It’s that time again! July 14 marks the 80th All Star Game between the National League and the American League, and we the people get to vote who goes (quick, go vote if you haven’t already – polls close Thursday!) Here are the Ladies… lists of our best of the best and some whys…
1B: Mark Teixeira (NYY). He’s a newbie to the team and he had a bit of a rough start, but he’s been climbing back up for me lately. Just need to see some more power hitting.
Catcher: Jason Varitek (BOS). Every New York bone in my body says no, but come on. The man is insane, and if I were routing for the AL to win, he’s an obvious choice over anyone else.
Outfield: Ken Griffey Jr. (SEA). I loved him 20 years ago, and I love that he’s back with Seattle again. Just love him period. Plus, he’s been to nearly every All Star game since 1990 (or at least most of them!)
Outfield: Grady Sizemore (CLE). He’s cute, he’s good. It’s just that simple, folks.
Yes that is all I picked for AL. My heart and my knowledge somewhat belongs to the NL lately anyways.
1B: Albert Pujols (STL). Duh.
2B: Chase Utley (PHI). Again, New York bones say no. But if I want the NL to actually win…
SS: Hanley Ramirez (FLA). He’s young, he hits, he fields, he’s super promising for years to come. I dig.
3B: David Wright (NYM). No he has not been hitting strong more recently. Yet somehow his BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) leads the NL with an absurd .457. Yet how many strikeouts does he have? Yeah. Still love him. He’s my man.
Catcher: Brian McCann (ATL). Consistently at the top for NL catchers, and he can hit. Good enough for me.
Outfield: Carlos Beltran (NYM). If he ever feels better, the man is obviously incredible. Got a couple of golden gloves, couple of silver sluggers…
Outfield: Adam Dunn (WAS). Usually a decent power hitter. Good fielder too. Yes I could have gone with Ibanez but I didn’t want to, so there. Plus plenty of Mets fans are mad that we don’t have him.
Outfield: Milton Bradley (CHC). JUST KIDDING!!!!! LOLZ
Outfield: Alfonso Soriano (CHC). I have a soft spot for the Cubs, and I loved Soriano back when I was an avid Yankee fan. Not a stellar hitter this year, but none the less, I’m picking him so shut up.
(admittedly, I’m an NL gal and my knowledge of the AL is limited)
1B – Russell Branyan, SEA
Not only do I have a lot of love for Mr. 3TO (3 true outcomes) from his time as a Brewer, but he’s absolutely broken out with Seattle. A guy who was basically a bench player used for PH has made himself an invaluable part of this club. And I’m a sucker for that.
2B – Ian Kinsler – TEX
I just think his overall numbers overshadow the others. Though his BA is lower, he adds the HR and SB and I’ve heard about how well he’s doing, which means he’s attracting notice from the media, since otherwise, I’d never know who he is.
SS – Nick Punto – MIN
I have no reason. I try to give small midwest clubs some love.
3B – Brandon Inge – DET
17 HR, 49 RBI – I like offense
C – Hottie Joe Mauer – MIN
A pretty face, a cute butt and flirting with .400. He’s in!
OF – Jason Bay – BOS
Nelson Cruz – TEX (former Brewer prospect)
Carl Crawford – TB (38 effin’ SB!? My whole team has like half that!)
1B – Prince Fielder – MIL
I’ll admit to being a homer. But Prince also has 73 RBI (which, until Pujols hit two HR tonight, led the league.) Plus, the game’s in St. Louis and it’s clear Albert will get the start, so I’m giving my guys as much love as possible.
2B – Chase Utley – PHI
SS – Hanley Ramirez – FLA
I was afraid for us every time he came to the plate. He made our pitching look silly. He’s kicking ass.
3B – Mark Reynolds – ARI
C – Bengie Molina – SF
Because wouldn’t it be funny if Bengie got the start over Yadi in Yadi’s home park?
OF – Ryan Braun – MIL
Michael Bourn – HOU
Mike Cameron – MIL Cam’s had a hell of a defensive season and here in his 14th year his strikeouts are way down and his plate discipline has really made a difference for the team.
