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With about a week left before All-Star balloting closes, Carlos Delgado leads all AL first basemen by a comfortable margin -- pleasantly surprising, to me at least. Barring late online ballot-stuffing by fickle Yankee fans in favour of Jason Giambi, Delgado will be the Jays' lone positional starter -- Vernon Wells is half a million votes out of first place in the outfield, and no other Jay is even on the horizon. Wells could well be added to the roster by Mike Scoiscia, and Roy Halladay is a lock to make the squad, possibly even to start -- but that will probably be all for Toronto at the Suddenly, This Time It Counts Game.

All-Star voting brings out the best kind of baseball arguments -- do you vote for your favourite player, or for the guy you think is actually best? Do you vote for a player based on his past performance, or on the half-season he's having now, or on a combination? Should the fans have the vote? (The best argument against that is in the NL, which if voting concluded today would have Marcus Giles, Rafael Furcal and Javy Lopez all starting the game.)

Personally, I think that the All-Star team should represent the best current players in the league at each position -- the guy you'd take first overall in a free-for-all one-season draft. And as my All-Star picks, just submitted online, will attest, that's exactly how I voted this year. Sort of.


C Greg Myers
1B Carlos Delgado
2B Alfonso Soriano
SS Alex Rodriguez
3B Eric Chavez
OF Manny Ramirez
OF Magglio Ordonez
OF Vernon Wells
DH Edgar Martinez


C Mike Lieberthal
1B Todd Helton
2B Jeff Kent
SS Edgar Renteria
3B Scott Rolen
OF Barry Bonds
OF Brian Giles
OF Lance Berkman

Okay, I clearly fell off the best-current-player wagon with Greg Myers. But he really is having a remarkable year, no other AL catcher is having an outstanding season or career, and I like to cast one vote for an underdog every year. Vernon in center is admittedly a stretch, but not a huge one: he's as good defensively as Hunter and Cameron and a better and more productive hitter than either. And I think 70+ RBIs in June should be worth a start in centerfield. Other than that, my AL picks are uncontroversial.

I found the NL choices much harder. Piazza is, I think, still the best catcher in the game (or at least, the best hitter currently behind the plate), but between his injuries and other struggles, plus Lieberthal's combo of fine career and season, I went with him. Shortstop was tough -- I really wanted to go with Orlando Cabrera -- but Renteria's numbers were just too strong. Mike Lowell is a good hitter having a great season, but Scott Rolen is a great player having another terrific season. As for the outfield -- well, there's so many to choose from, you can hardly go wrong. You could instead pick Sammy Sosa, Andruw Jones and Gary Sheffield and still have nowhere to put Shawn Green.

Anyway, the ballot has been cast, so it's beyond recall. Any disagreements with my choices?
One All-Star Ballot | 22 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_StoneDog - Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#99218) #
The fans have never really shown decent judgment when voting for All-Stars, but then again, the system is so whacked that it's unlikely that better results could even be possible.

On the other hand, All-Star voting is one of the few things that fans can do to feel like they are participating in baseball history, and MLB wants to keep fans superficially happy. So if you're going to have to have fans voting, change the ballot. Specifically, reduce the number of possible nominees per position. Have a committee of knowledgeable baseball people (writers, broadcasters, scouts, coaches, and Keith Law) decide on the nominees - five or six at most. The top-voted guy at each position gets to start, and the number two guy gets a bench seat. Leave a couple of roster spots open for the managers to pick. Oh, and screw this idea of having every team represented.

The idea is to reduce the votes wasted by voting for hometown boys when they are clearly not All-Star material. There would be arguments about who gets nominated, of course, but at least the debate would be about decent players, and not Deivi Cruz. Plus I think that there are a lot of voters who are only familiar with the league their favourite team is in, and so will spend half the ballot voting for guys they've heard of, instead of guys that deserve the honour. The nominations control that a little better.

Well, that's a start. I probably stole this idea from somebody and don't know it, and if I did, I apologize in advance. :) I just think we need a compromise between the desire to have the fans vote and the fact that the fans don't always know who deserves to be an All-Star.
_Homer Jay - Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#99219) #
Did know that ZLC stands for zombie Law cult...
Besides Posada (hating the fact of another yank ) you could argue for Ichiro instead of Maglio. And how can you leave out Andrew, does fielding is not taken into consideration ?
_Chuck Van Den C - Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#99220) #
no other AL catcher is having an outstanding season or career

Jorge Posada, easily one of the game's most underrated players, is having a terrific season: 250/400/514 in 260+ PA's. Does that match up with Myers' 365/448/591 in 180+ PA's? Probably not, but who has had the better career (obviously)? Who will have the better OPS come October (probably)?

IMHO, Posada deserves to start. Myers certainly deserves to be a back-up.

An interesting thing about Delgado this year is the number of votes his high RBI count will earn. Ordinarily this would be a case of the "wrong" stat being used to guage someone's contributions (a la Joe Carter), but in Delgado's case, the "wrong" stat will be used for the right reasons.

While I don't believe this is a repeatable skill (the old clutch hitting argument), Delgado has hit better the higher leverage the at-bat (none on, 948 OPS; runners on, 1190 OPS; scoring position, 1433 OPS) and deserves credit for doing so. This has manifested itself in a disporportionate number of RBI's, given his opportunities, and undervalues his 1110ish OPS.
_DS - Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#99221) #
A quick hijack.

