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Just Off-Camera

"They respect you if you write. The dumber the world gets, the more the words matter." -Dan Jenkins

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

I'm Seeing Stars

With the All-Star Game four weeks away, I figured I'd take this opportunity to pick my All-Star teams. Some of the players here are the leading vote-getters, some aren't even close, but I think they all deserve their spot on the team.

The guidelines I'll use are pretty much the same that MLB uses: For the starters, I'll go only with players listed on the ballot. For reserves, I'm taking players at positions at which they've played the majority of their games in the field (not including DH here, since the game is being held in an NL park). I'll go with 20 hitters and 10 pitchers from each league, and I'm going to take at least one player from each team. Also, there will be at least one backup at every position.

So here goes...

First, the AL starters:
C - Ivan Rodriguez, DET
1B - Frank Thomas, CHW
2B - Alfonso Soriano, TEX
3B - Melvin Mora, BAL
SS - Carlos Guillen, DET
OF - Vladimir Guerrero, ANA; Manny Ramirez, BOS; Matt Lawton, CLE
P - Curt Schilling, BOS

The NL starters:
C - Mike Piazza, NYM
1B - Albert Pujols, STL
2B - Jeff Kent, HOU
3B - Scott Rolen, STL
SS - Jack Wilson, PIT
OF - Barry Bonds, SF; Bobby Abreu, PHI; Lance Berkman, HOU
P - Randy Johnson, ARI

AL reserves:
C - Victor Martinez, CLE
1B - David Ortiz, BOS; Travis Hafner, CLE
2B - Juan Uribe, CHW
3B - Alex Rodriguez, NYY; Hank Blalock, TEX
SS - Michael Young, TEX
OF - Carlos Beltran, KC; Jose Guillen, ANA; Jermaine Dye, OAK; Carl Crawford, TB; Hideki Matsui, NYY
P - Pedro Martinez, BOS; Mark Mulder, OAK; Mariano Rivera, NYY; Javier Vazquez, NYY; Eddie Guardado, SEA; Keith Foulke, BOS; Mark Buehrle, CHW; Juan Rincon, MIN; Roy Halladay, TOR

NL reserves:
C - Johnny Estrada, ATL
1B - Sean Casey, CIN; Jim Thome, PHI
2B - Mark Loretta, SD
3B - Aramis Ramirez, CHC
SS - Royce Clayton, COL
OF - Scott Podsednik, MIL; Steve Finley, ARI; Miguel Cabrera, FLA; Jeromy Burnitz, COL; Ken Griffey Jr., CIN; Craig Wilson, PIT
P - Roger Clemens, HOU; Armando Benitez, FLA; Jason Schmidt, SF; Matt Clement, CHC; Carlos Zambrano, CHC; Ben Sheets, MIL; Tom Glavine, NYM; Eric Gagne, LA; Livan Hernandez, MTL

Not surprisingly here, the Red Sox (five All-Stars) and the Yankees (four) have the most players represented here. In the NL, the Cubs and Astros are the only teams with three, which is a good representation of how evenly spread out across the league talent is.

What did surprise me was after I had made my teams originally and then went back to see which teams weren't represented yet, I was only missing two teams. Those were the Blue Jays and Expos, so I took the best pitcher from each team, mostly because neither team has anyone hitting at an All-Star clip this season.

Later this week I'll set out to explain the choices here. If there's anything you really are scratching your head over, let me know, and I'll do my best to back up my pick. I already imagine there might be a few names that provoke some feedback.


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