You Know There's A Problem When...
On Monday, All Star Ballot Update #3 was released.
YOU KNOW THERE'S A PROBLEM WHEN 7 OF THE 8 STARTERS ARE EITHER FROM THE YANKEES OR RED SOX.
That's right. If these results were final, A-Rod, Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon and Robinson Cano would all be starting at the All-Star Game. So too would Jason Varitek, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. That leaves Vlad Guerrero from the Angels supplying a 'lil West Coast flava as the third outfielder. ;p
There are a couple of problems with all this.
One is that most of the players above don't deserve to start in the game. I would argue that a few don't deserve to make the team even as a reserve.
Secondly, there are 14 teams in the AL. Having your starting lineup represented by players from only 3 or 4 teams is no good.
I realize that certain teams fans are more enthusiastic about voting (Yanks, Red Sox, Cardinals etc..) than others but it's getting to the point where really great players are being snubbed. Allowing people to vote up to 25 times online makes it easy for people to manipulate the results.
With that being said, there's still more than 2 weeks until the Starters and Reserved are announced (July 2). There's plenty of time for the votes to even out. There's plenty of time for popular, slumping players to put up numbers that actually mirror those of a deserving All-Star starter.
Below is a list of AL players I think deserve to be starters, as of June 13.
Actual Voting Results:
1. David Ortiz, Red Sox - 915,362
2. Jason Giambi, Yankees - 626,289
3. Paul Konerko, White Sox - 429,572
4. Travis Hafner, Indians - 364,246
5. Chris Shelton, Tigers - 274,730
I could be cheap here and put down Travis Hafner of the Indians as a starter since he's on the ballot at 1B, but because he's barely played any 1B in the past 3 seasons (and no appearances in '06 so far), I won't.
Starter: Paul Konerko, White Sox: .304, 17 HR, 49 RBI, 41 Runs, .381 OBP, .948 OPS.
Travis Hafner, Cleveland: .306, 18 HR, 55 RBI, 55 Runs, .452 OBP, 1.077 OPS
Jim Thome, White Sox: .281, 21 HR, 55 RBI, 52 Runs, .418 OBP, 1.035 OPS
Two DHs at honourable mention. I just hope Hafner makes it as a reserve.
1. Robinson Cano, Yankees - 602,637
2. Mark Loretta, Red Sox - 535,043
3. Tadahito Iguchi, White Sox - 499,643
4. Placido Polanco, Tigers - 268,728
5. Jose Lopez, Mariners - 265,692
No one player really jumped out at me but I'd give the nod to a 22 year old.
Starter: Jose Lopez, Mariners: .280, 9 HR, 51 RBI, 40 Runs, .321 OBP, .802 OPS, .985 FPCT
Tadahito Iguchi, White Sox: .286, 6 HR, 25 RBI, 44 Runs, .336 OBP, .751 OPS, 4 SB
Brian Roberts, Orioles: (in 45 GMS) .311, 0 HR, 21 RBI, 28 Runs, .385 OBP, .787 OPS, 15 SB
1. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees - 1,067,369
2. Mike Lowell, Red Sox - 468,031
3. Joe Crede, White Sox - 341,224
4. Troy Glaus, Blue Jays - 338,899
5. Eric Chavez, Athletics - 311,301
I am giving A-Rod the nod because I already know he will be starting and also because of what he has done in his career. He hasn't turned it on offensively but is still near the top at position. However, I almost went with Troy Glaus since Rodriguez has had a brutal time in the field. He's already made 11 errors after committing a total of 12 all of last season!
Starter: Alex Rodriguez, Yankees: .277, 13 HR, 46 RBI, 51 Runs, .387 OBP, .876 OPS, 6 SB
Troy Glaus, Blue Jays: .257, 19 HR, 50 RBI, 50 Runs, .360 OBP, .926 OPS
Hank Blalock, Rangers: .301, 10 HR, 48 RBI, 41 Runs, .379 OBP, .853 OPS (only 28K in 248 AB)
Could the Jays have 5 All-Stars this year!?
(Glaus, Vernon Wells, Roy Halladay, Alex Rios, BJ Ryan?)
1. Derek Jeter, Yankees - 1,121,712
2. Miguel Tejada, Orioles - 776,442
3. Michael Young, Rangers - 293,249
4. Alex Gonzalez, Red Sox - 249,094
5. Juan Uribe, White Sox - 232,635
As you can see, Michael Young is not getting the respect he deserves. He shouldn't be almost 500,000 votes behing Miggy! Alex Gonzalez shouldn't even be in the top 10. Anyway...
