Monday, July 7, 2008

MLB All Star Teams

All Star Games are not my cup of coffee. They never have been, as the only purpose they serve is being a glorified exhibition where guys where shiny shoes and play half speed. The fact that this decides which league representative has home field advantage in the World Series is absolutely deplorable. The fact that the fans get to decide who play in this game that has ramifications involving the World Series is even worse. On top of all of this (you thought I was finished, didn't you?), due to the utter stupidity of the rule dictating that there has to be at least one representative from every team, you are ensured that the rosters are not comprised of all the best players in each league. Oh and to add to this pile of mess, in the player voting whoever is second on the ballots is required a spot on the team.
Now that we have gone through everything I feel is wrong with the All Star game we will take a look at the All star game rosters and my opinions on how they are made up.
American League
Starting Lineup:
C- Mauer

1B Youkilis

2B Pedroia
SS- Jeter

3B- A-Rod

OF- Josh Hamilton

OF- Manny

OF- Ichiro

DH - Ortiz






F. Rodriguez

Ervin Santana

Joe Saunders

George Sherril

Joakim Soria

C Navarro

C Varitek
1B Morneau

2B Kinsler

SS M. Young

3B Crede

3B Guillen

RF Drew

LF Quentin
CF Sizemore

CF Bradley

Now before I get started on anything else, Jason Varitek on the All Star Team is the most shameful and disgraceful selection I have ever seen, and there have been several bad ones especially given the rule that every team needs a representative. Back on Varitek, do you realize that Varitek is 15 for his last 113 at the plate?

Do you realize that his average is a putrid and downright pitiful.215? Do you realize you could conceivably call up a catcher from Single A and get similar production? Varitek has the lowest average of any catcher on the majors who has enough at bats to qualify. Upon seeing his name on the All Star Roster, I was speechless, then laughed. As I said in the opening, I don't really care about the All Star Game, but I still like criticizing the picks especially the ones that make absolutely NO SENSE like the Varitek pick.
As far as changes I would make to the roster:

1)At second base I would replace switch Pedroia and Kinsler. Pedroia is a deserving all star but he shouldn't be starting. Kinsler is having the better season

Kinsler- .338 14 HR 53 RBI 80 runs 30 2B .396 OBP .554 SLG .950 OPS
Pedroia-.311 9 HR 41 RBI 61 runs 21 2B .354 OBP .458 SLG .812 OPS

As you can see Kinsler is outperforming Pedroia in every relevant category, so he should be starting.

2)In the outfield, I would swap Milton Bradley and Manny Ramirez.

Milton Bradley- .319 17 HR 54 RBI 53 runs 22 2B .445 OBP .603 SLG 1.048 OPS
Manny Ramirez- .278 16 HR 54 RBI 52 runs 16 2B .379 OBP .494 SLG .872 OPS

Bradley is having an incredible year in Texas this season, while Ramirez is having a down year, for him anyway. Bradley is outdoing him in every category with a wide disparity in the On base percentage jersey, slugging percentage and on base+slugging departments.

3) At shortstop I would swap Derek Jeter and Michael Young.
M. Young- .291 7 HR 46 RBI 58 runs 23 2B .340 OBP .418 SLG .758 OPS
D. Jeter- .281 4 HR 37 RBI 48 runs 16 2B .343 OBP .385 SLG .729 OPS

As you can see, Michael Young has had a far superior season to that of Derek Jeter's, so he should be starting while Jeter should be coming off the bench.

4)Evan Longoria and Mike Lowell both deserve a spot over Joe Crede

J. Crede- .261 15 HR 47 RBI 36 runs 15 2B .338 OBP .478 SLG .816 OPS
E.Longoria- .283 16 HR 53 RBI 44 runs 22 2B .354 OBP .535 SLB .889 OPS
M. Lowell- .299 13 HR 54 RBI 39 runs 21 2B .362 OBP .520 SLG .882 OPS

Both Lowell AND Longoria have been better than Crede this season, yet he still made it. How is that?

