2007 All-Star Ballot Breakdown: American League

9:03 AM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

It's getting close to that time of year again. The All-Star balloting ends in two weeks and as the deadline draws near let's look at the absurdity of some of the top vote-getters. Before I go any further I just want to mention that I'm well aware that as long as the fans vote for the starting lineup, we'll always have guys getting in that truly don't deserve to be there. But dammit, I feel like ranting about something, and with the Cubs actually winning more often than not this will be the source for my lengthy discourse today.

AMERICAN LEAGUE


1B The selections on the AL ballot kind of irk me a little. I understand that this year's game is played in a National League ballpark so there is no DH, but I think it's kind of horse shit that some of them end up on the 1B ballot when they hardly ever play there. I'm not saying David Ortiz doesn't deserve to be an All-Star, but it's a shitty deal for someone like Kevin Youkilis who's busted his ass at first base pretty much all season and doesn't get his name on the ballot. Same goes for Ryan Garko of Cleveland. Plus there is no consistency with which DH's make the ballot. Ortiz, Hafner and Giambi get a spot somewhere but Piazza and Frank Thomas do not? I realize that neither of those guys have played worth a damn to warrant an All-Star bid but still. I guess my point is that there should still be a DH section on the AL ballot even if there is no starting DH in the game. Sure they don't get to start at a position but at least it would make it fair to the guys that could've been on the ballot as well.

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. David Ortiz, 2. Justin Morneau, 3. Jason Giambi, 4. Sean Casey, 5. Travis Hafner

Who shouldn't be there?
Well Sean Casey has no business in the top 5. He's been pretty mediocre at the plate and is the only 1B on the ballot that has yet to even hit a home run. Recently he's been getting upstaged by Marcus Thames. Giambi gets love from the large Yankee contingency but he's been far from All-Star caliber. Let's compare some stats, shall we?

Jason Giambi: .262 AVG, 7 HR, 23 RBI
Dan Johnson: .256 AVG, 5 HR, 22 RBI

I rest my case.

Who SHOULD be there?
Well I've already made my case that Youks and Garko should at least be on the ballot. But looking past my DH argument, I have no qualms with Ortiz leading it. Morneau has also played well enough that he should be picked as well. Other guys that seem to be getting no love are Casey Kotchman of the Angels and Mark Teixeira of Texas. Kotchman is finally healthy, and has provided a strong bat at first base in Anah-er Los Angeles for the first time since Mo Vaughn. Meanwhile Teixeira has wandered into underrated territory with his complete lack of exposure. ESPN must think he has leprosy. That should all change when Big Tex is traded to a contender in a couple months.


2B Eh, can I vote "pass"? The 2B pool as a whole has been pretty lackluster in the AL. The guys you would've suspected to be All-Stars at the beginning of the season haven't done much to prove it, leaving this position open for some newcomers.

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Placido Polanco, 2. Robinson Cano, 3. Dustin Pedroia, 4. Ian Kinsler, 5. B.J. Upton

Who shouldn't be there?
I was all ready to go off on Polanco being #1 but after looking at his stats, I'm fine with him. Why not right? Jim Leyland will take him as a reserve anyway. Cano doesn't belong here. His only credential right now is that he's a Yankee, thus people will vote for him because of that. But offensively, he's really no better than Mark Grudzielanek or Mark Ellis. Ian Kinsler undoubtedly got a lot of votes early on after his phenomenal April. But I honestly don't think he's gotten a hit since April has he?

Who SHOULD be there?
Like I said, I'm OK with Polanco but to me, Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton should be there. The 22 year old phenom is finally living up to all the hype and potential at the plate, although a recent trip to the DL could cool him off a bit. Other than that, you could make a case for Pedroia, Brian Roberts of the Orioles, and possibly Jose Lopez of the Mariners as well.


3B This has become a literal one-man show here. A-Rod's been hitting lights out this season, and like him or hate him, he's a head above the rest of the pack here.

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Alex Rodriguez, 2. Mike Lowell, 3. Brandon Inge, 4. Eric Chavez, 5. Adrian Beltre

Who shouldn't be there?
While Inge hasn't been terrible, he hasn't been phenomenal either. I see him somehow being one of Leyland's homer picks for his reserves though. Eric Chavez, ugh, get out of my life. Can we dub this guy overrated yet? The folks in Seattle are still waiting for Adrian Beltre to play like he did back in 2004 that earned him such a huge paycheck. Alas, he's not All-Star worthy.

