2008 All-Star Ballot Breakdown: The AL

It's getting close to that time of year again. The All-Star balloting ends in one week 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, like last year 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.

AMERICAN LEAGUE


1B With no DH last year, Kevin Youkilis got screwed when David Ortiz got put on the AL ballot instead of him. Have no fear as this year we're in Yankee Stadium and Big Papi is off on another part of the ballot. Overall I look at the AL 1B and see nothing worth liking. Maybe the NL can loan them a couple 1B from their side as one or two will surely get the shaft.

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Kevin Youkilis, 2. Justin Morneau, 3. Jason Giambi, 4. Carlos Pena, 5. Paul Konerko

Who shouldn't be there?
Apparently Carlos Pena is getting votes based on last year's performance as his .227 is far from what you'd call "All-Star" material. Paul Konerko? When was the last time you did something with your life? Konerko deserves to be an All-Star as much as I deserve an award for my tremendous work ethic. Let's look at the stats.

Paul Konerko: .215 AVG, 9 HR, 26 RBI
Richie Sexson: .217 AVG, 8 HR, 30 RBI

That is no joke.

Who SHOULD be there?
Youks and Morneau are probably most deserving and I wouldn't have any qualms with either guy winning the starting spot. Giambi is getting the Yankee love but I don't have any beef with that as he's been hitting better. Other than that, there's a case to be made for the oft-ignored Casey Kotchman. Seriously can anyone name more than 2 guys in the Angels starting lineup? That team is as boring as the latest Death Cab for Cutie album.


2B At least in the NL there's a clear-cut choice for this position. Here we're left with a lot of, "Yeah I suppose he'll do."

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

Who shouldn't be there?
Dustin Pedroia get out of my life. You're currently near the top of my overrated list. I could pick 5 other 2B that I'd rather have in the ASG than you. Put him in Minnesota and voters wouldn't even give him the time of day. Beantown Bias at its finest. Even worse is Robinson Cano in the third spot. I don't know what's worse. Cano getting so many votes or my sorry ass that's still holding him on my fantasy roster hoping he'll "turn it around."

Who SHOULD be there?
Ian Kinsler should be starting and I really hope he can overtake Pedroia in this final week of voting. Kinsler leads AL 2B in R, HR, RBI and is second in SB and AVG. Polanco and Roberts are fine and toss Jose Lopez and Mark Ellis in that top 5 for that matter. Sorry Dustin.


3B Once again 3B is a one man show. Not that there hasn't been anybody decent other than A-Rod, but most of the others can't even smell his jockstrap right now.

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Alex Rodriguez, 2. Mike Lowell, 3. Joe Crede, 4. Miguel Cabrera, 5. Hank Blalock

Who shouldn't be there?
Miguel Cabrera and his still-developing manboobies have been just decent enough to be in the top 5 for consideration but Hank Blalock and his carpal tunnel hand can't even hold a bat right now. There's bound to be someone that deserves more votes than him.

Who SHOULD be there?
A-Rod's a no-brainer. He's got lots of support from the New York fans, but his overall play has the rest of the pack beat hands down. Joe Crede is having what looks to be a career year after a disappointing 2007. Crede appears to be showing better plate discipline as his BB/K ratio is 0.71, well above his career mark of 0.42. He seems to be the obvious choice for a reserve spot.


SS Last year's pool of AL shortstop candidates left little to be desired. Take away Carlos Guillen and Miguel Tejada this season and it's looking even worse. Oh where have you gone Cal Ripken?

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Derek Jeter, 2. Michael Young, 3. Edgar Renteria, 4. Julio Lugo, 5. Orlando Cabrera

Who shouldn't be there?
Can I say all of them? Yeesh. Right now the shortstop with the best AVG is Yuniesky Betancourt, hitting a scorching .279. Really you could take any one of them out of the top 5 but there's really no one better to take their place.

Who SHOULD be there?
It seems that Jeter probably has this one locked up. Honestly you could just flip a coin between him or Michael Young and it wouldn't matter. No one else really needs to be on the team. If Francona takes Lugo I'm gonna puke.


C This one is going to come down to the wire as Joe Mauer has just taken a slim lead over Jason Varitek in the voting. Usually Varitek, Posada and Pudge dominate the votes but Mauer seems poised to take the top honor.

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

Who shouldn't be there?
Jason Varitek. His days in the sun are over. There are plenty of more deserving catchers out there that should get a shot. Much like his sexual orientation, I could go either way on Pudge. Posada has been decent but his injury has hurt his chances a bit.

Who SHOULD be there?
Give it to Mauer. He's dick in the dirt good when it comes to hitting. Joe is sporting a .325 AVG and a ridiculous 1.77 BB/K ratio. Tampa Bay's Dioner Navarro deserves some consideration. Navarro is currently hitting .323 and is tied for the lead with Mauer and A.J. Pierzynski among AL catchers with 29 RBI. Speaking of A.J., despite the fact he's a complete shitheel, he's having a pretty damn good season and is worthy of a spot on the AL roster.


OF This is the position that more often than not goes to the most popular guys rather than who's most deserving. This is also the position that usually has some unfortunate omissions on the ballot. Oh if only Carlos Quentin had been on there.....

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Manny Ramirez, 2. Josh Hamilton, 3. Ichiro Suzuki, 4. Vladimir Guerrero, 5. Bobby Abreu, 6. Johnny Damon, 7. Milton Bradley, 8. J.D. Drew, 9. Magglio Ordonez, 10. Melky Cabrera, 11. Torii Hunter, 12. Grady Sizemore, 13. Coco Crisp, 14. Carl Crawford, 15. B.J. Upton

Who shouldn't be there?
Ichiro I usually have no problem with being a starter, but this season he hasn't been quite as good. Melky Cabrera and Torii Hunter are pretty much "Blah, whatever." as far as what they've done this season. Coco Crisp has absolutely no business being 13th in the voting and should only be on the team as a target for the pitching staff to practice throwing.

Who SHOULD be there?
Josh Hamilton should definitely be there. Man-Ram a starter? Sure. Carlos Quentin could easily be a starter, but the write-in campaign hasn't taken off. Shame. Grady Sizemore definitely deserves more respect in the voting than he has received. Just like with Pierzynski, I hate to say it but J.D. Drew should be an All-Star too. With a .290 average, 13 homers and 60 RBI (which is second to only Hamilton in the AL), Jose Guillen should be the representative from Kansas City, although Zack Greinke could be considered as the Royal rep as well. Do we dare say two Royals in the All-Star Game? Nah.


DH Oh the designated hitter. Hank Steinbrenner's favorite position and the bane of my existence as a National League fan. We all know David Ortiz will get this one, but let's see who really should.

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. David Ortiz, 2. Hideki Matsui, 3. Jim Thome, 4. Frank Catalanotto, 5. Gary Sheffield

Who shouldn't be there?
I could go all deep into the argument and say the DH position in general shouldn't be here, but I don't have the energy for that right now (remember my lack of work ethic?). Let's start with Jim Thome. .229, 14 HR, 38 RBI. Easily a front-runner for the 2008 Dave Kingman Trophy. Frank Catalanotto? Isn't that Jared Leto's character in "My So Called Life"? Nevertheless I just referenced Jared Leto when mentioning him, thus FAIL! Gary Sheffield is still alive? Is he still rocking the Hitler stache?

Who SHOULD be there?
Screw Big Papi, he's hurt. He'll get voted in but I sure as shit hope Hideki Matsui is his replacement in the starting lineup. He may not have the homers that some of the other guys do, but his .323 AVG will punch you in the weiner.

I'll tackle the NL later....

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