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My All-Star Rosters
2008-07-02 06:15
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Voting for the All-Star Game ends at midnight tonight. Throwing out the reality of selection process, here are the 32-man American and National League rosters as I'd pick 'em:

American League

Starters:

1B - Kevin Youkilis, BOS
2B - Ian Kinsler, TEX
SS - Michael Young, TEX
3B - Alex Rodriguez, NYY
C - Joe Mauer, MIN
RF - Josh Hamilton, TEX
CF - Grady Sizemore, CLE
LF - J.D. Drew, BOS
DH - Milton Bradley, TEX
SP - Roy Halladay, TOR

I really wanted to give Jason Giambi the nod at first, base, but Youkilis holds a slight lead in VORP and is the far superior defender, so I just couldn't do it. I also wanted to put Carlos Quentin in left field, as it would have given me an outfield with all three starters playing their regular positions, but with Drew leading Quentin in VORP and all three rate stats, I just couldn't give Quentin the nod over a guy with a career 130 OPS+ based on three impressive months. Halladay gets the pitching nod over Cliff Lee because Lee strikes me as a fluke.

Bench:

1B - Jason Giambi, NYY
2B - Brian Roberts, BAL
3B - Mike Lowell, BOS
C - Jorge Posada, NYY
OF - Carlos Quentin, CHW
OF - Manny Ramirez, BOS
OF - Jermaine Dye, CHW
OF - Johnny Damon, NYY
UT - Carlos Guillen, DET

You might have noticed Derek Jeter is not on this team. He doesn't deserve it. Really, there's not a single AL shortstop who does deserve to play in this game. If I could get away with starting Guillen over Michael Young, I'd do it, but Guillen hasn't played shorstop all year. Nonetheless, he's my backup shortstop here, getting the nod due his value as a utility man and because I needed a Detroit Tiger on my squad and Guillen + Johnny Damon > Jeter + Magglio Ordoñez. Either Jhonny Peralta (the hitting pick) or Orlando Cabrera (the defense pick) would get the nod over Jeter if I was forced to pick a true shortstop as my backup. Posada is here despite his DL stint as there's no other deserving catcher in the league. Practically, you'd like to have a third catcher, but I just couldn't bear to put another AL backstop on my roster.

Starting Pitchers:

SP - Cliff Lee, CLE
SP - Justin Duchscherer, OAK
SP - Rich Harden, OAK
SP - John Lackey, CAL
SP - Scott Kazmir, TBR
SP - Shawn Marcum, TOR
SP - John Danks, CHW
SP - Felix Hernandez, SEA

King Felix is my lone representative from the Mariners, no one else on that team is even worth considering. Kazmir is my lone Tampa Bay Ray, though B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria also got serious consideration. Wins alone were not enough to get Joe Saunders or Mike Mussina on my team. Kazmir (2.28 ERA, 11 GS), John Lackey (1.44 ERA, 9 GS), and Rich Harden (2.15 ERA, 11 GS) are all tremendously talented pitchers who have dominated since coming off the DL and get the nod over Saunders and Mussina.

Relievers:

RP - Francisco Rodriguez, CAL
RP - Joakim Soria, KCR
RP - Joe Nathan, MIN
RP - Mariano Rivera, NYY
RP - Scott Downs, TOR

Downs is probably the most surprising name on my list. He has a 1.19 ERA as the Blue Jays' LOOGY this year after posting a 2.17 mark for them last year. Of course, ERA is a poor measure for a LOOGY, but Downs is also seventh in the AL in WXRL, Baseball Prospectus's win-expectancy stat for relief pitchers. The two men ahead of him on that list over whom I chose Downs are Baltimore's Jim Johnson and Tampa Bay's J.P. Howell. So, yeah, Scott Downs. Also, if you haven't noticed, Francisco Rodriguez already has 32 saves and is on pace to break Bobby Thigpen's surprisingly durable 18-year-old single-season record.

