Thursday, July 06, 2006

Jay's 2006 MLB All-Star Teams

It's official. The 2006 MLB All-Star Game rosters have been finalized in time for the Midsummer Classic on July 11 in Pittsburgh.

So let's get right down to the nitty gritty. I've long been critical of fan voting in these things because the same big-market stars get selected to the game every year, regardless of whether they deserve it or not. Of course, the argument here is that the All-Star game is for the fans, so they should get to pick who they see. Nonsense. It's not like the TV ratings for these games is all that high anyway, so I think fans should at least be given a reason to watch--to see the best players in the sport as determined by the players and the managers.

Anyway, this year I actually thought the selected teams were decent. There weren't too many eye-popping travesties to take note of, though the omission of the young Minnesota Twins phenom Francisco Liriano was one unfortunate example. Other than that, I think a true All-Star team should not have taken a catcher from the NL this year (none were particularly impressive), and I find it also unfortunate that there was no room for Travis Hafner on the AL team this year. I'd change that if I could.

Removing myself from the constraint of that rule that each team must have at least one player represented (sorry, Kansas City Royals!), I present below the real NL and AL all-star teams. Enjoy!

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Italicized names were not selected to the real MLB roster.

Honorable mentions: Nomar Garciaparra, 1B, LAD; Chris Capuano [July 9 replacement], SP, MIL; Aaron Harang, SP, CIN; Billy Wagner, RP, NYM; Ryan Howard, 1B, PHI


Italicized names were not selected to the real MLB roster.

Honorable mentions: Jim Thome, DH, CWS; Nate Robertson, SP, DET; Joe Nathan, RP, MIN; Alex Rios, OF, TOR; Vernon Wells, OF, TOR

I'd be remiss to not mention that the AL outfielders' group is spectacular this year. Names I didn't mention that are certainly deserving include Vladimir Guerrero, LAA; Magglio Ordonez, DET [July 7 injury replacement]; and Gary Matthews Jr., TEX.

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Have a grievance on behalf of any of your favorite players or fantasy studs? Think I should have put Tad Iguchi or Jose Lopez at second for the AL? Am I one Tiger starting pitcher short? Was I too hard to Cincinnati sluggers with less-than-stellar batting averages? Did I insult Vlad Guerrero and Johnny Damon by not even mentioning their names? Feel free to inform me of any mistakes you think I have made.

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