All-Star Game Thoughts #7 - Outfield
1.) Manny Ramirez - BOS (1,936,373) [.298/20/53]
2.) Vladimir Guerrero - LAA (1,932,366) [.290/16/56]
3.) Ichiro Suzuki - SEA (1,393,462) [.353/4/27]
4.) Johnny Damon - NYY (1,221,891) [.294/11/42]
5.) Vernon Wells - TOR (980,502) [.315/20/62]
6.) Jermaine Dye - CHW (801,941) [.310/20/55]
7.) Torii Hunter - MIN (737,014) [.265/12/46]
8.) Coco Crisp - BOS (643,437) [.293/3/13]
9.) Scott Podsednik - CHW (642,385) [.264/2/31]
10.) Gary Sheffield - NYY (634,708) [.309/4/19]
11.) Trot Nixon - BOS (590,766) [.329/6/42]
12.) Magglio Ordonez - DET (559,722) [.313/15/57]
13.) Hideki Matsui - NYY (512,222) [.261/5/19]
14.) Grady Sizemore - CLE (509,152) [.307/15/39]
15.) Carl Crawford - TBD (339,518) [.304/10/37]
* Casey Blake - CLE [.304/10/36]
* Gary Matthews, Jr. - TEX [.324/8/41]
* Alex Rios - TOR [.330/15/53]
The top 3 guys on this list get in, and while it is possible that Johnny Damon will receive a late boost, I don't think there's going to be a lot of movement. While the battle for the top vote-getter will be close, Manny should have the edge since he plays for the more popular team and is having a bit better of a season. As a result, I (fearlessly) submit that Manny Ramirez, Vladimir Guerrero, and Ichiro Suzuki will be the AL Starters. Ichiro should get a chance to play a little CF in the All-Star Game.
As for who SHOULD be the starting three, I can't argue with Ichiro. Even though he doesn't drive in a lot of runs, he hits a ton. He's a place-setter, not a run-producer, and he's one of the best in the game. After that, I think Vernon Wells and Jermaine Dye both have played well enough to earn starts in the game, and I would put them in over Manny and Vlad, who are having pretty good, but not great, seasons.
After adding those two to my team as backups, I would consider one more outfielder, and would have to take Magglio Ordonez, who is having a solid season for Detroit. There are some other deserving players, like Gary Matthews, Jr., but none of them is as productive as Maggs, so he gets the honor.
1.) Jason Bay - PIT (1,706,105) [.285/20/57]
2.) Carlos Beltran - NYM (1,537,849) [.289/22/62]
3.) Alfonso Soriano - WAS (1,484,845) [.271/24/51]
4.) Ken Griffey, Jr. - CIN (1,366,906) [.258/16/46]
5.) Andruw Jones - ATL (1,250,129) [.282/18/65]
6.) Jim Edmonds - STL (863,775) [.255/7/38]
7.) Bobby Abreu - PHI (780,960) [.286/8/53]
8.) Carlos Lee - MIL (668,581) [.283/25/64]
9.) Barry Bonds - SFG (639,755) [.253/11/34]
10.) Aaron Rowand - PHI (602,813) [.272/8/25]
11.) Adam Dunn - CIN (479,532) [.229/25/48]
12.) Cliff Floyd - NYM (461,058) [.238/6/19]
13.) Xavier Nady - NYM (459,315) [.267/11/27]
14.) Willy Taveras - HOU (432,914) [.267/0/18]
15.) Matt Holliday - COL (416,230) [.352/15/54]
* Shawn Green - ARI [.302/8/33]
* Jacque Jones - CHC [.300/13/40]
* Brad Hawpe - COL [.306/14/45]
How is Matt Holliday the 15th person on this list? He's the only person in the top 15 to be hitting above .300, which is remarkable in and of itself. And yet, he trails such luminaries as Willy Taveras and Xavier Nady? That's just absurd.
While Ken Griffey, Jr. could worm his way into the top 3, it sure looks like it'll be Jason Bay, Carlos Beltran, and Alfonso Soriano starting in the PNC Park outfield on the 11th. How is Jason Bay at the top of this list anyway? The Pirates must be stuffing ballots like mad.
So who SHOULD be the starting 3? Well, for starters, Matt Holliday should absolutely be on that list. An average above .350, over 50 RBI's, and 15 HR's? Umm...against the rest of this bunch that's an absolutely. I'm going to give Beltran the benefit of the doubt and say that he belongs, but Carlos Lee gets the nod for me over Bay and Soriano.
That list almost exhausts the six guys that I would bring to the game if I were picking the NL team. The last one is Andruw Jones, who is quietly putting together a very good season for a pretty stinky team.