I tend to base my voting on the premise of “How many Yankees can I vote for that aren’t Alex Rodriguez?” Shameful, I know. But here’s a couple of highlights from my submission:
(SS) Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
This will no doubt get me shunned by a few of my beloved Ladies, but I don’t even know how I can fill out an All-Star ballot online and not vote for my second husband, Derek Sanderson Jeter. And yes, I am aware of his current regular season stats in comparison to other shortstops in the American League. But I couldn’t imagine an All-Star game without him. Face it – the man has had an outstanding career. He’s fun to watch. I still smile over that stolen base at the ’08 ASG in The House That Ruth Built.
I know there’s an excellent argument to be made over this one. But this pick is not about picking the “familiar” player – it’s about being a huge fan of Derek Jeter.
(Outfield) Ken Griffey Jr. – Seattle Mariners
This is very obviously a nostalgia pick. The man has a 20-year major league career – how much longer can we expect to have him around? I can’t help but think his presence would be an absolute thrill for any young guy on the ASG American League squad.
And my write-in? Nick Swisher, Yankee outfielder. I think the presence of the Swish-hawk would add some much-needed levity to the affair.
I’m the worse kind of fan/All-Star voter. Do I vote based on merit? sometimes. Do I vote based on my hometown bias? a little. Do I vote based on who I drafted for my fantasy team? quite a bit. Do I vote based on looks? pretty much. I always feel like my vote doesn’t count anyway, since I’m not a ballot stuffer, so here goes nothing.
1B – Carlos Pena, TB. I vote for Carlos because of my friends. We love Carlos.
2B – Brian Roberts, BAL. Obviously, I vote for B-Rob based on merit, bias, fantasy status and looks!
SS – Jason Bartlett, TB. He’s on my fantasy team. He gets my vote.
3B – Brandon Inge, DET. He’s on the fantasy team and just plain rocks. How can you not love the Inge?
C – Joe Mauer, MIN. Let’s see where do I begin? Hot? check. Awesome? check. On my fantasy team? check.
OF – Adam Jones, BAL; Nick Markakis, BAL; Ken Griffey, Jr. SEA – Adam and Nick were no-brainers for me. Griff was one of my favorite players when I was a kid. He’s a throwback pick.
1B – Albert Pujols, STL. He’s awesome and on my fantasy team.
2B – Chase Utley, PHL. Chase is pretty hot and not a bad second baseman.
SS – Troy Tulowitzki, COL. Troy is a cutie. Again, he’s on one of my many fantasy teams.
3B – David Wright, NYM. I love me some D-Wright. He’s always the “Wright” choice! I crack myself up!
C – Ra”moan” Hernandez, CIN. Yeah, I loved Ramon when he played with the O’s, so I’m sticking with him.
OF – Andre Ethier, LAD; Hunter Pence, HOU; Conor Jackson, ARI – Let’s start out with the fact that all three are hot. Andre and Hunter are on my fantasy team, and I love Conor.
In coming up with my ballot, I discovered an interesting side effect to not playing fantasy baseball for the first time in four seasons: though I have a better sense of the pennant races and which teams are doing well, I have very little knowledge of individual players’ stats — particularly if they aren’t on a NY team or the Cardinals. So I’m doing the annoying joke ballot. Who cares if the players “deserve” to be on the team so long as their presence amuses me.
1B- Miguel Cabrera, DET
2B-Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE
SS-Orlando Cabrera, OAK
Let’s see FOX get through the entire four hour All-Star Game broadcast without mixing up the Cabrera cabal at least once. Also, I would like to see McCarver attempt to pronounce “Asdrubal.” (I still haven’t forgiven anyone in that production booth for Timmy’s “music video” a few weeks ago.)
3B-Mark DeRosa, CLE
Because the “guy gets voted in in one league but has already been traded to the other” gimmick is always fun.
OUTFIELD – Grady Sizemore, CLE
I don’t really care who else is in the American League outfield. My television needs more Grady Sizemore on it.
Write In- Melky Cabrera, OUT, NYY. I will have my revenge, FOX.
1B- Albert Pujols, STL
Yeah, like I’m going to vote for anyone else, even on a gimmick ballot.
