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When the All-Star ballots were announced earlier this week, the emails started flying here at UmpBump HQ. We felt compelled to offer up our own ballots (admittedly, with the benefit of casting them now, and not months ago when the balloting actually began), which we now present, interspersed with refreshing dashes of acid-tongued banter, for your scathing refutation insightful commentary:

Sarah’s All-Star Ballot

American League

C Joe Mauer

1B Youk (note: I actually voted for Youk last year too. Couldn’t vote for Papi as a 1B; didn’t seem right.)

2B Kinsler

3B A-Poop

SS Derek, grudgingly

DH Ortiz (yes, even injured)

OF Manny (sentimental choice)

OF Grady Sizemore

OF JD Drew (Was very tempted to go with Josh Hamilton here….but I flipped a coin and Drew won. Plus, Hamilton’s heart-warming story has just become too much for me. Now every time I hear about it, I want to vomit.)

SP Roy Halladay

National League

C Geovany Soto (at first, felt obligated to go with Brian McCann, since I don’t really like voting rookies into the All-Star game, but then I remembered that I don’t like the Braves….and Soto and McCann have basically had the same year so far.)

1B Lance Berkman

2B Chase Utley

3B Chipper Jones

SS Hanley Ramirez

OF Ryan Braun

OF Griffey Jr

OF Matt Holliday

SP Brandon Webb

Final note: Why is there no NL DH? I mean, they’re playing in Yankee Stadium…they aren’t going to make the pitcher bat, are they? If there were an extra roster spot for a hitter, I would go with Pat the Bat here.

Nick: Griffey??? For serious?

Sarah: I’m big on future Hall of Famers going to the ASG. And he hit no. 600 this year. And, once again Nick, i must ask that instead of simply sending incredulous snarkages back in my direction, you actually put together your own ballot. That was actually the point of the exercise.

Nick: Okay, here are my picks. Clearly they are all 100% correct.

Nick’s All-Star Ballot

American League

C Joe Mauer

1B Jason Giambi

2B Ian Kinsler

3B Alex Rodriguez

SS Michael Young

OF Jermaine Dye

OF Grady Sizemore

OF Josh Hamilton

DH Milton Bradley

SP Cliff Lee

National League

C Geovany Soto

1B Lance Berkman

2B Chase Utley

3B Chipper Jones

SS Hanley Ramirez

OF Pat Burrell

OF Jason Bay

OF Adam Dunn

SP Edinson Volquez

Nick: Sarah, are you saying future Hall of Famers should go to the All-Star Game every year, no matter what? Even when they only have the 46th best OPS among qualified outfielders?

Sarah: I’m just saying, doesn’t feel like the All-Star Game without Griffey. Also, I feel the voting would be very different if it were all online. When you’re just sitting in your little seat at the ballpark poking those little punch cards, are you really going to be comparing OPS and clicking through ESPN.com’s sortable stats? No, no you are not. You are going to see “K. Griffey Jr.” there on the ballot with a little perforated circle next to it. And you are going to poke that little circle.

Paul: My ballot:

Paul’s All-Star Ballot

American League

C: Joe Mauer (and if any of you disagree, I’m leaving UmpBump)

1B: Justin Morneau (can’t argue with Youk or Giambi either. i just don’t like either of them.)

2B: Ian Kinsler

SS: Empty Space

3B: A-Rod (although it’d be a lot of fun to see Longoria there)

LF: Josh Hamilton

CF: Grady Sizemore

RF: JD Drew

DH: Milton Bradley

SP: Roy Halladay (not the popular choice, I know. but dude’s been filthy)

National League

C: Geovany Soto

1B: Lance Berkman

2B: Chase Utley

SS: Hanley Ramirez

3B: Chipper Jones (i just died a little inside)

LF: Jason Bay

CF: Nate McLouth

RF: Matt Holliday (wow, what an awful defensive outfield!)

DH: Pat Burrell (now i need a drink)

SP: Volquez/Lincecum (don’t make me choose)

Sarah: No you have to choose! That’s the whole point! Come on, eenie meenie minie moe that puppy.

