Monday, July 5, 2010

Your 2010 MLB All-Stars are...

On July 4th TBS hosted their annual MLB All-Star Selection Show to unveil this year's bunch of All-Stars and did they ever. Joe Mauer and Albert Pujols were the leading vote getters for their respected leagues with Mauer receiving 5,372,606 votes which is third all time only behind Ken Griffey Jr. (’94: 6,079,688 votes) and Albert Pujols (’09: 5,397,374 votes).

Joe Mauer had this to say on being named to this years All-Star team and being the leading vote getter,
"Actually I didn't know that, but that's a really cool honor," Mauer said before the Twins' home-stand finale against Tampa Bay. "Just to make it to an All-Star Game, but to be the leading vote-getter and be voted in by the fans is pretty special."
Just to put this in retrospect, Mauer has yet to home run in 121 at-bats at the Twins new stadium, Target Field this year.  His power might be down but the ‘Mauer-Power’ is running on a backup generator.

Joining Mauer in Los Angeles or Anaheim, whichever city is hosting this years Mid-Summer Classic is teammate and 1B Justin Morneau, who just edged out Yankee Mark Teixeira down the stretch either by help of pre-pubescent Justin Bieber or a record number of online votes via  Justin Morneau had some big things to say on being in the starting lineup with Mauer by saying,
"I think it's kind of a compliment of whatever you want to say to our fans that we've been drawing so well," Morneau said. "My teammates, the campaign they put together for me was kind of cool. You look at the names of the last two [Twins] that started it ... [Rod] Carew and [Harmon] Killebrew, so that's pretty cool."
Mauer and Morneau aren’t the only pair of teammates starting in this years All-Star game as New York (AL) has 2B Robinson Cano and SS Derek Jeter while Tampa Bay has 3B Evan Longoria and OF Carl Crawford and Texas has the duo of OF Josh Hamilton and DH Vladamir Guerrero.

Rounding out the rest of the AL reserve slots were catcher John Buck of Toronto who is replacing the injured Victor Martinez.  Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler is also replacing another injured Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia while Kinsler’s teammate Elvis Andrus is heading to his first ever All-Star Game.

The other AL reserves are second baseman Ty Wigginton (BAL), third basemans Adrian Beltre (BOS) and Alex Rodriguez (NYY), outfielders Jose Bautista (TOR), Torii Hunter (LAA), and Vernon Wells (TOR).  The reserve designated hitter is none other than Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz… yes that’s right you did hear it correctly.  The supposedly washed up player was selected to this year’s Mid-Summer Classic.

The pitchers for the AL are Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester from Boston, Trevor Cahill (OAK), Fausto Carmona (CLE), Neftali Feliz (TEX), Phil Hughes (NYY), Cliff Lee (SEA), David Price (TB), Mariano Rivera (NYY), CC Sabathia (NYY), Joakim Soria (KC), Matt Thornton (CWS), and Jose Valverde (DET).

The National League lineup didn’t produce many surprises unless your surprised with Atlanta Braves phenom Jason Heyward being voted in by the fans as a surprise.  I always put him in as a write-in vote until they officially put him on the ballot and lets just say a lot of others did the same as me.  The other NL starters are catcher Yadier Molina (STL), first basemen Albert Pujols (STL), second basemen Chase Utley (PHI) who will be replaced by Martin Prado (ATL) due to an injury. Hanley Ramirez (FLA) is the shortshop while David Wright (NYM) is at third base.  The outfield consists of Ryan Braun (MIL), Andre Ethier (LAD), and Jason Heyward (ATL).

St. Louis Cardinal Yadier Molina had this to say after finding out he was named a starter after their 7-1 victory over the Brewers,
"It's an honor, always, I feel good. I can't wait. It's going to be fun."
The reserves for the NL packs some major fire power as Adrian Gonzalez (SD) and Ryan Howard (PHI) are the reserves at first base.  The other NL reserves are second baseman Brandon Phillips (CIN), shortstop Jose Reyes (NYM) who is replacing the injured Troy Tulowitzki (COL), third baseman's Omar Infante (ATL) and Scott Rolen (CIN). The outfield consists of Michael Bourn (HOU), Marlon Byrd (CHC), Corey Hart (MIL), Matt Holliday (STL), and Chris Young (ARI).

Jose Reyes from the Mets had this to say on being named an NL reserve this year,
"All the things I've been through the past year and a half, and now I'm selected to the All-Star Game one more time -- that's huge for me."
The pitching staff for the NL may be the best I have seen in quite some time as Roy Halladay (PHI), Ubaldo Jimenez (COL), and Tim LIncecum (SF) are the biggest stars on the staff.  However the rest of it almost gets better with guys like Jonathan Broxton (LAD), Matt Capps (WAS), Chris Carpenter (STL), Yovani Gallardo (MIL), Tim Hudson (ATL), Josh Johnson (FLA), Evan Meek (PIT), Arthur Rhodes (CIN), Adam Wainwright (STL), and X-Factor Brian Wilson (SF).

So after all the names one guy sounds like he’s missing from the list right? A 6-4 right hander with electric stuff from DC well not so fast as Washington's lone representative was Matt Capps? How can this All-Star game go without a guy like Stephen Strasburg and if you thought the talk surrounding this kid would die down as we get closer to the break, well sorry its not.  This kid has not only been the talk of the league but the talk of the nation as everyone was anxious to see what he could do out there on the field.  This year Strasburg is 2-2 with a 2.45 ERA with 53 strike outs and 10 walks.  National League manager Charlie Manuel had this to say about Strasburg as an All Star,
"He got quite a bit of consideration," Philadelphia's Manuel told TBS during the selection show. "He is going be an All-Star for a long time. What does he have, five starts? I just felt there are other guys who have started 18 to 20 games. I just felt, 'leave him alone and let him get used to the major league level.' "
As nice as it would have been to see this kid named to the game its even nicer knowing he’s getting that extra rest for the second half.

Here’s the 2010 AL All-Star Game Lineup:
C: Joe Mauer (MIN)
1B: Justin Morneau (MIN)
2B: Robinson Cano (NYY)
SS: Derek Jeter (NYY)
3B: Evan Longoria (TB)

OF: Josh Hamilton (TEX)
OF: Ichiro Suzuki (SEA)
OF: Carl Crawford (TB)
DH: Vladamir Guerrero

Here’s the 2010 NL All-Star Game Lineup:
C: Yadier Molina (STL)
1B: Albert Pujols (STL)
2B: Martin Prado (ATL)
SS: Hanley Ramirez (FLA)
3B: David Wright (NYM)
OF: Ryan Braun (MIL)
OF: Andre Ethier (LAD)
OF: Jason Heyward (ATL)

Those are your 2010 All-Star Game lineups and remember, THIS ONE COUNTS!!! I know that may be ridiculous but does it really matter after all… if you ask Bud Selig he’d say it does.

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