. Sad state of affairs.

RP - Mo Rivera, BJ Ryan, Eddie Guardado, and Francisco Rodriguez. You could make a case for Jessie Crain of the Twins for his 8-0 record, but each of these closers have been terrific, so they all get a spot.

There you have it.

Anonymous said...

What did you think of the actual results? Your guy Ensberg got dissed.

JR said...

Biggest snub: Torri Hunter. He's had clutch hits, he mans center for one of the best teams in the AL, and he's been stealing bases like crazy. How does he get left off the team? I'm glad Joe Nathan made the squad, but if they were only going to pick two Twins, it should have been Hunter to go with Santana.

Adam Hoff said...

Hunter and Ensberg were big snubs, but I think the biggest was Jorge Cantu of the D-Rays. The reason I feel that way is that he's had a season that is just as good as Melvin Mora's AND he's a Devil Ray! They obviously reached for Danys Baez, so why not make the sacrificial Royal be equally mediocre relief pitcher Andy Sisco, so that the roster spot could be used for Cantu? Very strange; I thought he was an easy pick. Ensberg was probably the biggest snub in the NL, although you could argue that Jose Guillen - the heart and soul of the NL East-leading Washington offense - got the worst of it. Gammons had him as a top five NL MVP for the first half ... sort of similar to the year that Delgado was many people's first half MVP in Toronto with like 85 RBI and he didn't make the All-Star team. Weird things happen this time of year.

Anonymous said...

How did Shea Hillenbrand make the All-Star team? Not only is he an average player, but had they selected Travis Hafner (who is far better), they could have taken care of the Indians rep and avoided Bob Wickman ... all of which would have enabled the AL to include Andy Sisco of the Royals, which would have taken Mike Sweeney off the squad and made room for your boy Cantu.