Tuesday, May 23, 2006

My May 23rd All Star Ballot

It's May 23 and I have just filled out the first of several Major League Baseball All Star ballots that I will place over the next few weeks.

My selections

American League

1B Paul Konerko (Chicago White Sox)

Travis Hafner and David Ortiz are having typical great seasons with the bat, but they are not first basemen. They are designated hitters. They are All Stars, but this year's All Star Game is in a National League park, which means National League rules, which means no DH. Want to be a starter? Get a glove! For me it's a toss-up between Konerko and Detroit's Chris Shelton but I'm voting for Konerko. He's done it longer and his 2005 postseason performance deserves a reward.

2B Luis Castillo (Minnesota Twins)

An argument can easily be made for Chicago's Tadahito Iguchi (and I would guess he'll be the one elected), but this is my ballot and I'm voting for Castillo.

SS Miguel Tejada (Baltimore Orioles)

The AL's three elite shortstops - Tejada, Derek Jeter, and Michael Young - are all hitting in the .340-.350 range, but Young only has one homer and Jeter is an arrogant Yankee prick.

3B Hank Blalock (Texas Rangers)

Speaking of arrogant Yankee pricks, Alex Rodriguez is only hitting about .270. I'm voting for Blalock today, but I think that Eric Chavez, Mike Lowell, Troy Glaus, Joe Crede and Melvin Mora are all more deserving than A-Rod at this point.

C A.J. Pierzynski (Chicago White Sox)

This was a pretty easy choice for me up until Joe Mauer's nine hit weekend in Milwaukee that raised his average to .338. Never the less, A.J. is hitting .341, is masterfully handling the a superior starting rotation, and he had a pretty eventful weekend of his own...

OF Casey Blake (Cleveland Indians), Vernon Wells (Toronto Blue Jays), Alex Rios (Toronto Blue Jays - WRITE-IN)

Speaking of ex-Twins, Blake is leading the league in hitting. Rios is hot on his heels and I can never resist a good write-in vote candidate. Wells is having the best all-around season of any outfielder in the league.

National League

1B Albert Pujols (St. Louis Cardinals)

Ryan Howard, Nomar Garciaparra, Lance Berkman, Carlos Delgado... they're all having great, All Star seasons. That said, anybody voting for anyone other than Pujols at 1B this season needs to have their voting rights terminated.

2B Chase Utley (Philadelphia Phillies)

He's hitting .309 and leading all NL second basemen in homers and RBI.

SS Hanley Ramirez (Florida Marlins)

If he stays healthy, we should be looking at a unanimous winner of the NL Rookie of the Year award. One of the most exciting players in the game!

3B David Wright (New York Mets)

Just beats out Miguel Cabrera, mostly because I can't bring myself to vote for two Marlins. Chad Tracy and Morgan Ensberg have strong cases, too.

C Brian McCann (Atlanta Braves)

The league's leading hitter, and not too shabby behind the plate either. He should have a headlock on this ballot for years to come.

OF Matt Holliday (Colorado Rockies), Andruw Jones (Atlanta Braves), Alfonso Soriano (Washington Nationals)

Holliday's season is mirroring teammate Brad Hawpe... Holliday gets my vote because I think he has a better shot at sustaining his current pace. Andruw's nine homeruns are a disappointing total at this point, but he's driven in 41 and you may have heard something about his defense. Say what you will about Soriano's 'tude in spring training, he's gone out to play left field and is on pace for a 40-40 season. Hell, he's on pace for a 50-40 season!


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