Posted on: June 21, 2009 10:40 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2009 2:03 am

My All-Stars ---> as of June 21st (ish), 2008

Since the All-Star Voting isn't all that it is cut out to be, here is my list of All-Stars, those players who are most deserving and should be playing on the national stage (I'm basing the positions off of what the All-Star ballot lists those players as):

American League

Position Players

1B Justin Morneau - Minnesota Twins
2B Robinson Cano - New York Yankees
SS Derek Jeter - New York Yankees
3B Evan Longoria - Tampa Bay Rays
Victor Martinez - Cleveland Indians
OF Jason Bay - Boston Red Sox
OF Torii Hunter - Los Angeles Angels
OF Adam Jones - Baltimore Orioles

Analysis: What is probably most glaring to you all is the fact that Victor Martinez is the starting catcher rather than Joe Mauer.  The only reason holding me back from starting Mauer is the fact that he missed the first few weeks due to injury.  I think it'd be a little more fair to have the player who has consistently been good, not getting injured.  That aspect also kept me from starting Jason Bartlett over Derek Jeter.  The outfield and second base positions were also difficult, that third outfielder coming down to Jones, Ichiro (who missed time), Crawford, Cruz, among others.  Second base really came down to Cano and Aaron Hill of Toronto, so some difficult decisions, but we still have a few weeks until the All-Star game, so a lot can change.

C  Joe Mauer - Minnesota Twins
1B Mark Teixeira - New York Yankees
1B Miguel Cabrera - Detroit Tigers
2B Aaron Hill - Toronto Blue Jays
SS Jason Bartlett - Tampa Bay Rays
3B Mark DeRosa - Cleveland Indians
3B Brandon Inge - Detroit Tigers
OF Ichiro Suzuki - Seattle Mariners
OF Nelson Cruz - Texas Rangers
OF Carl Crawford - Tampa Bay Rays
OF Jacoby Ellsbury - Boston Red Sox
OF Johnny Damon - New York Yankees
OF Shin-Soo Choo - Cleveland Indians

Analysis: A lot of what made this tough was the outfield.  I don't know if Shin-Soo Choo is quite an All-Star, but it seems he's doing just better than others to get that spot.  A lot of what locked it in for me was the way he is able to get on base and power factor he has.  Joe Mauer and Jason Bartlett, as stated before, both are reserves due to an injury keeping them out for a lengthy period of time.  Brandon Inge has been quite a surprise for the Tigers.


SP Zack Greinke - Kansas City Royals
SP Roy Halladay - Toronto Blue Jays
SP Felix Hernandez - Seattle Mariners
SP Jered Weaver - Los Angeles Angels
SP Edwin Jackson - Detroit Tigers
RP Jonathan Papelbon - Boston Red Sox
RP Joe Nathan - Minnesota Twins
RP Andrew Bailey - Oakland Athletics
RP David Aardsma - Seattle Mariners
RP J.P. Howell - Tampa Bay Rays
RP Ramon Ramirez - Boston Red Sox

Analysis: The pitching is always tough to figure.  Edwin Jackson is having a very surprising year for the Tigers, though it was difficult for me to choose him over other very talented pitchers at this point.  I know ERA isn't everything, but 6-4 w/ a 2.39 ERA and a WHIP of 1.04 ain't too shabby.  Plus, hitters are only .217 against him, definitely a career first half for Jackson.  Zack Greinke is my AL starter at this point, but it's possible that that could change.  A lot of the entire team can change really, but for now, that's what this will be.

National League

Position Players

1B Albert Pujols - St. Louis Cardinals
2B Chase Utley - Philadelphia Phillies
SS Hanley Ramirez - Florida Marlins
3B David Wright - New York Mets
Brian McCann - Atlanta Braves
OF Raul Ibanez - Philadelphia Phillies
OF Ryan Braun - Milwaukee Brewers
OF Carlos Beltran - New York Mets

Analysis: I gotta tell ya, I'm going to try to say this the best I can without sounding like a hypocrite.  The reason I have Brian McCann starting is because of the fact that he's been one of the only consistent catchers in the national league, over guys like both Molinas.  Joe Mauer I don't have starting (yet) because of how well Victor Martinez has been playing and being able to play as much as possible.  The other really tough position for me was third base, choosing David Wright over guys like Sandoval, Zimmerman, Jones and Blake.  Also second base, but Chase Utley's ability to get on base and his ops really did it in for me, putting him over O-dog.