Yankee fans note that I have the host team leading the pack with five All-Stars, even without pandering to the fanbase by including the undeserving Jeter or the borderline Mike Mussina. The Red Sox and Rangers follow with four All-Stars each, though the Rangers are most visible as all four of their representatives are in my starting lineup.

National League

Starters:

1B - Lance Berkman, HOU
2B - Chase Utley, PHI
SS - Hanley Ramirez, FLA
3B - Chipper Jones, ATL
C - Brian McCann, ATL
OF - Matt Holliday, COL
OF - Jason Bay, PIT
OF - Pat Burrell, PHI
DH - Albert Pujols, STL
SP - Tim Lincecum, SFG

The three best outfielders in the NL this season have all been left fielders. Bay played 30 games in center in 2005. That's enough for me to put him there in my starting lineup over his teammate Nate McLouth, who needs to prove he's more than a three-month phenomenon. Utley barely squeaks by Dan Uggla at second base with career performance serving as the tiebreaker. Lance Berkman and Tim Lincecum are the majors' leading hitter and pitcher in VORP.

Bench:

1B - Adrian Gonzalez, SDP
2B - Dan Uggla, FLA
SS - Jose Reyes, NYM
3B - David Wright, NYM
3B - Aramis Ramirez, CHC
C - Russell Martin, LAD
C - Geovany Soto, CHC
OF - Carlos Beltran, NYN
OF - Nate McLouth, PIT
OF - Brian Giles, SDP

Soto is a deserving third catcher. Gonzalez has been too good to leave off. Wright and Ramirez are too closely matched to take one and not the other. Thus my NL roster is a bit hitter-heavy. The rejuvinated Giles gets the nod as the sixth outfielder over the fluky Ryan Ludwick.

Starting Pitchers:

SP - Ben Sheets, MIL
SP - Edinson Volquez, CIN
SP - Dan Haren, AZD
SP - Brandon Webb, AZD
SP - Cole Hamels, PHI
SP - Johan Santana, NYM
SP - Carlos Zambrano, CHC

Zambrano just squeeks past Jair Jurrjens based on career performance, which is also why Webb's wins carry weight for me where Aaron Cook's and Kyle Lohse's don't.

Relievers:

RP - Brad Lidge, PHI
RP - Brian Wilson, SFG
RP - Jon Rauch, WAS
RP - Carlos Marmol, CHC
RP - Heath Bell, SDP

Having replaced the injured Chad Cordero as Washington's closer, Rauch is my lone representative from the Nationals. Marmol comes with orders not to be used, as Lou Piniella is pitching his arm off. He desperately needs the rest, but has also earned his spot with a season and a half of dominance. Heath Bell, who is sixth in the NL in WXRL, gets my final NL spot for a similar stretch of set-up dominance over higher-ranking first-half sensation Taylor Buchholz of the Rockies and veteran mediocrity Salomon Torres, who has been closing for Milwaukee in place of Eric Gagné. Lidge is the WXRLiest reliever in the majors.

The Cubs, Phillies, and Mets each have four men on my NL team. Surprisingly little effort was required to find a deserving member of every team.

So, tell me where I'm wrong . . .

Comments
2008-07-02 06:35:19
1.   Shaun P
The only thing I'd quibble with is Brian Wilson. Yes, he's third in the NL in WXRL, and has 23 saves, but if you're leaving off other half-season wonders (Ludwick, McLouth, Howell, and Johnson), and you don't mind taking middle relievers over closers, why not bring Torres instead? Or better yet, Buccholz, who may just as much of a fluke, but is putting up a 1.36 ERA pitching in Coors half the time? Compare Wilson, who's pitches half his games in PacBell (or whatever its called) and has a 4.41 ERA.

I know I'm relying on ERA for relievers, and parks, to make this argument, but this is the best I can do. You've got an awfully solid list, Cliff.

2008-07-02 06:41:20
2.   mike eff
are you kidding? no ryan braun? not even on the bench?

ridiculous.

