Monday, July 7, 2008

Evaluating the All-Star rosters

I am not going to be one of the numberless who calls out the all-star selections. For the first time I can remember, while there will always be some deserving players left out I have little argument with these teams. I will however discuss some of the most glaring omissions and also a few different moves I would have made with the roster.

The Final Vote
Fans have a chance to vote for the 30th man on each squad till July 10th. All of the 10 candidates (5 in each league) are possible deserving candidates but I believe two from each league are especially deserving. The situation is the same in both leagues. Each league has a guy I chose to start in the game as well as a third baseman I see as a stronger candidate than the current backup. In the NL, its Carlos Lee and David Wright. Carlos Lee was in my starting National League outfield and despite his defensive shortcomings, his offensive numbers are ridiculous as always. David Wright could have made it over Aramis Ramirez in the numbers department. He is also such a great spokesman for the MLB and a huge fan favorite that his selection always enhances the marketability of this all-star game. In the Al, its Jermaine Dye and Evan Longoria. The case can be made that Dye has had more of an impact on the first place Sox, than already all-star Carlos Quentin. Quentin is absolutely deserving, but why not also reward one of the most quietly consistent guys and players in the game. With Longoria, you have a guy who has just gotten really hot as of late and didn't even start the season with the big club. They should have just replaced the undeserving White Sox third baseman Joe Crede with Longoria. People are just starting to realize he immense potential and his current production, which makes him the Rays first half MVP.

Deserving omissions not up for the Final Vote

In the NL:
As I said, I like the rosters, and I specifically like the NL team, but there are always guys who can make their case. I really think Brandon Phillips was deserving as a 2nd baseman but they had to take both Guzman and Tejada as backup shortstops. There really is not enough room for many of these guys. Both Xavier Nady and Jason Bay deserved similar consideration that their Pirates outfield mate Nate McLouth got. The one grievance where I can legitimately identify a guy to take off the roster to add a player is with Jair Jurrjens. When you have a sub 3 ERA you better be on the All-Star team. End of discussion. Brian Wilson of San Francisco and his over 4 ERA has no business being in New York. It isn't like the Giants are struggling for a representative. They already have Tim Lincecum on the team and he could have started for the National League. Unfortunately, it looks like Jurrjens and a few others got robbed because of the sentiment against rookies that they will "have time to make plenty of all-star teams."

In the AL:
I liked the AL roster slightly less, but if I am comparing it to past rosters, it was picked very well. Aubrey Huff got robbed. Baltimore was able to hang for awhile because of him. I really thought Daisuke should have been there but I have Red Sox fans telling me the opposite, so I guess I am wrong. Jason Varitek is an absolute joke on the All-Star team. If they wanted another catcher it could have been A.J. Pierzynski or they could have just picked a more deserving star. The AL team has way too many closers, but I can't give a definite guy to replace them pitching wise after I was rebuffed by Sox nation on my Daisuke idea. I would have switched out Jeter and Pedroia with Kinsler and Young, but nothing anyone can really do about that. All I have to say in closing on the American League is Joe Crede can't end up being on the team without Evan Longoria.

NL Starting Pitcher
How is Edinson Volquez not starting this game for the National League? It looks like just another example of a rookie bias in awarding any sort of awards in sports. Brandon Webb is a fine pitcher, he has had a great season, and a great career, but Volquez is untouchable. Fortunately, he does get to go to the game and he will probably be the first reliever out of the pen for the NL

Other than that, the home run derby is shaping up very nicely. Lance Berkman, Dan Uggla, Grady Sizemore, Chase Utley and Josh Hamilton will be joined by three others. I think they could have done a little better selecting the Futures Game rosters, but it still should be a good chance to evaluate some top prospects. It should be a great all-star week.


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Arlynda said...

Well said.