Bengie Molina - San Francisco Giants
1B Adrian Gonzalez - San Diego Padres
1B Prince Fielder - Milwaukee Brewers
2B Orlando Hudson - Los Angeles Dodgers
2B Brandon Phillips - Cincinnati Reds
SS Miguel Tejada - Houston Astros
3B Pablo Sandoval - San Francisco Giants
3B Chipper Jones - Atlanta Braves
3B Ryan Zimmerman - Washington Nationals
OF Brad Hawpe - Colorado Rockies
OF Hunter Pence - Houston Astros
OF Justin Upton - Arizona Diamondbacks
OF Adam Dunn - Washington Nationals

Analysis: What was really hard was choosing those last couple of spots, with Matt Kemp doing so well, but not really slugging and Adam Dunn being the player he is.  I decided to go with Dunn, and also Chipper Jones over Matt Kemp. A couple of other noteworthy players, Mark Reynolds and Ryan Howard being left off the All-Star list as of now.  Both are slugging, but neither are really hitting that well otherwise.  Dunn has less strikeouts than both of them and also more walks, and also among other factors, I'm sticking with Dunn.


SP Dan Haren - Arizona Diamondbacks
SP Matt Cain - San Francisco Giants
SP Josh Johnson - Florida Marlins
SP Ted Lilly - Chicago Cubs
SP Zach Duke - Pittsburgh Pirates
SP Johnny Cueto - Cincinnati Reds
RP Heath Bell - San Diego Padres
RP Francisco Rodriguez - New York Mets
RP Ryan Franklin - St. Louis Cardinals
RP Jonathan Broxton - Los Angeles Dodgers
RP Trevor Hoffman - Milwaukee Brewers

Analysis: OK, so you might be wondering a couple of things.  Where in the world is Johan Santana?  Well, his last few starts have not been kind to his All-Star chances.  Also, with the Pirates and Cubs yet to have a representative, I had to put in Ted Lilly (who is putting All-Star numbers up) and Zach Duke (it was either him or Freddy Sanchez).  I was hesitant on Matt Cain due to a high WHIP, but put him in anyway.  Tim Lincecum has been impressive which made it difficult for me to choose Cueto over him, but there are some very very close numbers that factored into that decision.

Where are Reynolds and Howard you might ask?

Well, that is all for my All-Star selection for now.  I'll probably have a mid-season update once the All-Star break rolls around.  Enjoy and leave your complaints in the comment box..


Category: MLB
Posted on: July 12, 2008 9:48 pm
Edited on: July 16, 2008 10:30 pm

MLB midseason awards & 2nd half predictions

Josh Hamilton : Texas Rangers
Stats: .312 BA 21 HR 93 RBI .368 OBP .558 SLG .926 OPS 6 for 6 on Stolen Bases

While Hamilton plays for a team that isn't necessarily great, he has been a big part of why the Texas Rangers are above .500 right now. 4 games above .500 to be exact. Still in striking distance, the Rangers have relied heavily on the bat of Josh Hamilton. He, and Milton Bradley, have been two of the better offensive players in the entire league. While Hamilton does strike out a little more than some people may want, he hits for great power and he drives runners in. If he continues to play like this, we could very well see him get 170 RBIs this year.

Hamilton has been a great addition for the Rangers.

Chase Utley : Philadelphia Phillies
Stats: .292 BA 25 HR 69 RBI .373 OBP .586 SLG .960 OPS 10 for 10 on SB

The Phillies have been hanging tough this year, especially without Jimmy Rollins for a little while early in the year. Now, they are ahead of the fighting Florida Marlins and New York Mets. Another MVP title may be coming to Philly as well. Chase Utley has been a huge reason why the "Phiting Phils" have been so good. He stepped in while the reigning MVP from last year, Rollins, was out. Utley has slowed a little bit, but has remained patient and still has been hitting for great power. While he hasn't driven as many runs as people like Hamilton, he still has 69 RBIs and is well on pace to be around 125 for the season's end.

Chase Utley has helped the Phils get into first place in the NL East

AL Cy Young:
Justin Duchscherer : Oakland Athletics
Stats: 10-5 1.78 ERA 63 Ks 21 BBs .86 WHIP .186 BAA

While Cliff Lee exploded onto the scene early in the year for the Indians, Cleveland has fallen well out of the race and have determined that their time is up. With C.C. Sabathia being traded, Cleveland looks out of it. In the meantime, Justin Duchscherer of the Oakland A's has quietly turned himself into a formidable starter in Oakland's rotation. He has done it all in his career. He's been a middle reliever, setup man, even has 14 career saves, and now is doing it as a starter. While Duchscherer doesn't K as much as the next guy, he still has good stuff and doesn't allow too many base runners. With Oakland still well in it (despite the Rich Harden trade), Duchscherer may become a centerpiece that the A's can build around for the upcoming years.

Duchscherer has become Oakland's ace.

