Well Gabbers, it's almost time for the fourth. That means watching dummies (actual department store dummies) have their hands blown off on the evening news, big booms in the neighborhood, back yard bbqs, and the coming of the mid-summer classic. Now many people say the game doesn't have the same draw due to Selig's This One Counts idea that we all love so much and interleague play. I agree whole heartedly on the game deciding who gets home field advantage, but I still get a kick out of interleauge play and the all star game.
In my opinion, the MLB all star game is the last all star game I can still stomach. The Pro Bowl has never been a good game. Let's call it what it is, a nice excuse for NFL players to meet and greet in Hawaii and play a few holes of golf. The NHL game is still kinda fun, but unfortunately it's losing ground. I still love the skills competition there. The NBA all star game resembles the real games too much: no defense, too much hot doging, and no genuine intensity.
The MLB game has a rich history. Though games between the best players in the country had been going on for some time, the first MLB game was held on July 6, 1933 at Comiskey Park. The National League still holds the edge with a 41-36-2 record. Baseballalmanac.com provides an interesting look at the games history, especially a look at how the teams were chosen.
"All-Star teams were originally selected by the managers and the fans for the 1933 and 1934 games. From 1935 through 1946, managers selected the entire team for each league. From 1947 to 1957, fans chose the team's starters and the manager chose the pitchers and the remaining players. From 1958 through 1969, managers, players, and coaches made the All-Star Team selections. In 1970, the vote again returned to the fans for the selection of the starters for each team and remains there today."
I gotta say, I like the method used from '58-'69.
The 2002 game was also not the only tie in the game's history. In 1961, the game was held at Fenway and was stopped in the 9th due to rain. Of course the 2002 tie is more infamous due to the fact that the game was ruled a tie due to gross mismanagement on both sides.
Still, every year I vote a time or two and I like to share my picks and encourage anyone who wishes to to share theirs as well. Voting ends Thursday at midnight, so if the mood strikes you remember you're on the clock here.
current leader: Russel Martin NY
my pick: Alex Avila DET
Ok, call me a homer if you will, but Avila is putting up some good numers here in Detroit. He's currently ranked in the top three in all the offensive categories for catcher in both leagues. He's hitting .295 with 9 homers and 41 RBIs. Martin started off in a big way, but has cooled. He's hitting .230 with 9 homers and 30 RBIs. Added detraction: he's a Yankee.
current leader: Adrian Gonzalez BOS
my pick: Adrian Gonzalez BOS
I was close to picking Cabrerra, but Gonzalez is proving that he's worth the money. He may have had a slowish start, but he's been making up for it hitting .360 with 15 HRs and 69 RBIs. Miggy is currently hitting .327 with 15 HRs and 50 RBIs. Teixeira is currently second in voting. Paul Konerko desrves much more consideration and will hopefully make it as a sub.
current leader: Robinson Cano NYY
my pick: Cano NYY
Sure the Yankee factor helps, but Cano is putting up good numbers again even if they're down compared to his production last year. He's currently hitting .295 with 14 homers. Dustin Pedroia is close at Cano's heels.
current leader: Derek Jeter NYY
my pick: Asdrubal Cabrerra CLE
Jeter's lead over Asdrubal is falling off (it's currently 400,000), but it's still absurd. Jeter will get plenty of lifetime achievement awards, he doesn't need one here. This is a great arguement against fan voting. Also, he's hurt and has no timetable for a return. Cabrerra, however, seems to be getting the hose in my opinion. His .295 average blows away Jeter's .260. He has 13 homers to Jeters 2 and his glove work has been spectacular. He's the catalyst of one of the biggest surprise teams of the year. Not too shabby.
current leader: A-Roid NYY
my pick: Adrian Beltre TEX
Damnit fans. Really? The Roid? Let's have a look: .300 avg, 13 Hr, and 51 RBI. Both Youkolis and Beltre are at his heels currently. Youk is hitting .275 with 11 HR and 55 RBI. Beltre has fallen to .263 with 14 Hr and 56 RBI. I give him the nod for his power numbers and the teams standing.
