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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My Stars

For the first time in recent memory, the fans may actually get it right. At least for the most part. There are a few races which are going down to the wire, but very few candidates who would be an absolute embarrassment if they took the field to begin the 2007 All-Star Game in San Francisco. No Boston 2B with a .738 OPS (a.k.a. Mark Loretta '06). No New York 1B batting .239 (a.k.a. Jason Giambi '04). No New York C with 3 HR (a.k.a. Paul Lo Duca '06). We can argue whether Prince Fielder deserves to beat out Prince Albert and Derrek Lee, but the fact is he leads the league in HR and is a completely valid choice, even if he doesn't yet scare you every AB the way those other two do. We can argue whether a place should've been found in the AL outfield for Gary Sheffield, or in the NL outfield for Matt Holliday. But for the most part, we'd be parsing hairs. All these players deserve notoriety, but there are only nine positions on each side, so not everybody gets to start. The good news is, Robinson Cano isn't going to start just because he plays for the Yankees, Jeff Kent isn't going to start just because he plays for the Dodgers, and Paul Lo Duca isn't going to start just because he plays for the Mets. Here though are a few hairs I'd like to parse, just for the fun of it.

First and foremost, this is the closest thing there is to a true slight this year, there is no way that Victor Martinez should be 5th in the voting for AL Catcher. Posada is having a renaissance of a season. I-Rod and Varitek are respected leaders on excellent teams. And Mauer is the reigning AL batting champ. But V-Mart should be at the top. He leads them all in HR (14), RBI (62), and Runs (40). He's behind only Posada in AVG (.313) and OPS (903). It looks like I-Rod is going to be the fan's choice, but hopefully V-Mart will join him and Jorge in San Francisco.

Now, here's a real hair-parser. It's hard to argue with David Wright. As of May 6 (30 G) he had a 691 OPS with 2 HR and 3 SB. In the 43 games since he has a 978 OPS with 10 HR and 13 SB, as well as 29 RBI and 25 R. However, as right as Wright is, there is clearly a better option. Miguel Cabrera hasn't stolen a base (perhaps because of his much-discussed "weight issues"), but he has accumulated a 998 OPS with 91 H, 17 HR, 46 R, and 54 RBI, easily best amongst NL Third Baseman. Get Miggy with it, NL voters!

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