NL Cy Young:
Ben Sheets : Milwaukee Brewers
Stats: 10-3 2.85 ERA 108 Ks 28 BBs 1.11 WHIP .235 BAA

While there have been more dominant pitchers in the National League (Edinson Volquez and Tim Lincecum namely), neither pitches with more pressure than Sheets. With the Brew Crew trying to bring this team to the playoffs for the first time in a quarter century, Sheets has been the dominant ace that he's always been. There's something different though...he's staying very healthy AND he's playing on a winning team. His most complete seasons have come when the Brewers weren't all that great and his other seasons have been injury filled and many DL trips. Sheets, and newly acquired Sabathia, have a great chance of bringing this team to the playoffs this year, ending their drought.

Can Sheets lead the Brew Crew to the playoffs?

AL Rookie of the Year:
Evan Longoria : Tampa Bay Rays
Stats: .280 BA 16 HR 53 RBI .352 OBP .523 SLG .875 OPS 6 for 6 on SB

Ever since being called up to be the Rays' third baseman, Evan Longoria has stepped up and helped turn this once sad state of a team to a bright, young, possible World Series contender. Even though he wasn't with Tampa Bay for the first 10 or so games of the year, Longoria has done enough to be a front runner for the AL ROY and has made his first All-Star team. Can he lead the Rays to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history?

Longoria has a bright future ahead of him.

NL Rookie of the Year:
Geovany Soto : Chicago Cubs
Stats: .286 BA 16 HR 55 RBI .367 OBP .521 SLG .888 OPS

Another rookie who made the All-Star team in his first complete year, Geovany Soto has raised many eyebrows with his power. While having an explosive start to the season, Soto has balanced out a little and is still hitting .286. Soto is the first rookie catcher to start for the NL All-Star team and many more All-Star games may be ahead of him. This kid has been impressive and is quite possibly the Cubs' catcher of the future.

Can Soto keep up his great 1st half?

AL Manager of the Year:
Ron Gardenhire : Minnesota Twins
Twins in 2nd place in AL Central 53-41 1 GB of Chicago White Sox

Especially after the trade of Johan Santana, not very many people expected the Twins to play the way they have. Their key? Young pitching and fundamental baseball. Watch out for this team and a late season push led by pitchers like Kevin Slowey, Scott Baker, and Nick Blackburn.

Will the Twins make the playoffs?

NL Manager of the Year:
Tony LaRussa : St. Louis Cardinals
Cardinals in 2nd place in NL Central 52-42 5 GB of Chicago Cubs

Through all of the injuries the Cardinals have endured ( Mark Mulder, Chris Carpenter, Albert Pujols), LaRussa has managed to turn this team into a team of contenders. With the help of pitching coach Dave Duncan, LaRussa has turned Kyle Lohse and Todd Wellemeyer into formidable starters. While I don't believe St. Louis will keep it up, this scrappy team surely won't give up. Tony LaRussa is definitely manager of the year if he can lead St. Louis to the playoffs through the likes of Milwaukee and Chicago, both of which added an ace each to their respective rotations.

Cardinals' never give up attitude is what has made LaRussa look so good.

Final MLB Standings predictions:
AL East                                                       W-L        GB
Boston Red Sox                      96-66         _
Tampa Bay Rays                    94-68          2
New York Yankees                 88-74          8
Toronto Blue Jays                  80-82         16
Baltimore Orioles                   77-85         19

AL Central                                                 W-L         GB
Chicago White Sox                 89-73         _
Detroit Tigers                           87-75         2
Minnesota Twins                    82-80          7
Cleveland Indians                  75-87         14
Kansas City Royals                70-92         19

AL West                                                       W-L         GB
Los Angeles Angels                 95-67         _
Oakland Athletics                      85-77        10
Texas Rangers                         79-83         16
Seattle Mariners                       60-102       35

AL Wild Card                                               W-L         GB
Tampa Bay Rays                       94-68          _
New York Yankees                    88-74          6
Detroit Tigers                             86-76           8
Oakland Athletics                      85-77          9

NL East                                                          W-L         GB
New York Mets                            92-70         _
Philadelphia Phillies                 88-74         4
Atlanta Braves                             81-81        11
Florida Marlins                            80-82         12
Washington Nationals              59-103       33

NL Central                                                      W-L         GB
Chicago Cubs                              99-63           _
Milwaukee Brewers                     92-70           7
St. Louis Cardinals                     87-75           12
Pittsburgh Pirates                       76-86           23
Houston Astros                            73-89           26
Cincinnati Reds                           70-92           29

NL West                                                         W-L           GB
Los Angeles Dodgers               82-80            _
Arizona Diamondbacks             80-82            2
Colorado Rockies                      76-86             6
San Francisco Giants                73-89             9
San Diego Padres                     64-98            18

NL Wild Card                                                 W-L             GB
Milwaukee Brewers                     92-70             _
Philadelphia Phillies                   88-74             4
St. Louis Cardinals                      87-75             5
Atlanta Braves                               81-81            11

I apologize for the unevenness.