2008-07-02 06:56:55
3.   jonnystrongleg
You really don't want to see Jeter play in this all star game at Yankee Stadium? His poor play has offended you so much that you want to deny him and Yankee fans this great experience?

Yeah he has had 2 bad months, but you are lobbying to keep him out of the game in his home stadium in favor of a guy who doesn't play the same position and a historically inferior player who is having a neglibly better first 3 months.

In the absence of a clearly better choice, I think you got it wrong and the fans got it right this time.

2008-07-02 07:07:06
4.   sam2175
Cliff, I think in some borderline cases you go with guys with better career stats than guys with better in-season stats. I think that is unjustified. If this were a discussion on how likely it is that the performances will sustain themselves, that is a valid argument. But this is about an ex-post performance judgment, not an ex-ante analysis of capability.

So, I believe Nate McLouth and Cliff Lee have earned it as starters. Partcularly McLouth, when there are no CF in that line-up.

2008-07-02 07:11:36
5.   EdB
I think you can bring catchers back in plus you have the DH so I don't think there's a need for a third catcher in an AL allstar game. I don't think you can make an argument that Jeter doesn't deserve to be there because he's had a down year (but not a horrendous year for a SS) and then make the opposite argument that Cliff Lee doesnt' deserve it because he's a fluke.
2008-07-02 07:12:17
6.   Sliced Bread
at the risk of committing Banter Blasphemy, I think Navarro might be more deserving of an All-Star catcher nod than Jorgie.

sigh.

2008-07-02 07:21:06
7.   monkeypants
4 Interesting perspective. I long ago stopped caring about the All-Star Game, but I do find it interesting how MLB has created a bit of a beast with conflicting goals. On the one hand, this is an exhibition game meant to showcase the game's talent. There is nothing, as far as I know, to suggest that this talent must be evaluated on this season's 85 games so far rather than career stats. At the same time, fans get to vote (at least for position starters), and this opens the door to their ideas of who is deserving and why. And let us not forget that MLB has made various rules (all teams must be represented, occasional special exemptions for players to be added to the roster) that indicate fan-friendliness and/or nostalgia should trump pure, hard, cold, analysis of who's the best.

But then MLB made the decision to "make the game count," putting pressure on the players and coaches to take the game more seriously. This in turn should compel the fans to adopt an entirely different posture with respect to choosing players. Indeed, for the very serious fan, this season's numbers should be thrown out--or rather, they should be put into the context of longer term, career trends. Put simply, the ASG roster should be chosen based on who gives your league the best chance to win, not based on what one-season fluke "deserves" to make it for the year.

And then this brings up an additional consideration. If I am a Yankees fan (I am), I will want the AL to win, in case my team makes it to the WS. At the same time, then, I want the NL to lose, Therefore, it is in my interest to pick the worst players for the NL--sort of like voting in the other party's primary for the least electable candidate. So, I would propose that MLB adopt a new rule mandating that a fan can only vote for players in one league.

By the way, I liked it a lot better when the game was an exhibition.

2008-07-02 07:29:11
8.   Dimelo
I'm still pissed at last night's game, I can't think of no f-ing all-star game. Move it to Shea for all I care or Wien Stadium.

How the eff do you bunt in the first inning, with a runner on 2nd nonetheless and no outs, but not try and bunt in the 9th with a runner on first and down by one run?

For all the haters of one of the greatest Yankee managers EVER, I find it real simple : Torre > Girardi.

I always felt that Torre wanted to win first and try shit out second, Girardi wants to try shit out and see how it works and then be all ho-hum about it.

People and their General Joe and all this crap about him being different than the other Joe. F- THAT!!!

2008-07-02 07:34:54
9.   monkeypants
8 "For all the haters of one of the greatest Yankee managers EVER, I find it real simple : Torre > Girardi."

Hmmm...ask Dodgers fans about this.

