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All-Star voting 2009

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Every year, I publish my all-star ballot. My criteria is to look at stats, but sometimes disregard the stats if I am a big fan of a particular player. So, for 2009, here's my ASG ballot.

Position American League National League
First Base Cabrera, M., DET Pujols, A., STL
Second Base Hill, A., TOR Utley, C., PHI
Third Base Rodriguez, A., NYY Wright, D., NYM
Shortstop Jeter, D., NYY Ramirez, H., FLA
Catcher Mauer, J., MIN Rodriguez, I., HOU
Outfielder Bay, J., BOS Beltran, C., NYM
Outfielder Crawford, C., TB Braun, R., MIL
Outfielder Hunter, T., LAA Ibañez, R., PHI

It's definitely interesting to see how my ballot has evolved over time

First Base: Pujols and Cabrera are both having good seasons. Last year, fueled by Cubbie Koolaid, I penciled in D-Lee, but the team isn't performing well enough for me to deny Albert this year.
Second Base: Chase Utley retains his perma-vote on my ballot. He still reminds me of Ryne Sandberg, and with a World Series championship, and solid stats, he's my pick for NL ASG MVP. In the AL Mark Grudzielanek's ex-Cub factor is trumped by Aaron Hill's tremendous 2009 season to date.
Third Base: Despite the steroids mess and the injury at the beginning of the season, I still like Alex Rodriguez, and he'll continue to get my vote for as long as he mans the hot-corner for the Yanks... and I don't have a better alternative. In the NL, Aramis Ramirez' injury bumps him off my ballot in favor of David Wright.
Shortstop: Derek Jeter. I still can't believe that play from the World Series where he covered the plate and flipped to Posada for the out. That mental replay is worth a career of All-Star votes. In other news, Jimmy Rollins has the even years, Hanley Ramirez the odd.
Outfield (AL): Interestingly, a clean sweep from last year. Gone are Vlad the impaler, Grady Sizemore, and Ichiro. For 2009, I bring back perennial fave Torii Hunter (who is also having a good year), Jason Bay (an NL'er at heart), and Carl Crawford (I love speed!). That said, I'm guessing this is the first time I've ever turned in an All-Star ballot without punching Ichiro's number. I already wish I could take it back.
Outfield (NL): The surprise of this ballot is that Alfonso Soriano didn't make it. I normally vote for at least one Cub outfielder, but Reed Johnson's not on the ballot. Seriously, Fonzi, Milton, or Kosuke? None are having close to all-star caliber seasons.

So, off the ballot are Kozuke and Ken Griffey Jr. (I had voted for Jason Bay last year when he was with Pittsburgh.) With "The Kid" on an AL squad, Kozuke's the only one that technically got the bump. Replacing that three-some with Carlos Beltran, Ryan Braun, and Raul Ibanez is more a nod to this year's performance than past nostalgia... although do I need to remind my readers that Alfonso Soriano is taking home what rightfully should have been Carlos Beltran's paycheck?

Now, to discuss the greatest shock: No Cubs. It's not illegal, it's not even risque like online sports gambling sites, it's merely unprecedented. I DON'T TURN IN CUB-LESS ALL STAR BALLOTS... EVER! And yet I just did. That's how disappointed I've been with the team and the individual players this year. The only player I would vote for, if I could, would be Carlos Zambrano... and that vote would be based on a long player-fan bond, not necessarily his '09 performance.

Posted by Byron at July 2, 2009 2:02 PM | Bookmark and Share | BallHype: hype it up!
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