Posted on: July 1, 2008 3:58 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2008 5:03 pm

My All-Star Selections through 6/30/08

All right..here it goes..not in any particular batting order and I'll add on pitchers also later in the post. (the way it should be by the way, I realize Carlos Quentin isn't on the ballot...)

American League

1B Justin Morneau - Minnesota Twins
2B Ian Kinsler - Texas Rangers
SS Michael Young - Texas Rangers
3B Alex Rodriguez - New York Yankees
C Joe Mauer - Minnesota Twins
OF Josh Hamilton - Texas Rangers
OF Carlos Quentin (why isn't he on the ballot?) - Chicago White Sox
OF Jermaine Dye - Chicago White Sox
DH Aubrey Huff - Baltimore Orioles

A little change up from last time. I realized that A-Rod is having a much better year than most third basemen in the league despite his injury, plus Joe Crede has dropped off a little bit. Aubrey Huff qualifies as the DH, so I got him there. Carlos Quentin should be on the ballot, but if he isn't in the starting lineup, he definitely has a spot reserved for him as a reserve. No Red Sox in the lineup, but a couple will show up for the game.

Kinsler, Hamilton, and Young are having great years for Texas.

National League

1B Lance Berkman - Houston Astros
2B Chase Utley - Philadelphia Phillies
SS Hanley Ramirez - Florida Marlins
3B Chipper Jones - Atlanta Braves
C Brian McCann - Atlanta Braves
OF Ryan Braun - Milwaukee Brewers
OF Ryan Ludwick - St. Louis Cardinals
OF Carlos Lee - Houston Astros
DH Nate McLouth - Pittsburgh Pirates

Well, the homer in me is saying Geovany Soto should start at catcher, but I'll go with McCann for the time being. Soto has slowed up a little bit since his great start to the year, same with Nate McLouth. Albert Pujols should probably be the DH, but since McClouth is still maintaining his stats a little bit, I'll go w/ him for the time being. Carlos Lee and Lance Berkman are having great years for a bad Astros team.

Ramirez and Utley have been taking the NL East by storm this year.

American League
SP Cliff Lee - Cleveland Indians (will start the game)
SP Justin Duchscherer - Oakland Athletics
SP Joe Saunders - Los Angeles Angels
SP Roy Halladay - Toronto Blue Jays
SP Ervin Santana - Los Angeles Angels
RP Francisco Rodriguez - Los Angeles Angels
RP Joe Nathan - Minnesota Twins
RP Mariano Rivera - New York Yankees
RP Joakim Soria - Kansas City Royals
RP Jonathan Papelbon - Boston Red Sox

Lee and Duchscherer have been pleasant surprises for their respective teams.

National League
SP Brandon Webb - Arizona Diamondbacks
SP Tim Lincecum - San Francisco Giants
SP Edinson Volquez - Cincinnati Reds (will start)
SP Ben Sheets - Milwaukee Brewers
SP Johan Santana - New York Mets
RP Brad Lidge - Philadelphia Phillies
RP Billy Wagner - New York Mets
RP Kerry Wood - Chicago Cubs
RP Joe Beimel - Los Angeles Dodgers
RP Jose Valverde - Houston Astros

I admit, I didn't put as much thought as probably necessary into the pitchers. If you have any nominees, go ahead and give a shout out for them and I'll see what I think. Here it is for now.

Young fireballers Volquez and Lincecum have been bright stars for dim teams.

Note: Reserves aren't included in this post.
Category: MLB
Posted on: June 16, 2008 12:35 am

My All Star selections

Here's who I have so far

American League

C   Joe Mauer --- Minnesota Twins
1B Justin Morneau --- Minnesota Twins
2B Ian Kinsler --- Texas Rangers
3B Joe Crede --- Chicago White Sox
SS Michael Young --- Texas Rangers
OF Josh Hamilton --- Texas Rangers
OF Grady Sizemore --- Cleveland Indians
OF Milton Bradley --- Texas Rangers
DH Hideki Matsui --- New York Yankees

Quick Analysis -  I know, I'm thinking the same thing.  What are 4 Texas Rangers doing in that list?  I couldn't explain it myself, but all 4 are playing very well in the first half of the season.  Other things of interest, one Yankee player and zero, count them, zero Boston Red Sox players, don't ask me why.

National League

C   Geovany Soto --- Chicago Cubs
1B Lance Berkman --- Houston Astros
2B Chase Utley --- Philadelphia Phillies
3B Chipper Jones --- Atlanta Braves
SS Hanley Ramirez --- Florida Marlins
OF Nate McLouth --- Pittsburgh Pirates
OF Ryan Ludwick --- St. Louis Cardinals
OF Ryan Braun --- Milwaukee Brewers
DH (who would play DH?)

Quick Analysis - Nothing really too outlandish.  Maybe you haven't heard of McLouth and Ludwick, but they are having great years.  We'll see what the fans think, what do you all think?
Category: MLB
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