MLB All-Star Teams (Done the right way)

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Taking a break from the return of the dummy known as Manny Ramirez, I bring you my American and National League All-Star teams. I’ve followed the rules of having 33 players on each roster, a player from every team and selected those that are deserving whether they will play or not. Hopefully the real selections this Sunday will be made correctly and there won’t be any snubs (there will be though). And yes if you haven’t heard, Manny is back. Good grief.

American League

Pitchers
Minnesota Twins Joe Nathan
LA Angels Brian Fuentes
New York Yankees Mariano Rivera
Boston Red Sox Jonathan Papelbon
Toronto Blue Jays Roy Halladay
Texas Rangers Kevin Millwood
Seattle Mariners Felix Hernandez
LA Angels Jered Weaver
*Kansas City Royals Zack Greinke
Detroit Tigers Justin Verlander
Detroit Tigers Edwin Jackson
Boston Red Sox Josh Beckett
Cleveland Indians Cliff Lee

Notable omissions: There are many more closers I could choose, but I think four is good enough. You have to remember if this goes extra innings, you need at least two starters to go the distance. Unfortunately it happened last year, but it was still a great game nonetheless. Cleveland’s Cliff Lee I included mainly because of his ERA (2.92) on a losing team. Probably no Cy Young this year, but he is an All-Star in my mind. Detroit’s Edwin Jackson only has 6 wins, but his ERA (2.49) is second only to Greinke. The rest I can’t leave off the roster simply because they are so good.

Catchers
Cleveland Indians Victor Martinez
*Minnesota Twins Joe Mauer

Notable omissions: The only ones of mention are A.J. Pierzynski of the White Sox and Mike Napoli of the Angels. If Martinez was having a poor season like last year, then I would go with one of those two I just mentioned. How can you go against these two?

Infielders
*2B Toronto Blue Jays Aaron Hill
2B Texas Rangers Ian Kinsler
*SS Tampa Bay Rays Jason Bartlett
*3B Tampa Bay Rays Evan Longoria
SS New York Yankees Derek Jeter
1B Minnesota Twins Justin Morneau
*1B Detroit Tigers Miguel Cabrera
1B Boston Red Sox Kevin Youkilis
2B Oakland Athletics Adam Kennedy
3B LA Angels Chone Figgins

Notable omissions: Yes, Kennedy over Pedroia. Why? Following the rules. Kennedy is the only Athletic on the roster. He is the leader in batting at .291 for Oakland and was batting well over .300 for quite some time this season. Mark Teixeira is well deserving, but not anywhere near a .300 batting average. Morneau, Youkilis, and Cabrera are. Scott Rolen and Brandon Inge are having All-Star seasons. Great numbers, but I have seen Figgins more. He will be an asset if he is on the All-Star team. He can play anywhere and will be a great weapon off the bench for Joe Maddon. He was the bench coach of the Angels before his time at Tampa Bay.

Outfielders
Toronto Blue Jays Adam Lind
*Tampa Bay Rays Carl Crawford
Tampa Bay Rays Ben Zobrist
*Seattle Mariners Ichiro Suzuki
Minnesota Twins Jason Kubel
*LA Angels Torii Hunter
Chicago White Sox Jermaine Dye
Baltimore Orioles Adam Jones

Notable omissions: Only Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury and the Angels Juan Rivera were the toughest ones. If you haven’t heard of Ben Zobrist. You will now. The numbers he has been putting up are phenomenal. Get used to seeing Adam Jones here. He is a younger version of Torii Hunter. Jason Kubel and Adam Lind are having breakout years. I’m satisfied with this group and don’t be surprised if this comes close to the actual roster.

National League

Pitchers
Los Angeles Dodgers Jonathan Broxton
New York Mets Francisco Rodriguez
San Diego Padres Heath Bell
Milwaukee Brewers Trevor Hoffman
St. Louis Cardinals Ryan Franklin
*San Francisco Giants Tim Lincecum
San Francisco Giants Matt Cain
New York Mets Johan Santana
Los Angeles Dodgers Chad Billingsley
Florida Marlins Josh Johnson
Colorado Rockies Aaron Cook
Chicago Cubs Ted Lilly
Arizona D’Backs Dan Haren

Notable omissions: This was by far the hardest position in either league to choose. Here is who I left out who were deserving: Javier Vazquez, Johnny Cueto, Francisco Cordero, Huston Street, Jason Marquis, Yovani Gallardo. Now you see my dilemma. Lilly is the only deserving Cub. That’s why he is here. Too many good closers in this league. To exclude any of the ones I picked would be a sham.

Catchers
San Francisco Giants Bengie Molina
*Atlanta Braves Brian McCann

Notable Omissions: Bengie’s brother Yadier Molina is having an okay season. Frankly I could have gone either way with the Molina brothers. I feel Bengie is the better hitter. Colorado’s Chris Iannetta is having a good season, but not good enough to get in this year.

Infielders
2B Pittsburgh Pirates Freddy Sanchez
*1B St. Louis Cardinals Albert Pujols
1B San Diego Padres Adrian Gonzalez
3B San Francisco Giants Pablo Sandoval
*2B Philadelphia Phillies Chase Utley
*3B New York Mets David Wright
1B Milwaukee Brewers Prince Fielder
2B Los Angeles Dodgers Orlando Hudson
SS Houston Astros Miguel Tejada
*SS Florida Marlins Hanley Ramirez
2B Cincinnati Reds Brandon Phillips

Notable omissions: Plenty that were left off in this category. First base is the worst. Todd Helton and Ryan Howard sorry. Third base, just as bad. Chipper Jones and Mark Reynolds again sorry. Phillips, Sanchez and Tejada are the lone representatives for their team. This is another tough choice, but that pitching staff was crazy hard.

Outfielders
Washington Nationals Adam Dunn
*Philadelphia Phillies Raul Ibanez
*New York Mets Carlos Beltran
*Milwaukee Brewers Ryan Braun
Colorado Rockies Brad Hawpe
Arizona D’Backs Justin Upton
Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp

Notable omissions: Houston could have Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence represent them, but Adam Dunn is the only National selected and Matt Kemp is more deserving. If Kemp doesn’t have the season he is having, the Dodgers are not in first place anymore. Upton is flying well below the radar and Hawpe is the reason for the Rockies summer surge. A weak position in the National League, but this seems to be the likely group to be selected.

note: * – asterisk indicates starter


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