Sunday, July 5, 2009

How the MLB All-Star rosters should be filled

By Rick Morris

Every year, the fans generally shame themselves in at least a few areas in the All-Star voting – even if it happens less often than it did when I was a kid. The managers always shame themselves as well, as do others contributing to the roster shaping. This year was no exception in both areas.

Here are the rosters.

I would honestly like to know what kind of mouth-breathers thought it would be a good idea to tarnish their All-Star ballots with the likes of Dustin Pedroia? Or Josh Hamilton (who I have on one of my roto teams, so I’m not being a hater here)? Or David Wright – who could be a reserve but hasn’t shown nearly the power necessary (thanks in part to his new home park, but that’s part of the game) to be starting? Or the wrong Molina altogether at catcher in the NL?

Also, what in the name of high school football are Josh Beckett, Brian Fuentes, TIM FREAKING MEDIOCRE WAKEFIELD, Jason Marquis and Ryan Howard doing there?

It’s just sad.

All right, without any further ado, let’s start with the All-Star rosters as I would have them in a perfect world, without having to worry about taking at least one player from the garbage teams in baseball and without having to take in consideration the aforementioned ignorant votes cast by the fans:

AL Starting Lineup
C Joe Mauer
1B Miguel Cabrera
2B Aaron Hill
SS Ben Zobrist
3B Evan Longoria
OF Torii Hunter
OF Johnny Damon
OF Jermaine Dye
SP Zack Greinke

AL Bench
C Victor Martinez
1B Justin Morneau
1B Mark Texeira
1B Kevin Youkilis
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Derek Jeter
3B Russell Branyan
OF Ichiro
OF Adam Lind
OF Luke Scott
OF Carl Crawford
OF Jason Bay

AL Bullpen
Roy Halladay
Edwin Jackson
Joe Nathan
Kevin Millwood
Felix Hernandez
Erik Bedard
Mariano Rivera
Mark Buehrle
Jered Weaver
Jonathan Papelbon
George Sherrill
David Aardsma

NL Starting Lineup
C: Brian McCann
1B: Albert Pujols
2B: Chase Utley
SS: Hanley Ramirez
3B: Mark Reynolds
OF: Raul Ibanez (injured, almost certainly won’t play)
OF: Carlos Beltran (injured, almost certainly won’t play)
OF: Ryan Braun
OF: Justin Upton
OF: Brad Hawpe
SP: Tim Lincecum

NL Bench
C: Bengie Molina
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
1B: Prince Fielder
1B: Joey Votto
2B: Brandon Phillips
SS: Miguel Tejada
SS: Ryan Theriot
3B: Ryan Zimmerman
3B: Pablo Sandoval
3B: David Wright
OF: Matt Kemp
OF: Adam Dunn

NL Bullpen
Josh Johnson
Dan Haren
Chris Carpenter
Yovani Gallardo
Matt Cain
Johnny Cueto
Javier Vazquez
Francisco Cordero
Jonathan Broxton
Heath Bell
Ryan Franklin
Trevor Hoffman

Now, taking into consideration the insipid “every team must be represented” gaga, I would place Andrew Bailey on the AL team at the expense of Jered Weaver and Zack Duke on the NL team at the expense of Francisco Cordero.

In light of the fact that enough jerks thought it would be a good idea to elect a slappy like Pedroia and a player who was hurt for most of the first half in Hamilton, I would drop Crawford and Bay from the AL squad to make room for them. And in light of the fact that enough clowns voted in Yadier Molina in the NL, I would drop David Wright to make room for him.

As is generally the case, good players will end up sitting home unfairly even with the roster expansion to 33 this year and only one in each league will be able to capture the remaining roster spot that is put up for Internet balloting as one final publicity stunt. The MLB All-Star Game is always a great event – just not as great as it could be if those who helped build the rosters took their responsibilities seriously.

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