2008-07-02 07:36:09
10.   OldYanksFan
Cliff - I hate homerism in AS voting and I like your list.
However -
As much as Jeter has been below HIS average and certainly has not had an All-Star year:
He is 2nd in OPS
He is 2nd in BA
He is tied for 3nd in RBI
He is 1st in Triples (really stretching it here)
I'm sure when you consider defensive metrics, he is not the 2nd best SS this year.
But, he may be the 4th best, and really, there is nobody that could claim to be 'ripped off' if Jetes was the BU SS, the BUBUSS or a UIF guy.

The thing is, this IS the last year of Yankee Stadium. That is historic. This is a big deal, as some of these guys may be playing their last game at the stadium.

So.... it is not homerism that has me wanting Jeter on the team as I have complained that he is hurting the Yankees with his play. But 'even though it counts', the ASG is still an exhibition game. I think ALL things considered, NY..., Jeter's history..., Jeter's popularity...., all things considered, if Jeter juuuuuuuuuust squeaked in as the last player on the rooster, well, I think it does more good then harm.

I personally would like to see some kind of 'honorary position' for the ASG. Maybe 'player coach', maybe 'team captain', maybe someone to announce the lineups. Lets get creative. I remember in Mantle's last 2 years, he certainly didn't have AS numbers. Other players deserved to play over Mickey. But fans wanted to see him. He was a legend who personified 'All-Star'. Same with Willie Mays.

Again, the ASG is an exhibition game, and primarily for fan entertainment. While I think the year's best players should play, there should be some way to include a special player or 2 without compromising the lineup or taking away from a deserving player.

I'm fine if the honorary player(s) doesn't even get in the game. It is about allowing the fans to show their appreciation in the last year(s) of some of the greatest players in the game.

2008-07-02 07:37:44
11.   Kels
Cook has 11 wins for a 33 win team...he deserves to go. (And a 79 pitch complete game shutout last night at Coors...)
2008-07-02 07:37:55
12.   Dimelo
9 I could care less about what he's doing there, it's like an entirely different country in L.A.
2008-07-02 07:40:53
13.   monkeypants
12 I admit, upon a second read I am thoroughly convinced by your arguments in 8 . Very well reasoned.
2008-07-02 07:50:43
14.   Dimelo
13 I really don't have anything against Girardi, just that people made it sound like it was the 2nd coming of Moses. I have found myself questioning a lot of moves by Girardi this year, much more than I ever did in any one year with Torre.

We are only barely 1/2 through the season nonetheless. Now I have to f-ing rely on this fat knighted bastard to bring a win home. I don't usually get this angry in any one series, but geez....the f-ing Rangers!!!!

2008-07-02 07:55:45
15.   monkeypants
14 I guess then we have to agree to disagree. I disagreed with Torre's moves on a nightly basis. I agree with you that he "tried to win," but his adherence to certain practices and players undermined that goal.

This is not so say that Girardi has been the genius manager that some (not me) predicted. I think that he has been better than Torre, but not by a whole lot, and I understand those who believe that he has been no better.

2008-07-02 08:02:46
16.   JL25and3
4 Like monkeypants, I really don't give a crap about All-Star Games. It's three days without real baseball in the middle of the summer, and making it "count" only makes it stupider.

Having said that, I'll pretend I do give a crap. There's nothing at all that says that All-Star votes have to - or even should - be based on the season so far. It's the All-Star team, not the Best-VORP-Through-June team. Joe Sheehan says it best:

"There's simply not enough information to be gleaned from six, eight, 10 weeks of baseball to have that be the sole qualification for All-Star status. Current performance can come into play to separate comparable candidates, but if considering a player an All-Star would have been ridiculous in March, it's still ridiculous in June, no matter how high their VORP is."

Or, as Ken Arneson said and I've quoted endlessly: Remember the beer.

2008-07-02 08:04:19
17.   yankee23
8 Ernst-Happel-Stadion?
2008-07-02 08:05:15
18.   DarrenF
Jeter should have pinch hit for Melky. Worrying about Gardner was pointless and moot. Maybe Jeter HRs or Damon doubles in two runs. (Maybe Jeter goes 6-4-3, too, for that matter.) Very bad managerial decision and even worse explanation.