Who SHOULD be there?
Despite being miles behind A-Rod in the votes, Mike Lowell has been playing some great ball. Lowell is second among AL 3B only to A-Rod in home runs and RBI. The only other guy I'd consider is Toronto's Troy Glaus, who got off to a hot start before getting injured, but has heated back up in the month of June.


SS In the past there were a good number of great players here that it seemed like someone would inevitably be left out that shouldn't have. Nowadays, while there's still a good amount of talent, I don't think anyone will be screaming bloody murder if Miguel Tejada is snubbed.

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Derek Jeter, 2. Carlos Guillen, 3. Miguel Tejada, 4. Julio Lugo, 5. Orlando Cabrera

Who shouldn't be there?
Julio Lugo, plain and simple. An obvious beneficiary of the Chowderhead vote, Lugo has no business even being in the top 10 let alone top 5. I have no issues with the other 4 listed there.

Who SHOULD be there?
Jeter, Guillen, Tejada and Cabrera are all certainly worthy of an All-Star nod. Jeter has the starting gig pretty much locked up and Leyland will no doubt take Guillen as a backup. Whether there'll be room for a third SS remains to be seen. Other than Tejada and Cabrera, the Indians' Jhonny Peralta deserves a look. Currently he leads all AL shortstops with 12 home runs. Beyond that, there may be a case for Texas' Michael Young.


C I don't think there's a greater disparity of talent between leagues at any other position than catcher. The American League is absolutely stacked compared to the National League. Right now there are 7 catchers that could legitimately vie for the starting job in the NL. Like the AL shortstops a few years ago, there will be definitely be some big snubs here.

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Ivan Rodriguez, 2. Jorge Posada, 3. Jason Varitek, 4. Joe Mauer, 5. Victor Martinez

Who shouldn't be there?
I won't say that Pudge shouldn't be an All-Star, but I will say that there are certainly guys that deserve the starting spot over him. Jason Varitek is also getting the Chowderhead votes. Right now I'd take 6 other guys over him.

Who SHOULD be there?
If Pudge doesn't win the fan voting, he'll most likely get picked as a reserve anyway. Jorge Posada has been outstanding so far, hitting a jaw-dropping .354 currently. But in my mind Victor Martinez is far and away the guy that should be on top here. Currently he's hitting .323 with 12 home runs and 55 RBI. It's downright criminal that this guy is sitting in 5th right now. He looks like a prime candidate for the Final Vote ballot. Also since someone from Kansas City has to go, why not John Buck? He'd be a better choice than Gil Meche.


OF With thrice as many guys to choose from, it's certainly more difficult to pick through the bunch to find who's worthy, but we can easily pick out the guys that are most definitely unworthy.

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Vladimir Guerrero, 2. Manny Ramirez, 3. Ichiro Suzuki, 4. Magglio Ordonez, 5. Torii Hunter, 6. Grady Sizemore, 7. Johnny Damon, 8. J.D. Drew, 9. Bobby Abreu, 10. Gary Sheffield, 11. Hideki Matsui, 12. Coco Crisp, 13. Sammy Sosa, 14. Carl Crawford, 15. Jermaine Dye

Who shouldn't be there?
Basically if you're a New York or Boston outfielder not named Hideki or Manny, sorry, thanks for playing. However J.D. Drew and Coco Crisp are much more ridiculous picks than Abreu and Damon. Drew is currently batting .236 with 4 homers and 25 RBI. Did no one see this coming? Is anyone shocked? It shouldn't be any surprise that Drew's two best seasons were both during years where he was looking for a fat payday in the fall. Coco Crisp has been even worse, hitting just .221 with 1 homer and 16 RBI. Sosa is obviously getting votes on name recognition. Jermaine Dye has looked nothing like he did last year.

Who SHOULD be there?
Any combination of Vlad, Ichiro, Maggs or Torii would be my choice for the three starters. Sheffield, and Crawford also should make the team. One guy not in the top 15 that really needs to be considered is Alex Rios of the Blue Jays. Rios is currently hitting .294 with 15 homers and 39 RBI. He very well could make the team on the basis of them needing someone to represent Toronto. Michael Cuddyer also deserves some consideration.


I'll tackle the NL later....

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