June 22, 2010

My All-Star ballot is full of Dirt Bags

I probably don’t mention this nearly enough, but I’m part of a great organization called the Baseball Bloggers Alliance. A number of us (ideally all of us) are posting our picks for the 2010 All-Star game which will be held in Anaheim this year.

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this event (the game - not voting); having gone to my first All-Star game back in 2008 at Yankee Stadium with Cheryl. It was one of the best sports experiences of our lives and we’re hoping this year’s mid-summer classic is just as special.

So, without further ado, here are my picks for the 2010 All-Star game.

1B Miguel Cabrera (Tigers)
2B Robinson Cano (Yankees)
3B Evan Longoria (Rays)
SS Alex Gonzalez (Blue Jays)
C Joe Mauer (Twins)
OF Josh Hamilton (Rangers)
OF Torii Hunter (Angels)
OF Alex Rios (White Sox)
DH Vladimir Guerrero (Rangers)
SP Jered Weaver (Angels)

If you’re looking for a long detailed explanation for all of my picks, I’m sorry to disappoint you; that isn’t going to happen. I will touch on a couple things though…

The popular sentiment for first base seems to be Justin Morneau and he’s a fine pick for that position; however, I decided to go with Miguel Cabrera simply because he has hit more homeruns (and there OPS' are close). I also have this vivid memory of a moon shot he hit against Joe Saunders in Anaheim this year that left a huge imprint on my memory. I also happen to think Cabrera is one of the five best hitters in all of baseball.

I won’t complain if Morneau ends up being the starter and to be honest with you - had Kendry Morales been healthy, I would have gladly put on my "homer hat" and given him the nod. Yeah, that’s right – I would have really bent some people totally out of shape. More over, I would have enjoyed doing it too!

I’m not one of those people who get up in arms when the fans vote someone in who the “experts” don’t think is deserving. It’s our game and we should get to decide. Is the voting system flawed? You bet, but I like just the same. Letting the fans decide is perfectly okay with me.

I also took Alex Gonzalez over Derek Jeter because quite frankly having one less Yankee on the team is a good thing. I mean I gave Robinson Cano his due, but that’s as far as I’m going to go. Besides, Gonzalez has actually has a higher OPS and hits more homeruns. Yes, I like OPS as a stat for determining this kind of thing.

I also voted for Alex Rios who has been much maligned in recent years. To his credit he’s had a great come back season and has the 7th highest OPS in the American League (as of today).

And you know I’m going to vote for Torii Hunter not just because he’s an Angel (although it doesn’t hurt that he’s my favorite player), but he does have the 13th highest OPS and is simply deserving of his 4th all-star nod. I can’t believe he’s only been on the team three previous times. I just wish Angel fans would rally to the cause and vote for Mr. “Big Game Hunter.” It’s kind of sad how apathetic Angel fans can be….

As for Jered Weaver – yes, that’s totally a homer pick and besides the game is being played in our house. Who better to start the game the guy who leads the American League in strike outs?

Did I really vote for two Texas Rangers? Well, Josh Hamilton and Big Daddy Vlady are deserving and you didn't really think I'd pick David Ortiz over Vlady did you?

Now, here are my National League picks:

1B Albert Pujols (Cardinals)
2B Chase Utley (Phillies)
3B Scott Rolen (Reds)
SS Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies)
C Brian McCann (Braves)
OF Andre Ethier (Dodgers)
OF Corey Hart (Brewers)
OF Andrew McCutchen (Pirates)
SP Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies)

I voted for Scott Rolen for much of the same reasons I voted for Alex Rios. He has had an amazing come back season and deserves the honor. He also has the 7th best OPS in the NL.

I also picked Mr. “I wear my sunglasses at night” – Corey Hart because of his come back season. I could write about what a disappointment he has been to previous fantasy baseball teams of mine – but writing about one’s fantasy team is about as boring as it gets… So – let’s just say that it’s a surprise to see him leading the NL in homeruns. Even though his teammate – Ryan Braun is the better all-around player – Hart gets my vote.

I should add that I loved voting for “Tulo” and even though he’s hurt right now – he should get the honor of being voted on to the team. I know he won’t be able to play, but he should still receive the distinction of being an all-star just the same. He led all short stops in OPS and he’s a Dirt Bag (Long Beach State alum). Love those Dirt Bags (3 made my list - Longoria, Weaver and Tulo)!

I also thought it was time for a Pittsburgh Pirate to make the starting lineup for an All-Star team. Andrew McCutchen is second only to the Astros' Michael Bourn in steals, but ranks 18th in OPS in the NL.

One last thought – in a season where Roy Halladay has thrown a perfect game and Stephen Strasburg is making headlines, I think the best pitcher in the NL game in and game out has been Ubaldo Jimenez. He’s 13-1 and with an incredible 1.15 ERA. I’m just saying those are some “sick” stats. He’s having the best season no one is talking about. Besides, don't you love saying his name?

There you have it, the 2010 True Grich All-Stars. By the way, it's not too late for you to cast your vote! Vote Angels and vote often (you can vote on-line 25 times)!

BallHype: hype it up!

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