Also, if Gardner is so bad, then don't bat him second.

Also, if Girardi can't trust Abreu with two on and two out in the ninth -- which is why Girardi seemingly feared an intentional walk to Jeter -- then Abreu probably should not bat third.

The descent of Melky is downright disheartening.

The mediocrity of Abreu at the plate and in the field is also problematic. I know he adds a wee bit of value with speed, power, and patience, but not too much. He plays RF like he has arthritis and can't reach or bend over.

2008-07-02 08:05:42
19.   mike eff
Old Yanks Fan-

great stuff- i whole-heartedly agree

2008-07-02 08:10:13
20.   Dimelo
15 Wow...on a nightly basis. I think once Torre found something that worked he kept using it till it worked no more. Case in point, Farnsworth...Girardi blindly uses Farnsworth and I have real issues with that.

Torre would use Proctor till arm fell off, but Proctor had no problem with it and Torre went to the well to make sure the Yanks won. The same happened with Quantrill, to a lesser extent Gordon. But it was about winning and he knew that, and he would go about winning by any means necessary.

The years Torre had Mendoza, Nelson, and Stanton made it easier on him to spread it around.

When he had Karsay, he ONLY had Karsay so that's all he used. People would get mad about his usage of Karsay and Karsay's arm eventually had enough. However, if the object is to win....and to keep winning...and Torre sure did win, what was it that undermined the ultimate goal? To win. "Just win baby!"

I understand the criticism of using Weaver in '03, I understand the criticism of using Gordon in game 3 of the '04 ALCS but did ANYONE think the Sawx would come back down 0 - 3? I remember reading all about setting up the pitching rotation for the serious, I remember a whole lot of people thinking ahead and people knowing we had that ALCS in the bag.

2008-07-02 08:42:25
21.   tommyl
20 Dude, Bernie Williams. He played Bernie Williams for years after he was a serviceable CF. That's not about winning, that's about loyalty to his guys. I've disagreed with some of Joe G's moves this year (last night being a glaring example), but do you honestly think Veras, Ramirez and David Robertson would be pitching high leverage innings if Torre was the manager? Would Joba be a starter? Me, I think Joba would be the 8th inning guy all year, with Hawkins and Farns backing him up. Billy Traber would also still be on this team, routinely giving up basehits to lefties every night. David Robertson would have pitched once in some blowout, then sat for two weeks, then come in, walked two batters from being rusty and then banished to the minors?

Don't believe me? See Edwar from last year. How long till he pitched again after he struck out the side in Minnesota?

2008-07-02 08:51:31
22.   sam2175
16 I would like to know what is there in the rule book in terms of qualification. From my understanding, All-Star game is about who the fans like to watch. So using VORP or any other statistical measure is quite useless.

However, we changed the discussion here. Cliff was basing his selections on who is deserving. Deserving on the year 2008, I suppose, because there is an All-Star game every year. And not for their career. They have Hall of Fame to honor players based on their careers.

The arguments about the small-samples are well founded, but good performances, whether they are fluke or not, ought to be rewarded if we are basing this on performance alone for that year.

7 As for probability of winning the All-Star game, come on. If you understand anything about sampling, you would understand that one game represents the smallest of small samples possible, and the starters get only one AB or so. Do you really believe that there is any significant statistical difference in the predicted performance of Nate McLouth and Jason Bay in one freaking AB? Why deny McLouth then if we are using performance for the year?

2008-07-02 08:53:38
23.   monkeypants
20 This is serious dead horse territory, so I will stop posting on the topic with this.

If you are really curious, go back through last year's game threads and look at my persistent, even obsessive, complaints about the manager.

2008-07-02 08:54:20
24.   Rob Middletown CT
Overall, I've disagreed with Girardi less than I did with Torre. That certainly doesn't make Girardi perfect, though. He's made a number of mistakes, including last night's no-bunt. Torre isn't a terrible manager by any means. I just don't think he was right for the Yanks anymore. And he's not doing well in LA (and is making some of the same old mistakes he made here).

