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Sunday, June 20, 2004

2004 Sox-1918 National League All-Star Ballot 

Before doing my selections, I should probably take a moment to criticize Caldwell's AL picks. I'll start by ignoring the fact that Chris insisted on including the American League's twentieth most-productive outfielder. Why? Because we all love Ichiro, and this way Chris can't point out the obvious favortism behind my third base pick.

But Ronnie Belliard at second? Melvin Mora over A-Rod? Obviously, there are many schools of thought on the subject of "what really makes an All-Star." In my book, there are some cases when you happen to know that the player with slightly better stats at the break will not have an All-Star season, when all is said and done. Mora is a fine player, but he's no A-Rod. Belliard... Well he just stinks, doesn't he? I dare you, Chris, to defend these picks at the end of the year.

Now for my National League ballot:

Catcher

Leading vote-getter: Mike Piazza, New York.
My vote: Michael Barrett.
I wouldn't blame you for voting for: Mike Piazza; Paul Lo Duca, Los Angeles; Johnny Estrada, Braves.

Here's my reasoning. Piazza, obviously, is having a better year at the plate than any other catcher, but he's not a catcher anymore. All I know about Johnny Estrada is that he's a Brave, and he's never done anything like this before. So, as far as I'm concerned, it's between Barrett and Lo Duca. Theyre having similar seasons. Barrett is hitting at an outstanding .313, .361, .518 clip. Lo Duca, despite a ridiculous .341 batting average (which I can't imagine surviving the season), has similar overall numbers (.381 OBP, .487 SLG). In all honesty, I'd guess that by the end of the year, Lo Duca will probaby have better numbers. But Barrett's been one of my favorite Cubs this year, so there's your tie-breaker.

First Base

Leading vote-getter: Albert Pujols, St Louis.
My vote: Pujols.
I wouldn't blame you for voting for: Jim Thome, Philadelphia; Todd Helton, Colorado; Sean Casey, Cincinatti.

The National League first basemen are going crazy this year. There are really about seven guys who are having outstanding years. I go with Pujols, because he's so freaking good, but as long as you don't vote Bagwell (the second leading vote-getter at the moment, laughably), you really can't go wrong.

Second Base

Leading vote-getter: Jeff Kent, Houston.
My vote: Mark Loretta, San Diego.
I wouldn't blame you for voting for: Kent; Todd Walker, Chicago.

It's tought to pass up a perfectly deserving Cub (Todd Walker is leading NL second basemen in OPS.), but I'm going to go with the guy I hoped the Cubs would sign to play second this year, the long-under-rated Mark Loretta. He doesn't make a lot of fuss, but the results are always there. Of course, Jeff Kent is winning by about a million votes. Apparently, there's nothing better to do in Houston than fill out All-Star ballots all day.

Third Base

Leading vote-getter: Scott Rolen, St Louis.
My vote: Aramis Ramirez, Chicago.
I wouldn't blame you for voting for: ...that Rolen guy.

What? You don't like Ramirez?

Shortstop

Leading vote-getter: Adam Everett? Come on!
My vote: Jack Wilson, Pittsburgh.
I wouldn't blame you for voting for: Your favorite little glovesmith.

The National League remains the circuit of pitchers who hit and shortstops who don't, especially with Renteria crapping it up. Jack Wilson, always a fine defensive shortstop, seems to think he can crank the ball this year! It almost certainly won't last (He'll probably end up hitting .269 with 12 homers--though color-men will always remember him as a good hitter, because of these first three months.), but it's good enough for a spot in the starting linup this year. Come on, voters, don't let the fattest city in the nation do this!

Outfield

Leading vote-getters: Bonds; Griffey Jr.; Sosa.
My votes: Bonds; Lance Berkman, Houston; Bobby Abreu, Philadelphia.
I wouldn't blame you for voting for: Griffey; Adam Dunn, Cincinatti; Craig Wilson, Pittsburgh.

Hey, I won't be complaining if we get the all-nostalgia outfield. Sosa certainly shouldn't be on the team this year, and Griffey probably doesn't deserve to start, but this is our day, right? I do have to wonder what those Houston fatties are thinking, though. Berkman really deserves to be on the team. He's hitting better than Pujols! Oh well. I guess he's tough to get excited about.


That's my ballot! I really hope those Houston fans don't get Everett on the team. That really wouldn't do. We need to start a Jack Wilson GOTV here!

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