2B-Skip Schumaker, STL
This is less about my personal bias and more about my continuing amusement in yelling “C’mon, Skippy!” at my television.
3B-David Freese, STL
This year’s best candidate for “making self-important sportswriters heads explode at the affront to the sanctity of the voting process” is Freese, who is somehow the Cards 3B representative despite getting demoted to AAA in late April and then having season ending surgery.
Matt Kemp, LAD
Andre Either, LAD
Daniel Murphy, NYM
My NL infield is kind of St. Louis heavy. Fortunately, I like my outfielders pretty and most of St. Louis’s outfielders are … not, so much. These guys are, though.
Okay, I know it looks like this pick is filled with rampant homerism, but bear with me here. Sure, I’m a Sox fan living in Philadelphia, but the Sox and the Phillies also happen to have some of the strongest starters in baseball this year. (Okay, so the Sox have a black hole at short and the Phillies couldn’t buy a win at home if they borrowed the cash from Ryan Howard, Still.)
AL: Kevin Youkilis. Look, I know Mark Texeira’s suddenly the happening pick here, but am I the only baseball fan in America that remembers how much he flat-out sucked for the early part of the season. Sure the Yankees can blame injury and spotty starting pitching (and bullpen) for the fact that they’re 3.5 games behind your Boston Red Sox, but the fact remains that they needed his bat and he failed them spectacularly.
NL: Pujols. Sorry, Ryan Howard. Albert Pujols is the St. Louis Cardinals this year. You’ll just have to wait for Charlie to invite you to back him up.
AL: Dustin Pedroia. Come on. If you think I’m not taking last year’s AL MVP, you’re wrong, and I’m not apologizing for that.
NL: Chase Utley. Learn it, live it, love it You ask me who the best 2nd baseman in baseball is, and I’m picking Chuts every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Sit down, Dan Uggla. Nobody’s talking about you.
AL: Marco Scutaro First off, the fact that Jed Lowrie is even on this ballot makes my heart hurt. Of course, it also makes me want to punch the living daylights out of Julio Lugo, but that’s a default setting. I refuse to pick Jeter, because he’s overrated. Come on, if he played in Kansas City, no one would know who the hell he was. Scutaro’s been quietly putting together an All-Star caliber season in Toronto. He’s worth it.
NL: Hanley Ramirez. No, no, Jimmy Rollins. You sit down. Over there, on the bench. You know it well, sir. You’ve been riding it for some time now.
AL: Mike Lowell. Mostly because I hate A-Rod so much I can’t bring myself to vote for him. Plus, how can you not love MYGLOWL?
NL: David Wright. I don’t want to talk about it.
AL: Jason Varitek. Look, the Cap has completely turned himself around since his dismal last year. He’s hitting the ball again (Hooray for the death of the Human GIDP!) and his talent for managing pitchers has helped keep the Red Sox out in front. I will not argue this, and it is not a homer pick. Mostly.
NL:Yadier Molina I know McCann’s got the edge offensively, and that’s worth thinking about, but fr my money, you’ve got to take defense into account when picking your catcher. Defensively? Yadier’s leading the way.
AL: Jason Bay (Manny who?), Vlad Gurerro, and Jacoby Ellsbury. (Semi-homer-esque, but the kid’s hitting, he’s fast, and he’s made some of the most amazing plays I’ve seen all year. Leave it.)
NL: Raul Ibanez (Seriously, Pat Burrell who?), Brad Hawpe, and Ryan Braun. If you vote for Manny Ramirez, all your other votes shouldn’t count.
C: Joe Mauer
1B: Kevin Millar
2B: Brian Roberts
SS: Ramiro Pena
3B: Brandon Inge
OF: Curtis Granderson
OF: Don Kelly
OF: Nick Swisher
C: Chris Iannetta
1B: Mark Reynolds
2B: Freddy Sanchez
SS: Stephen Drew
3B: Andy LaRoche
OF: Hunter Pence
OF: Brad Hawpe
OF: Andre Ethier
So there you have it everyone, the Ladies… All Star Ballots. Tell us who voted for and why!