It seems to me that Girardi has been clearly better with the 'pen. The "blind loyalty to Farnsworth" claim doesn't really hold up, considering how he's used Veras, Edwar and others as well as the Farns. He's said silly things about Farns, but managers have to do that. The only oddity is something he shared with Torre: an inexplicable aversion to Chris Britton.

In the end, whether the manager is Girardi or Torre, it's mostly on the players (and, by extension, the front office for providing said players). Jeter, Abreu, Cano and Melky have underperformed. Posada, ARod and Matsui have lost time to injuries, but have been good when healthy. The only offensive overperformers are Damon and Giambi.

2008-07-02 08:59:18
25.   monkeypants
22 For one player and one AB, maybe not. But the effects of these ABs are cumulative. If I really want my team to win, I want the most best opportunities to score and prevent scoring, and that means the most best pitchers and hitters. In any case, my main point is that it is difficult to discuss who "deserves" to play in the ASG since there exist mutually conflicting goals for the game itself and often mutually contradictory criteria for selection.
2008-07-02 09:01:22
26.   DarrenF
24 One of my biggest problems with both of them is their affection for the small ball / NL style. (If you catch Opening Day 1996 on Yes Network Classics, there's Girardi inexplicably batting second.)

Damon led off with a double. He didn't score and that's mostly Abreu's fault. But it's also possibly a fault with the entire design and philosophy of the lineup. Even given Jeter's night off, what's the rationale for batting Gardner 2d? The rationale is that he'll bunt Damon to 3d. Which he did. in the first inning. Hooray for small ball.

2008-07-02 09:06:29
27.   horace-clarke-era
Dead horse territory, for sure. I find it impossible to compare last year's manager with this year's by way of seeing how Torre does in L.A. Makes no sense to me. I also, and I've said this, as have others, feel that judging by way of bullpens is a brutal way to assess managing: you have the arms you have and middle relievers tend to be (often noted) iffy at best.

Giradi looked good, I suppose, last night when he left a rookie in for 40+ pitches and two innings for the first time in his season and he managed to get out of a bases loaded jam. We'll see if his arm is okay next time around, I guess. Joe G would likely have been eviscerated (word!) if there had been a tie-breaking hit there. As Rob says, it really is the players in a situation like that.

For a BIT of perspective, on Melky and young slumps:

Manager Terry Francona said Tuesday that Jacoby Ellsbury will remain in the leadoff spot despite his recent struggles.
Prior to collecting two infield singles Tuesday, Ellsbury was in a 9-for-51 (.176) slump and had hit just .234 over the past 31 games. "We believe in him," Francona said. "Once you believe in somebody, you have to kind of let him go through it. I don't think he's tired. I think he's a little frustrated. With what he brings on the bases, if he gets on on an error or a force out at second base, he can change the game with his legs."

_______

Ellsbury with 35+ steals offers more than Melky offers but he, too, is in a VERY rough patch and being trotted out there. That make Francona an idiot, too? They DO have Coco (who also runs).

Is Joe G really saying they'd have walked Damon to put the winning run on and that is why he didn't bunt? Is that what his interview says? Wow.

2008-07-02 09:12:40
28.   tommyl
27 BP has a nice article about Ellsbury up:

http://tinyurl.com/5bmj54

Basically it claims there are flaws in his game (lack of power) that pitchers are learning to exploit by basically making him swing the bat. Hence his walk numbers have dropped precipitously. Sheehan argues this is not a slump but a real trend that will persist.

2008-07-02 09:18:04
29.   Bama Yankee
26 I'm not sure today is the best day to criticize Girardi's "affection" for the small ball / NL style after last night's "no-bunt" in a situation where even Earl Weaver was probably saying "Why didn't he bunt?" ;-)
2008-07-02 09:18:20
30.   tommyl
27 Also, with your argument, Ellsbury seems very close to the player that Brett Gardner is likely to be. If anything, that's a reason to bench Melky for Brett.
2008-07-02 09:23:36
31.   JL25and3
22 I would like to know what is there in the rule book in terms of qualification.

