I realize that the All-Star Game is a lot about the stars. I know it is a game for the fans and that having them vote and see the players they want is part of the game, but why do some very deserving players not get into the game because of the name recognition of someone else and how do they expect to have other players make names for themselves when they are snubbed from the big game? The mistakes for the American League are:
David Ortiz, 1B/DH, Boston Red Sox.
The mistake of having David Ortiz on the team is merely stemming from the fact that he was included in the All-Star ballot and teammate Kevin Youkilis was not. Ortiz was a deserving choice for an All-Star spot from the choices on the ballot. Ortiz is batting .313 with 13 home runs and 49 RBIs. His production is down, but his average is up this year. I just have a hard time seeing him as an all-star over Kevin Youkilis.
Replacement: Kevin Youkilis, 1B, Boston Red Sox.
Kevin Youkilis should have been included on the ballot, but it’s not like it was easy to predict that earlier in the season. Youkilis means a lot to the success of the Red Sox this season and he does a lot more than his stats even indicate. He is batting .329 with 9 home runs and 44 RBIs. He also set a Red Sox record for most appearances at first base without committing a error. His all-out hustle and hard-nosed play really spark the Sox. Youkilis should have been on the team and it is a shame there was no way for him to get selected.
Bobby Jenks, Closer, Chicago White Sox.
Jenks is another case of being the only player selected from his team. He is probably the only Sox player worthy of being selected, but he is just not good enough. He hasn’t been terrible, with 22 saves, a 2-4 record and a 3.12 ERA, but I like Al Reyes, who has been very good at the back end of the Tampa Bay bullpen.
Replacement: Joe Nathan, Closer, Minnesota Twins
Joe Nathan should be in this spot. I know Jenks was the only one from his team, but like I have said, that rule needs to go. The White Sox are horrible and don’t deserve an all-star. Nathan is 3-1 with a 2.17 ERA and has 16 saves in 18 opportunities. Nathan is one of the best closers in the American League and is one of the bigger snubs. Nathan should be an all-star.
Michael Young, SS, Texas Rangers.
Michael Young was put on the team for name alone because he certainly wasn’t the second best shortstop this season. He is also the only representative from Texas, who doesn’t deserve a representative at all. Young is hitting .291 with 50 RBIs, but with a terrible total of only 4 home runs.
Replacement: Orlando Cabrera, SS, Los Angeles Angels.
I don’t really see how Cabrera was overlooked for the All-Star team. He has been one of the best shortstops in the game for years, but he is always overshadowed by players with bigger names. Cabrera is batting .333 this season, 42 points higher than Young, and he has one more home run (5) and one more RBI (51) than Young. Cabrera also plays much better defense than Young and he has 114 hits. Cabrera is the biggest snub for the American League.
Manny Ramirez, OF, Boston Red Sox.
Manny Ramirez would probably be an All-Star if the game were after the season, but Ramirez has had a very slow start to the season. He is batting .289 and has really picked up his average but he is just not there yet. He also has only 11 home runs and 45 RBIs. This is not typical Ramirez play.
Replacement: Curtis Granderson, OF, Detroit Tigers.
Granderson has been pretty great this season. He is batting .289, the same as Ramirez, and he has 12 home runs and 43 RBIs. His stats are similar to Ramirez in those numbers, but Granderson plays much better defense and is the catalyst for his team with his extra base hits and steals. Granderson already has 15 triples, a very overlooked stat, and could break the all-time record. Add to that the fact that Granderson is 9 for 9 in stolen bases and he adds depth that Ramirez just can’t. Granderson will be an all-star some day.