2008 All-Star Ballot Breakdown: The NL

Last week I broke down the AL ballot. Today I'm going to discuss the NL. Does the Senior Circuit have a lineup worthy of actually winning this God damn game for a change?

NATIONAL LEAGUE


1B Like I mentioned last week. The NL has a shitload of talent at 1B that they could spare a couple to the AL who seems to be having a 1B drought. With so many top-notch guys, how do you even begin to pick one? It's like asking Chaim to pick his favorite showtune.

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Lance Berkman, 2. Albert Pujols, 3. Derrek Lee, 4. Prince Fielder, 5. Ryan Howard

Who shouldn't be there?
The top three looks good. Prince is a little suspect but apparently he still gets enough power from celery to hit alright. Ryan Howard though........ Yes your 20 homers and 68 RBI are impressive but a .215 AVG? Not to mention you're well on your way to being the first player to ever break the 200 K barrier in MLB history. Who the hell is Philly's batting coach?

Who SHOULD be there?
Berkman is the starter as he very well should be. .365/22/68 is nothing to shake your cock at. On top of that, Lance has 12 stolen bases. 12! This guy looks more likely to ask for another helping of gravy on his mashed taters than being a threat on the basepaths. Poopholes you son of a bitch, I'll begrudgingly accept your presence. Derrek Lee has been solid as well, but why has no one talked about Adrian Gonzalez? .288, 21 homers and 68 RBI for a hapless San Diego team. He has my vote for lone Padre representative. Consideration should also be made for Atlanta's Mark Teixeira.


2B This race is no contest. It's basically Chase Utley and everyone else. Let's look at the "else" I suppose.

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Chase Utley, 2. Mark DeRosa, 3. Dan Uggla, 4. Kaz Matsui, 5. Rickie Weeks

Who shouldn't be there?
Matsui and Weeks. There's 7 or 8 2B I'd take over those two guys. Matsui can't go more than a month without a light breeze knocking him on the DL. Weeks is making his case to have the Mendoza Line renamed for him.

Who SHOULD be there?
Utley is hands down the choice here, or is he? Look at these stat comparisons:

Chase Utley: .297 AVG, 23 HR, 65 RBI, 7 SB
Dan Uggla: .289 AVG, 23 HR, 58 RBI, 4 SB

Not that Uggla should start over Utley, but it's surprising to see him hanging right there with him in the stats. DeRosa has hit quite well this season and should garner attention. Those guys I'd take over Matsui or Weeks? Try Brandon Phillips, Orlando Hudson, Kelly Johnson, and Luis Castillo.


3B The NL 3B race is much more interesting than the AL, as this position appears to be stacked. Honestly how does the AL keep winning? Maybe I'm just biased but I like how the NL roster is shaping up much more this season.

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Chipper Jones, 2. Aramis Ramirez, 3. David Wright, 4. Bill Hall, 5. Mark Reynolds

Who shouldn't be there?
Bill Hall? Why is Bill Hall in the top 5? His AVG is worse than Nomar's for crap's sake. Granted Nomar only has 31 at bats this season (I know, who knew he had that many?) but still. I'll take Ty the Wigginator over Hall. Mark Reynolds. Sure he has 52 RBI but didn't he get 50 of them in first month?

Who SHOULD be there?
Good ol' Larry should get the starting nod. Anyone that can hold a .400 as late into the season as he has deserves it. Aramis has been a stud for the Cubs this year and should be a reserve as should ESPN's mancrush David Wright. But then you can't factor out the possibility of Clint Hurdle taking his man Garrett Atkins too.


SS Yet another position where the NL dominates the AL. Any of these top 5 would be better choices for the ASG than Derek Jeter in the AL. Seriously though, let's do another stat comparison.

Derek Jeter: .280, 4 HR, 35 RBI
Unnamed SS: .296, 6 HR, 30 RBI

Who is the unnamed SS? Why it's Yunel Escobar of the Atlanta Braves, who isn't really even being considered for an All-Star nod.

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Hanley Ramirez, 2. Miguel Tejada, 3. Ryan Theriot, 4. Jimmy Rollins, 5. Jose Reyes

Who shouldn't be there?
Theriot seems to be the one that sticks out there, but he's played well enough that he has all the right to be there. His .313 AVG is second to only Cristian Guzman among qualified NL shortstops.

Who SHOULD be there?
All of them. Hanley should be the starter though. Tejada has been decent but Ramirez is at the top in all 5 roto stats. Reyes and Rollins have been decent and Cristian Guzman sadly has had a season worth consdering as well. And we're not even counting what would've happened had Rafael Furcal stayed healthy. In comparison the American League shortstops get a big fat FAIL.


C The big story here is Geovany Soto, who appears to be set to become the first rookie catcher to start an ASG. The Cub backstop is second among NL catchers in RBI and HR. There are some other catchers though, that have strong cases as well.

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Geovany Soto, 2. Brian McCann, 3. Jason Kendall, 4. Yadier Molina, 5. Bengie Molina

Who shouldn't be there?
Jason Kendall. 1998 called, it wanted it's All-Star voters back. Who's voting for him? I can only assume these people are also writing in Larry Walker and Dante Bichette as well.

Who SHOULD be there?
I'll flash my Cubs bias here and say Soto should start. Yes McCann has comparable stats but there's nothing that sets him head and shoulders above Soto at all. Bengie Molina would be my third choice for All Star catcher. Also why is Russell Martin getting no love? Among the NL catchers he's 2nd in AVG, 3rd in HR and 4th in RBI and yet he can't even crack the top 5? Do LA fans even know how to vote?


OF Unless Ryan Braun makes a big comeback here, the NL OF starters will likely be three guys that probably shouldn't be there. So who should be there? Let's take a look.

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Alfonso Soriano, 2. Ken Griffey, 3. Kosuke Fukudome, 4. Ryan Braun, 5. Matt Holliday, 6. Carlos Lee, 7. Rick Ankiel, 8. Corey Hart, 9. Carlos Beltran, 10. Pat Burrell, 11. Ryan Ludwick, 12. Hunter Pence, 13. Mike Cameron, 14. Justin Upton, 15. Nate McLouth

Who shouldn't be there?
Griffey. Like the guy, 600 homers is impressive, great ballplayer, but his play is not indicative of All-Star this season. He's reached Cal Ripken/Ozzie Smith status where he gets votes no matter what. Soriano hasn't done enough in the time he's played to be on there, and as much as I love the F-Bomb, he probably shouldn't be starting either. Hunter Pence has fizzled lately. Mike Cameron in the top 15 is absolutely laughable. Justin Upton is a surefire All-Star, if the season only lasted through the month of April.

Who SHOULD be there?
So o who would my starting 3 be? Give me any combination of Pat Burrell, Matt Holliday, Jason Bay, Ryan Braun, Ryan Ludwick, Carlos Lee, Nate McLouth, Xavier Nady, Carlos Beltran or Corey Hart. Seriously, earlier this season I filled out a ballot and picked all Pirates for my outfielders and wasn't the least bit sarcastic in doing so. You'd have to go back to the days of Bonds-Bonilla-Van Slyke to make that claim.


DH Oh wait, I forgot. Teams in the NL play REAL baseball. EAFD Hank Steinbrenner!

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