As far as I know, absolutely nothing.

Cliff was basing his selections on who is deserving. Deserving on the year 2008, I suppose, because there is an All-Star game every year. And not for their career. They have Hall of Fame to honor players based on their careers.

Unwarranted supposition. Personally, I think half a season is a lousy way to judge an All-Star.

2008-07-02 09:25:28
32.   Dimelo
27 THANK YOU! Well said, especially on the bullpen comments.
2008-07-02 09:33:21
33.   williamnyy23
I loved the ASG growing up and still really enjoy it to this day. So, naturally, when it was announced that the 2008 ASG would be at YS, I was excited. The lethargic play of the team and the growing realization that the Yankees are going to miss the playoffs in the last year of the Stadium has really dampered my enthusiasm for the game. What was supposed to me such a momentous year is quickly turning into the mundane. So much for the Hollywood script.

PS-Jeter belongs in the game despite his poor first half. This is the All Star Game, not the Best Players of the First Half Game.

2008-07-02 09:39:12
34.   DarrenF
27 Girardi was worried they'd have walked Jeter and pitched to lefty Abreu. Sounds like a good deal with winning runs on base and #3 hitter batting.
2008-07-02 09:48:42
35.   sam2175
31
As far as I know, absolutely nothing.

Well, then it is pointless to have this debate in the first place. Fans like to see whoever they want to, and if they collectively want to watch Derek Jeter play, that is their right.

Unwarranted supposition.

Unwarranted? Based on what? Cliff was regularly basing things on numbers, and in-season numbers. Also personally speaking, I would probably let Cliff respond to that, and not speak for him, but that's just me.

Personally, I think half a season is a lousy way to judge an All-Star.

Then the All-Star game should not be held mid-season. It is held every year, and in-year performance do carry some weight. And you only have half a year worth of performance.

Otherwise, they should put in potential Hall of Famers in the midst of the peak of their respective careers every year, no matter their current year performance, and be done with it.

2008-07-02 09:58:06
36.   JL25and3
35 Well, then it is pointless to have this debate in the first place.

I couldn't agree more.

Fans like to see whoever they want to, and if they collectively want to watch Derek Jeter play, that is their right.

Ditto.

Then the All-Star game should not be held mid-season. It is held every year, and in-year performance do carry some weight. And you only have half a year worth of performance.

No, you have a lot more than half a year worth of performance. The rest of history isn't irrelevant. All too often, that hot first half is the most a guy ever does in his career. Doesn't make him an All-Star in my book.

But I'll agree with the first part of that. As far as I'm concerned, if it weren't held at all I'd be perfectly happy.

2008-07-02 10:06:36
37.   vockins
John Lackey? Dude was DL'd until mid May!
2008-07-02 10:08:42
38.   monkeypants
27 "I find it impossible to compare last year's manager with this year's by way of seeing how Torre does in L.A. Makes no sense to me."

I assume that you refer to my admittedly flippant post at 9 . I was responding to 8 , which asserted that Torre "tried to win" but Girardi just "tries stuff to see if it works." My snarky reference to Torre's managing with the Dodgers was meant to allude to his maddening practices and tendencies on display this season (check out Dodger Thoughts sometime), the very same maddening behavior about which we bitched and moaned for the past several years, especially as it became more pronounced.

I had assumed that readers of this blog would recognize that by questioning Torre's brilliance as a manager this season, doing the same things he did last year and the year before and the year before, I was not-so-subtly questioning his managerial ability with the Yankees. I was making a comment, albeit obliquely, that we might want to look at the Dodgers this season before we reinvent the Torre of yesteryear and turn him into Stengel when comparing him to Girardi.

I see now that the post was elusive. I also made a liar out of myself at 23 .

2008-07-02 10:18:32
39.   horace-clarke-era
34 Darren, thanks for clarifying ... but that makes it WORSE. He's rather have Melky, in a flat-out funk, and from his bad side, than Damon for the tie and Abreu for the tie/win (speed on base)?