Starter: Miguel Tejada, Orioles: .336, 16 HR, 51 RBI, 53 Runs, .394 OBP, .954 OPS
Derek Jeter, Yankees: .336, 5 HR, 42 RBI, 45 Runs, .428 OBP, .906 OPS, 12 SB
Orlando Cabrera, Angels: .309, 4 HR, 39 RBI, 50 Runs, .368 OBP, .814 OPS, 9 SB
Michael Young, Rangers: .315, 4 HR, 40 RBI, 36 Runs, .361 OBP, .802 OPS
I assume Tejada and Jeter will be locks to make the roster. Perhaps one more SS will too?
1. Jason Varitek, Red Sox - 630,657
2. Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers - 595,132
3. Jorge Posada, Yankees - 489,480
4. A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox - 370,020
5. Victor Martinez, Indians - 324,575
This is the one that gets to me! WHERE IS JOE MAUER!!?? The 23 YEAR OLD can't crack the top 5? He's leading catchers in hitting, OBP, Stolen Bases, second in runs scored.
Where's Ramon Hernandez?
Starter: Joe Mauer, Twins: .376, 5 HR, 30 RBI, 35 Runs, .442 OBP, .965 OPS
Ramon Hernandez, Orioles: .295, 10 HR, 49 RBI, 27 Runs, .351 OBP, .853 OPS
Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers: .306, 5 HR, 31 RBI, 32 Runs, .336 OBP, .774 OPS, ZERO ERRORS
Victor Martinez, Cleveland: .295, 10 43 RBI, 36 Runs, .360 OBP, .853 OPS
Jorge Posada, Yankees: .294, 8 HR, 35 RBI, 23 Runs, .419 OBP, .901 OBS
Quite a nice group of catchers this year actually. Hopefully Pudge starts if Mauer doesn't.
1. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels - 1,115,476
2. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox - 1,080,426
3. Johnny Damon, Yankees - 754,396
4. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners - 677,392
5. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays - 554,409
6. Gary Sheffield, Yankees - 466,520
7. Jermaine Dye, White Sox - 407,162
8. Scott Podsednik, White Sox - 384,119
9. Hideki Matsui, Yankees - 362,289
10. Coco Crisp, Red Sox - 354,181
11. Torii Hunter, Twins - 349,262
12. Trot Nixon, Red Sox - 323,813
13. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers - 315,390
14. Grady Sizemore, Indians - 288,314
15. Jonny Gomes, Devil Rays - 225,432
So hard to pick just 3.
Vernon Wells, Blue Jays. .328, 17 HR, 54 RBI, 39 Runs, .384 OBP, 1.008 OPS, 6 SB
Ichiro, Mariners: .367, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 52 Runs, .416 OBP, .878 OPS, 20 SB
Grady Sizemore, Cleveland: .301, 12 HR, 34 RBI, 54 Runs, .378 OBP, .916 OPS, 9 SB
I get to see Wells and Ichiro play a lot and can say they are so valuable to their teams both offensively and defensively. Same goes for Sizemore who should be far higher than 14th amongst AL O-F voting.
Vlad Guerrero, Angels: .313, 15 HR, 52 RBI, 34 Runs, .353 OBP, .879 OPS, 5 SB
Alex Rios, Blue Jays: .341, 15 HR, 49 RBI, 45 Runs, .392 OBP, 1.026 OPS, 8 SB
Nick Swisher, Athletics: .294, 17 HR, 44 RBI, 50 Runs, .391 OBP, .967 OPS
Manny Ramirez, Red Sox: .293, 16 HR, 41 RBI, 36 Runs, .432 OBP, .998 OPS
Johnny Damon, Yankees: .293, 9 HR, 31 RBI, 49 Runs, .367 OBP, .832 OPS, 13 SB
Magglio Ordonez, Tigers: .298, 13 HR, 43 RBI, 36 Runs, .351 OBP, .859 OPS
Guys like Vlad and Manny aren't even playing at their usual levels and should still make the squad with no problem. Swisher and Rios are emerging as young stars while Damon has likely been everything Yankees fans expected, and Ordonez has bounced back from some major injuries the past couple of seasons and is a big reason the Tigers are 1st in the AL Central right now.
To recap, here are the current AL Starters as based on MLB voting:
C - Jason Varitek, Red Sox
1B - David Ortiz, Red Sox
2B - Robinson Cano, Yankees
3B - Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
SS - Derek Jeter, Yankees
OF - Manny Ramirez, Red Sox
OF - Johnny Damon, Yankees
OF - Vladimir Guerrero, Angels
...and here are MY PICKS...
C - Joe Mauer, Twins
1B - Paul Konerko, White Sox
2B - Jose Lopez, Mariners
3B - Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
SS - Miguel Tejada, Orioles
OF - Vernon Wells, Blue Jays
OF - Grady Sizemore, Indians
OF - Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners
I wonder how much my picks will have changed come July?
Please leave a comment and give me your picks along with any comments or criticisms!
I will UPDATE my picks (including NL) closer to the release of the All-Star starters and reserves.