Umm...aren't we doing this in Arizona? Where did the DH category come from? Ortiz is running away with the vote and he got mine too. He's got almost double the votes of Michael Young, who is currently second in voting.
current leaders: Jose Bautista TOR, Curtis Granderson NYY, Josh Hamilton TEX
my picks: Jose Bautista TOR, Curtis Granderson NYY, Nelson Cruz TEX
Bautista and Granderson are one and two in the voting respectively, an honor which I see as well deserved. Bautista is hitting .328 with 23 HR and 49 RBI and has become one of the game's premier power hitters seemingly over night. Granderson is an od favorite of mine and has had a solid year with a .276 avg, 21 HR, and 55 RBI. Jacoby Ellsbury is definately deserving of a spot as is former Tiger Matt Joyce and current slugger Brennan Boesch. I'm seriously rethinking my Cruz pick, but he had an amazing start though he's cooled of late. His .240 avg is suspect, but 18 HR and 42 RBIs help his case.
current leader: Brian McCann ATL
my pick: Yadier Molina STL
McCann has the superior numbers here, I'll admit. He's hitting .307 with 14 HR and 44 RBIs. He's a great pick and will make the team either way, but I went with Molina because no one dares to run on the guy. He's thrown out about 17 runners this year. He's the reigning gold glover at his spot.
current leader: Joey Votto CIN
my pick: Joey Votto CIN
Right now Votto, Prince Fielder, and ALbert Pujols are all pretty close to being voted in. Votto has nothing on Fielder in the power department, but Votto has the superior average. I give Votto the edge due to his leadership and his average. Pujols is third and should hopefully loose ground. Todd Helton is putting together a decent year himself.
current leader: Brandon Phillips CIN
my pick: Rickie Weeks MIL
This race is very close and could easily change with a fan base surge. Phillips is a fan favorite in Cincy and has decent numbers with a .299 avg and 43 RBIs. Weeks is putting up some good numbers himself with a .290 avg, 14 HR, and 33 RBIs. The Dodgers Jamey Carrol has put up a good average, but has poor power numbers.
current leader: Troy Tulowitzki COL
my pick: Jose Reyes NYM
This was a tough call for me, so I can see how the vote is kinda close here. Honestly either man is a good choice here. Reyes is having a great year and fighting for a big contract. He's hitting .341 with 28 steals, 14 tripels, and 33 RBIs. Tulowitzki is hitting .276 with 14 HR and 50 RBI. I give Reyes the edge as he is having a career year and is the one bright spot for the Mets. Both men ought to make this roster.
current leader: Placido Polanco PHI
my pick: Aramis Ramierez CHC
Right now Polanco is leading over Chipper Jones despite Jones splitting time this season. Polanco is having a good year hitting .289 with 4 HR and 39 RBI. Ramierez is having a nearly identical year with a .289 avg, 8 HR, and 37 RBI. I give Ramierez the edge because he's doing it for the Cubbies. San Diego has a kid named Chase Headley hitting .300 who should get some consideration.
current leaders: Ryan Braun MIL, Lance Berkman STL, Matt Holiday STL
my picks: Matt Holiday STL, Matt Kemp LAD, Jay Bruce CIN
Braun is putting up good numbers again with a .308 avg, 16 HR, 59 RBI, and 17 steals. Berkman is having a resurgent year, but despite missing some time Holiday got the nod on my ballot. Kemp is having a spectacular year so far hitting .336 with 21 steals, 22 HR, and 62 RBIs. Bruce had a great start to the year with 17 Hr and 50 RBIs, though his .274 avg has no doubt hurt him in voting.
There's my picks, how about yours?
The hockey hall of fame has announced this years class: Ed Belfour, Joe Nieuwendyk, Doug Gilmour, and Mark Howe. Great class there. I especially like Belfour. He played for a lot of the teams I loved to hate and his strict enforcement of the crease made him a love to hate guy for me. I still remember watching him test cups against the Wings.
That's all I wrote for the week. Here's your weekly vocab.
When an elderly person, such as your grandfather, complains incessantly about nothing.
Grandpa ruined another family dinner by aarping the whole time about his bunions.