I had to laugh, also, at the shrewd note above that it is a bad time to rap them for small ball after THAT ninth inning!

30 Tommy, no, no, no ... too easy to cite what Gardner 'might' be when he's up for two games in the Show. My point was that Francona is not just sticking with a horribly slumping OF, he's leaving him in lead-off while he has an established big league OF, (not a hitless 2 games rookie) as an alternative.

I am NOT knocking Gardner, or the idea of giving him a shot. My view was, till this last 4-5 games, that our offense was easily good enough healthy to carry a purely defensive CF. It gets tougher if your C is also useless, of course.

Who was it - william? - who predicted Robbie-Melky would cross in batting average by June 30th? Bravo on that one.

2008-07-02 10:26:20
40.   cult of basebaal
39 that was me, though i called it to happen on june 30th, not by (and i might have been right too, if it weren't fer that meddling oliver perez and his left arm)
2008-07-02 10:37:13
41.   tommyl
39 To quote you: no no no no, I wasn't implying Gardner is a better player than Melky. I was saying that Francona's argument about legs and doing other things would seem to point to playing Gardner over Melky. I like to use Steve Goldman's logic here. You don't know what you have in Gardner, in all likelyhood he's going to stink too. However, currently in Melky we know he stinks. Its not like he was hitting .400 before his 0 for 19 slump. He's been bad for about two full months now and that's with playing nearly every day. I still think the kid has great potential and I really like him, but it behooves this team to kick the tires with Gardner for about 2 weeks and see what he has.

What caveat here. We don't know the state of Johnny Damon. If he's not really well enough to start in the field than all this arguing is moot. Both Melky and Gardner have to play.

2008-07-02 10:37:23
42.   tommyl
41 Argh....what=one
2008-07-02 10:47:13
43.   horace-clarke-era
41 I think I got your point (and wouldn't suggest you were saying Brett > Melky OR Ellsbury). MY point was to suggest Francona's being dumb, frankly, as a guy sub-Mendoza for a long stretch isn't on base enough to really help, even with an 80% steal rate.

I was mainly just noting that the Yanks have company in sticking with a slumping young outfielder. I am NOT arguing that the manager, in either case, is doing the right thing ... though my larger point is that with the offense clicking a defensive CF batting 9th is just fine.

He does have to know how to bunt around to the top of the order, though!

2008-07-02 10:57:22
44.   tommyl
43 A defense first CF is one thing. Melky's current line of .240/.305/.345 for and OPS+ of 75 (and that's including his hot april) is worse than defense first. That's a complete black hole. He's pretty far under replacement I would think. In other words, currently, he sucks. A lot.

BTW, does anyone know where I can find current VORP stats?

2008-07-02 11:01:46
45.   tommyl
43 Ah, found it, Melky Cabrera currently has a lower VORP than both Chad Moeller and Wilson Betemit. That means he's of less value to the team right now than a BUC and UIF. He is currently 13th of 14 candidates (I took 200+ plate appearances) in the AL for his position. That's just bad.
2008-07-02 11:07:02
46.   horace-clarke-era
45 OUCH is all one can say to that! Sub-Moeller makes 'just bad' look HOF!
2008-07-02 11:17:35
47.   monkeypants
45 46 I can't even fathom worst than Moeller. I guess he has the advantage of never playing, so his badness hurts the team less often. Or something like that.
2008-07-02 11:23:13
48.   tommyl
46 47 Actually Moeller has a small positive VORP, Melky has a negative one. Some of that is because of position, the average CF is usually a better hitter than the average C, but still.
2008-07-02 11:26:13
49.   tommyl
48 Ah, I take it back, Melky's MLVr (which is position independent I believe) is actually lower than Moeller's. Yes, it appears Melky is so bad right now our backup backup catcher is hitting better. That's sort of sad.
2008-07-02 11:35:42
50.   Levy2020
Nats' representative should be Wil Nieves.

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