I'm not very happy that Jason Varitek made the All-Star team. I know, it really doesn't mean anything, but it just rubs me the wrong way when a guy batting .215 with a sub .650 OPS is recognized for his accomplishments. So here is one guy's All Star Team:
C- Brian McCann - Shocker, right. I'm not upset about that Soto pick. Good ol fashioned home team bias on this one.
1B - Lance Berkman - A no doubter
2B - Chase Utley - Hasn't done much in a month, and surprisingly good numbers from Dan Uggla, but the Phightin's are in 1st place ahead of the Fish
SS - Hanley Ramirez - Not even close. If HanRam doesn't switch positions he will go down as one of the best offensive shortstops ever. Does anyone do a better job at identifying prospects in trades than the Marlins?
3B - Chipper Jones - David Wright will have this spot locked down for the next 10 years, but he is a distant second this year. Although everyone can put to bed all those Chipper making a run at .400 thoughts (ok, maybe I was the only one hyping it up) He is down to a 'pedestrian' .379 right now.
OF - Ryan Braun - STUD. Should be a perennial selection.
OF - Matt Holliday - He missed some time and is still putting up incredible numbers. Am I the only one who thinks that Rockies team is still dangerous in a very sub-par NL West? If they could ever get Tulo healthy and hitting, I see a run in them yet.
OF - Carlos Lee - A lot of choices (McLouth, Beltran, Burrell, Ludwick), but I'm going with the most proven of all of them. All Carlos Lee does is drive in runs, and he's already over 70 this year.
SP - Dan Haren - I'm not going to be blinded by Brandon Webb's wins, and I gave serious consideration to Volquez and Lincecum, but Haren has been so consistent that he's too good to pass up. 103 K's and only 20 walks, sub 1.00 WHIP and a sub 3 ERA. Good enough for me.
C - Joe Mauer - Really by default. I guess I just have to come to accept what Joe Mauer is. He's not going to be a power hitter, he's not going to be a run producer. He'll get on base, score some runs and handle a pitching staff. Looking over the list of AL catchers, that is more than most of his competition does.
1B - Jason Giambi - Are you ready for some facts. The AL has a severe shortage of quality one baggers right now. Morneau and Youkilis appear to be the top competitors to the 'stached one. The Giambino has more homers, a higher OBP and much higher OPS. Sorry, he's starting at first for me.
2B - Ian Kinsler - This one isn't even close. Maybe a bigger no brainer than NL SS. I didn't even know how good Kinsler has been. He might be my midseason AL MVP.
SS - Orlando Cabrera - Ughh. Where have all the AL shortstops gone. Could have gone with Mike Young, but I'll reward Cabrera for doing it for a 1st place team.
3B - Alex Rodriguez - A case could be made for Evan Longoria, and he definitely would be a reserve on my team, but ARod has been too good.
OF - Josh Hamilton - He's been awesome. Volquez has shown signs of being human, while Hamilton keeps producing. Would be interesting to see if you gave Rangers GM Jon Daniels truth serum if he would do that trade again.
OF - Grady Sizemore - Lots of locals getting a little ticked off that the Indians continue to bat their only true power hitter in the leadoff spot. Sizemore really has become a #3 hitter.
OF - Carlos Quentin - Toss up for me between Quentin and Jermaine Dye. I'll give it to the guy who has been more consistent. Don't know why Arizona dumped Quentin so quickly. Wonder if they wish they had kept him and not resigned Byrnes to a monster deal. Ouch.
SP - Cliff Lee - Consideration given to Duchscherer and Halladay, but Lee has been lights out. 99K's and only 19 walks. All this from a guy who spent most of last year in AAA after sucking it up for the Tribe.