5)Anyone over Jason Varitek

Jason Varitek- .215 7 HR 27 RBI 18 runs 13 2B .297 OBP .354 SLG .651 OPS
Anyone with a pulse- Numbers undetectable
This is ridiculous. It's ridiculousness won't even let me delve further into the matter.
National League

NL starting lineup:
C- Soto
1B- Berkman
2B- Utley
SS- Hanley Ramirez
3B- Chipper
OF- Ryan Braun
OF- Fukudome
OF- Soriano

Aaron Cook
Ryan Dempster
Dan Haren
Brad Lidge
Tim Lincecum
Ben Sheets
Edison Volquez
Billy Wagner
Brandon Webb
Brian Wilson
Kerry Wood
Carlos Zambrano

NL Reserves:
Russell Martin
Brian McCan
Adrian Gonzalez
Albert Pujols
Dan Uggla
Aramis Ramirez
Cristian Guzman
Miguel Tejada
Matt Holliday
Ryan Ludwick
Nate McLouth

My thoughts on the team

1. Fukudome belongs nowhere near the team, much less starting.

Carlos Lee- .292 20 HR 70 RBI 44 runs 25 2B.338 OBP .543 SLG .881 OPS
Corey Hart- .299 14 HR 55 RBI 46 runs 25 2B .337 OBP .515 SLG .852 OPS
Jason Bay- .289 17 HR 45 RBI 62 runs 20 2B .395 OBP .527 SLG .922 OPS
Pat Burrell- .277 22 HR 54 RBI 48 runs 20 2B .409 OBP .586 SLG .994 OPS
R. Ludwick- .290 17 HR 58 RBI 54 runs 23 2B .367 OBP .577 SLG .944 OPS
Xavier Nady- .323 12 HR 55 RBI 42 runs 24 2B .383 OBP .538 SLG .920 OPS

Fukudome- .287 7 HR 35 RBI 58 runs 16 2B .391 OBP .420 SLG .811 OPS

And each and everyone of those guys didn't make it while the guy with the average production in the big city did.

2. Carlos Lee should be starting in place of Soriano

SP Johan Santana over SP Carlos Zambrano

Santana 121.2 IP 113 hits 2.96 ERA 1.19 WHIP .243 BAA 32 walks 109 K
Zambrano 112.1 IP 109 hits 2.96 ERA 1.31 WHIP .255 BAA 38 walks 73 K

Santana has been more impressive this season, even though due to lack of run support his W-L record is very mediocre (even though I feel pitchers shouldn't have W-L next to their name anyway)

3. SP Cole Hamels over SP Ryan Dempster
Hamels 128.2 IP 98 hits 3.22 ERA 1.02 WHIP .209 BAA 33 BB 110 K
Dempster 111.0 IP 88 hits 3.24 ERA 1.18 WHIP .215 BAA 43 BB 93 K

Hameles has been absolutely nasty this year, how he isn't on the team is beyond me, but I am not surprised.

4. SP Chad Billingsley over SP Aaron Cook
Billingsley -104 IP 90 hits 3.12 ERA 1.31 WHIP .232 BAA 46 BB 107 K
ACook- 132 IP 141 hits 3.66 ERA 1.29 WHIP .280 BAA 30 BB 64 K

I don't know what's worse, the fact that Cook even made the team, or the fact that made it on merit, and not just being the only rep for Colorado.

3B- David Wright over Aramis Ramirez

Wright : 17 HRs 70 RBIs .288 BA .382 OBP .512 SLG .894 OPS
Ramirez : 15 HRs 60 RBIs .283 BA .379 OBP .498 SLG .877 OPS

Wright has been better to this point all season. He should have gotten the nod.

In conclusion, there will always be snubs no matter if they fixed the system or kept it the way it is, but the system the way it is currently structured is a joke of epic proportions. Again, the rule that states every team should have an all star should be lit up in flames, especially if we are playing for home field in the World Series. If the game has vested interest like that, then don't you think we should be making the best roster we could possibly make? And the All Star Game, the glorified exhibition that it is, shouldn't have any bearing on the home field advantage. Why don't we let something like the teams' actual records determine this? There is so much wrong with the All Star Game, and it actually having a tangible effect on the World Series is absolutely ridiculous. They thought that aspect would make the game more fun for the fans, more people would watch when it has had an adverse effect. It makes the game even more of a joke than it already was.

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