Meet the Batter's Box All-Stars

Monday, July 11 2005 @ 12:01 AM EDT

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

So there's a little ballgame in Detroit tomorrow, an exhibition, if you will, although This Time (Again) It Counts.

Over the last few weeks, Batter's Box Interactive Magazine authors and readers cast their own ballots regarding who should start the game for the AL and NL squads, and although as of this writing the starting pitchers had not been named, the Box vote agreed with the popular vote in a convincing majority of cases. Let's see ...

C Jason Varitek, BOS Varitek, 63%
1B Mark Teixeira, TEX Teixeira, 71%
2B Brian Roberts, BAL Roberts, 65%
3B Alex Rodriguez, NYY Rodriguez, 63%
SS Miguel Tejada, BAL Tejada, 61%
LF Manny Ramirez, BOS Ramirez, 61%
CF Johnny Damon, BOS Damon, 68%
RF Vladimir Guerrero, LAA Guerrero, 77%
SP TBA Roy Halladay, 78%

C Mike Piazza, NYM Michael Barrett, 20%
Ramon Hernandez, 20%
Paul LoDuca, 20%
1B Derrek Lee, CHC Lee, 56%
2B Jeff Kent, LAD Kent, 56%
3B Scott Rolen, STL Morgan Ensberg, 34%
SS David Eckstein, STL Cesar Izturis, 27%
Felipe Lopez, 27%
LF Carlos Beltran, NYM Miguel Cabrera, 36%
CF Jim Edmonds, STL Andruw Jones, 58%
RF Bobby Abreu, PHI Abreu, 76%
SP TBA Dontrelle Willis, 40%

The Batter's Box vote agreed with the popular vote in every single instance where A.L. position players were concerned ... The Batter's Box poll did not select a DH ... To very little surprise, the A.L.-savvy Bauxites were much clearer in their junior circuit choices, where every position's winner received at least 61 percent of the vote -- on the other hand, in the N.L., the only player to get within five percent of that total was Andruw Jones, who copped the NL CF spot with 58 percent of the vote ...

That's right, there were actually two ties in the NL voting, including the unlikely result of a three-way tie behind the plate, where Paul LoDuca, Ramon Hernandez and Michael Barrett evenly split 60 percent of the vote three ways, while real-life winner Mike Piazza managed less than eight percent of the Box vote and finished fourth ... At shortstop, former Jays Felipe Lopez of the Reds and Dodger Cesar Izturis each grabbed 27 percent of the vote, while real-life winner David Eckstein, like Piazza, finished fourth with just less than nine percent of the vote; along with Lopez and Izturis, eventual All-Star reserve Jimmy Rollins placed ahead of Eckstein in the Box balloting ... Either way, Box voters apparently wanted to see an all-ex-Jay keystone combo, as Jeff Kent won both the popular vote at the Box vote at 2B ...

Right field is apparently a slam dunk position for both leagues, as the leading vote-getters in the Box results were Vlad Guerrero at 77 percent in the AL and Bobby Abreu at 76 percent in the NL ... Showing once again that Box readers don't let homerism get in the way of real baseball knowledge, no Blue Jay regular was voted to first at an everyday position, with CF Vernon Wells a very, very distant second to Johnny Damon in CF, while 2B Orlando Hudson was an equally distant third and 3B Shea Hillenbrand, who is actually going to the game as a reserve, a barely-on-the-radar fourth ... Box readers did elect hometown hero Roy Halladay to start the game, but after the Kevin Mench line drive off his leg in his last start, it seems far more likely that another ex-Jay, Chris Carpenter, might be tabbed by his current manager to start for the NL.