It seems as if everyone's favourite deadline dealer, Omar Minaya, has picked up Juan Gonzalez for Seung Song. There has to be more to it than that, but even still, I would think it gives Montreal a great chance to make the playoffs this year. Guerrero in RF, Wilkerson in CF and Gonzalez in LF....scary.
_Mick - Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#99222) #
Juan Gonzalez in LF ... you're right, that IS scary.
_Jonny German - Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#99223) #
Given the criteria of "the guy you'd take first overall in a free-for-all one-season draft", I'm curious about Eric Chavez over Corey Koskie. Before the season I would have taken Chavez hands down, and for more than one season I would probably stick with him... but for a one-season draft, I'm not so sure. 2003 stats thus far:

Chavez 263 35 65 14 13 40 29 44 5 .247 .321 .456
Koskie 255 44 77 14 11 48 44 56 6 .302 .402 .494
Pistol - Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 06:15 PM EDT (#99224) #
Gonzalez traded for a Song?

I'd take Posada, Boone, and Ichiro (over Ordonez) in the AL. In the NL.

Giles hasn't played enough, or well enough, to be an All Star. Sheffield certainly should be in there this year.

Otherwise I pretty much agree.
_HTML Police - Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#99225) #
_Donkit R.K. - Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#99226) #
DS, how about Wilkerson at first and Endy in center flanked by Juan Gone and Vlad?

I'd go with Posada as the AL's catcher, Bret Boone at second, Blalock at third, and Aubrey Huff ahead of Magglio.
Magglio - .276/.347/.487 with 12 HR and 42 RBI
Huff - .307/.365/.561 with 15 HR and 43 RBI (and a damn good season last year)
Over in the NL, Javy Lopez has to start at catcher, Brian's little brother at second, and HOW can Albert Pujols not be on the list? I'd put him out there ahead of Berkman in this case, but I think he deserves to be on the All-Star team ahead of everyone this year with the possible exception of Carlos Delgado.
_Donkit R.K. - Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#99227) #
Minor Hijack!

According to Short Hops int he new SI "The Blue Jays' resurgence after a poor April is bad news for contenders with a shopping list. Toronto has scrapped plans to trade pitcher Kelvim Escobar and leftfielder Shannon Stewart." No mention of LIdle though...
Pistol - Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#99228) #
Whoops. I missed Pujols. He should be the easiest pick in the NL.
_Donkit R.K. - Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#99229) #
Agreed, Pistol...if Pujols is really 23 how does best player ever sound? As long as he isn't injured or something along those lines *knocks on wood*
_Donkit R.K. - Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#99230) #
Agreed, Pistol...if Pujols is really 23 how does best player ever sound? As long as he isn't injured or something along those lines *knocks on wood*
Coach - Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#99231) #
Splitting hairs, or playing favourites: Pujols over Berkman, Sheffield over Giles, Posada over Myers (but not Frankencatcher) and my AL includes Ichiro, not Magglio.
_Joshua Drake - Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#99232) #
Now that the All Star Game "means something," the most strategic approach to voting is as follows:

1. Decide who you want to win the World Series.
2. Vote for the best players from your team's league.
3. Vote for the worst players from the other league.

Am I wrong?
Pepper Moffatt - Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#99233) #
Greg Myers is having one heck of a season. But having Myers as a starter in 2003 would make as much sense as picking John Lowenstein over Reggie Jackson back in 1982.

The whole Myers/Wilson thing has shown the greatness of platoons.

Pepper Moffatt - Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#99234) #
Am I wrong?


If 6 or 7 Detroit Tigers were named as starters, then the commish would just ignore the fan balloting and put his own players in. It's happened before.

_Jordan - Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#99235) #
Good responses across the board, very persuasive. I'm sold on Posada replacing Myers, Pujols (I really did overlook him) over Giles, and Sheff over Berkman. I still like Chavez over Koskie, based on both career up till now and on Chavez's defence. The beauty of the Net, of course, is that I can now go cast this new ballot up to 25 times.
_Jurgen - Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 10:20 PM EDT (#99236) #
My ballot. As above, but:

Pierzynski over Myers
Boone over Soriano
Glaus over Chavez
Catalanotto over Ordonez
Thomas over Martinez

And on the other side..
Vidro over Kent
Sheffield over Giles
Pujols over Berkman
(I would have loved to have voted for Wilkerson, but couldn't justify leaving off Bonds, Sheffield or Pujols to do it.)

I think all my choices can be objectively justified, except clearly Posada deserves it for AL Catcher, and Ichiro or Huff or Anderson deserve the third OF slot over Cat. And while it's good to see Lieberthal back, LoDuca or Lopez deserve it more.

I don't understand why educated people are voting for Soriano over Boone. I'll concede my ballot has a distinct anti-Yankee bias, but Boone would be my half-time runner-up 2003 MVP (to Delgado, of course). Please enlighten me.
_perlhack - Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#99237) #
Am I the only one writing in Melvin Mora for AL outfield? I know its basically a career year, and he's not an all-star per se, but he's having one heck of a season.

Hard to ignore the numbers he's put up so far.

Other positions of interest:

NL 2B: Vidro over Kent (close call though)
AL 2B: Boone over Soriano (better numbers overall)
NL 1B: Helton (I would have taken Choi had he not been injured)
AL DH: Martinez over Thomas
_Javier Lopez - Wednesday, June 25 2003 @ 03:15 AM EDT (#99238) #
Where am I?
_I. Rod - Wednesday, June 25 2003 @ 05:43 AM EDT (#99239) #
No one cares!
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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.