06 July 2004

All Star Game 2004

The rosters for the 2004 MLB All Star Game in Houston, TX:


Leading AL vote-getter Alfonso Soriano

C- Ivan Rodriguez, Detroit
1B- Jason Giambi, New York
2B- Alfonso Soriano, Texas
3B- Alex Rodriguez, New York
SS- Derek Jeter, New York
OF- Manny Ramirez, Boston
OF- Vladimir Guerrero, Anaheim
OF- Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle

SP- Curt Schilling, Boston
SP- Tim Hudson, Oakland
SP- Mark Mulder, Oakland
SP- Ted Lilly, Toronto
SP- Esteban Loaiza, Chicago
SP- C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland
SP- Kenny Rogers, Texas
RP- Mariano Rivera, New York
RP- Tom Gordon, New York
RP- Francisco Rodriguez, Anaheim
RP- Francisco Cordero, Texas
RP- Joe Nathan, Minnesota

C- Victor Martinez, Cleveland
1B- David Ortiz, Boston
1B- Ken Harvey, Kansas City
2B- Ronnie Belliard, Cleveland
SS- Michael Young, Texas
SS- Miguel Tejada, Baltimore
SS- Carlos Guillen, Detroit
3B- Hank Blalock, Texas
OF- Carlos Beltran**
OF- Matt Lawton, Cleveland
OF- Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay
OF- Gary Sheffield, New York
??- Fan Vote (Ford, Minn; Matsuit, NYY; Hafner, Cle; Konerko, Chi; Thomas, Chi)


Leading NL vote-getter Scott Rolen

C- Mike Piazza, New York
1B- Albert Pujols, St. Louis
2B- Jeff Kent, Houston
3B- Scott Rolen, St. Louis
SS- Edgar Renteria, St. Louis
OF- Barry Bonds, San Francisco
OF- Sammy Sosa, Chicago
OF- Ken Griffey, Jr., Cincinnati

SP- Roger Clemens, Houston
SP- Carlos Zambrano, Chicago
SP- Carl Pavano, Florida
SP- Jason Schmidt, San Francisco
SP- Tom Glavine, New York
SP- Livan Hernandez, Montreal
SP- Randy Johnson, Arizona
SP- Ben Sheets, Milwaukee
RP- Armando Benitez, Florida
RP- Eric Gagne, Los Angeles
RP- Danny Graves, Cincinnati
RP- Dan Kolb, Milwaukee

C- Johnny Estrada, Atlanta
1B- Sean Casey, Cincinnati
1B- Todd Helton, Colorado
1B- Jim Thome, Philadelphia
2B- Mark Loretta, San Diego
SS- Barry Larkin, Cincinnati
SS- Jack Wilson, Pittsburgh
3B- Mike Lowell, Florida
OF- Lance Berkman, Houston
OF- Moises Alou, Chicago
OF- Miguel Cabrera, Florida
??- Fan Vote (Abreu, Phi; Ramirez, Chi; Pierre, Fla; Kendall, Pit; Finley, Ari)

So let's break down the rosters, shall we?

First, a disclaimer- the starting 9 are the starting 9. It's a fan-based vote, and as such a fan-based event, so if they want to see Jason Giambi, Derek Jeter, and Ichiro Suzuki, then they should be able to. It shouldn't matter if they've not been the best at their respective positions this season.

So while I'll look at the starting nine with the understanding that I don't ultimately have an argument against them, the Torre/ McKeon named reserves and pitching staffs are another matter. Those guys should and must know better, and they dropped a few balls.

First off, at first base. Jason Giambi, when healthy this season, has been something short of the best first baseman in the American League. Take, for instance, David Ortiz (no "he's a DH!" cries- what's Giambi?). Ortiz is first among 1B in OPS with .968, second to Frank Thomas among DHs. Ortiz would lead all 1B in HR, RBI, 2B, SLG, 2nd in BA and about middle of the pack in OBP. Consider also Paul Konerko, he of 20HR, 280/368/545 line (Giambi is at 11HR, 245/383/464). Or Scott Hatteberg, 304/384/474. Ken Harvey made it as a reserve (as did Ortiz) and was FIFTH among AL 1B (NOT counting Ortiz) in OPS, right behind the geriatric Tino Martinez. That's what a high BA will do for you.

Derek Jeter quite obviously does not deserve to start at SS. Without a doubt, and as a shock to nearly everyone, that honor is deserved by Detroit's own Carlos Guillen. To wit-
A- 324/391/552
B- 275/338/448

"B" is your starter, "A" is the reserve that'll sit on the bench. Alas, you cannot blame the fans for wanting to see Capt. Intangibles over Guillen- but it's worth noting. As is the fact that Ichiro Suzuki made the AL All Star team ahead of Jermaine Dye, Hideki Matsui, Jose Cruz Jr, Matt Lawton, Lew Ford, Johnny Damon and Carl Crawford. In fact, Dye, Cruz and Damon will not be on the roster, while Matsui and Ford have to hope for Last Vote fan balloting to make it. Matsui deserves it. He was a disappointment last year, but ha played extremely well this year. Ichiro, on the other hand, has not. No one with a 398 SLG deserves to make an All Star Game... unless the fans want to see him. Fine.

The biggest problem I have with the AL roster this year is the omission of Keith Foulke in favor of yet another Yankee setup man. Tom Gordon, though having a great season, is not good enough to be the closer for Boston. Keith Foulke has had a better season overall. With room for 5 relief pitcher spots, do we really need a straight setup man at the All Star Game? Are there not enough great closers (ie, relief aces) to fill it? By my count there are. Tom Gordon should not be going to any All Star Game, as great as he's been (shhh...he's getting worn out!). Eddie Guardado would like an explanation as well.

Gordon 3.00 K/BB 8.32 K/9IP .84 WHIP 02 SV 1.66 ERA
Guardado 3.80 K/BB 9.08 K/9IP .80 WHIP 15 SV 1.19 ERA
Foulke 3.50 K/BB 7.44 K/9IP .90 WHIP 13 SV 1.28 ERA

He's been great- as a setup man. Come on. This is the All Star Game. No pinch runners. No setup men. Other than this, the roster in the AL is largely fair, though I would have loved to see Juan Uribe or Mark Bellhorn backing up Soriano at 2B (both have been better than Belliard). Also- you GOTTA put Pedro on the All Star team, and hell, he deserved it (probably lost out to everyone gets a player rule, though I'll take Pete over Gordon too). And Ted Lilly over Miguel Batista and Roy Halladay for the Blue Jays spot? HUH?! I guess if you've played for Torre...

Insert joke...HERE.

As for the NL- I like what McKeon did with the reserves. How Lyle Overbay escapes the reserve list AND the Fan Final Vote is a mystery, and ditto that for Adrian Beltre. Chris Carpenter, Braden Looper and Paul Wilson have all had great seasons, but in these cases, we can unfortunately chalk it up to the retarded "every team gets a player" rule. Too bad there isn't a similar rule in high school for getting girls. You know?

All in all, McKeon did a great job with his reserves. Estrada probably deserves to start over Piazza, considering he isn't even full time there anymore, but that's neither here nor there. Loretta over Kent in the starting nine, and while Berkman and Cabrera should start over Griffey and Sosa (Griffey hasn't been nearly as good as you're being told), it will still be cool to see three 500 HR hitters in one outfield.


______________________________ |