Paul: in that case, excuse me while i go crunch some digits….and i think i unknowingly made that sound a little dirty. How did i do that? That should be the new euphemism among statheads. “Dude, that girl is so freaking hot. Makes me want to crunch my digits.”

Sarah: Neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrd!

Paul: Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanddddddddddddddyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!! (anyone? anyone? yes? no?)

Sarah: [confused silence] [chirping of crickets] [tumbleweed rolls slowly by]

Paul: It’s from Family Guy. And I’m going with Lincecum.

Sarah: And are you still leaving AL SS blank?? I’m torn. Half of me thinks that’s really hilarious. The other half is now bitter because i sucked it up and voted for Jeter.

Paul: I would honestly rather have Empty Space. He’s a ragamuffin from the great state of North Dakota. Kid’s got more talent than brains.

Sarah: He’s got that blue collar makeup though.

Alejandro: Okay, time for my picks.

Alejandro’s All-Star Ballot

American League

C Joe Mauer

1B Kevin Youkilis

2B Ian Kinsler

SS Michael Young

3B Evan Longoria

OF David DeJesus

OF Josh Hamilton

OF Johnny Damon

DH Alex Rodriguez

SP Cliff Lee

National League

C Geovany Soto

1B Connor Jackson

2B Chase Utley

SS Jose Reyes

3B Chipper Jones

OF Carlos Lee

OF Aaron Rowand

OF Carlos Beltran

SP Edinson Volquez

Nick: What, no Hanley at SS, Alejandro? Even though he’s carrying your umpbump fantasy team? Surprising!

Alejandro: Oh man i knew i’d miss someone….Yeah, forget Reyes, please include H Ramirez instead…

Sarah: Hey, I’m not sure it’s kosher to have A-Rod as the DH. You can only vote for people where they are eligible, no? Or can you shift things around with the write-in?

Alejandro: Good point… I dunno…to be honest, i filled this ballot in haste in the middle of a meeting…

Paul: Get your priorities straight, Alejandro. All-Star ballots are serious business. Not to be done in the middle of business. This business clearly supersedes that business.

Coley: I think the problem with including guys like Griffey is that this year it counts! And, I’m kinda serious. I mean, if the Phillies are denied home-field advantage in the World Series because Ken Griffey, Jr. strikes out with the bases loaded in the all-star game, I’m going to be pissed. Here’s my lineup:

Coley’s All-Star Ballot

American League

C Joe Mauer

1B Jason Giambi

2B Ian Kinsler

3B Alex Rodriguez

SS Michael Young

OF Jermaine Dye

OF Grady Sizemore

OF Josh Hamilton

DH Milton Bradley

SP Cliff Lee

National League
C Geovany Soto
1B Lance Berkman
2B Chase Utley
3B Chipper Jones
SS Hanley Ramirez
OF Pat Burrell

OF Jason Bay

OF Matt Holliday (almost went with Dunn, but you can’t have Dunn and Howard in the lineup at the same time.)

DH Ryan Howard (you can’t not have the league leader in HR and RBI)
SP Edinson Volquez

Tell us, gentle readers, is our universal love for Geovany Soto misplaced? Is my vote for the husk of Ken Griffey Jr. an abomination? What about Paul’s preference for gritty shortstop sensation Empty Space?

Who would make your list?

17 Responses to “The UmpBump All-Star Team”

  1. melissa says:

    Sarah, I don’t think you can assume Pedro and Schilling would have thrown no hitters if they had just thrown the pitch Varitek called. What if they had thrown the curve that had been called and hung it? If a pitcher is not confident in his ability to throw the pitch called he doesn’t have the best chance to succeed. I would imagine later in a game a pitcher may feel they have better control of their fastball. The other thing no one mentions is that there were probably signs given earlier in the game the pitcher shook off and the pitch was successful. It’s always easy in hindsight to say what if and that’s why it’s so special when a guy actually does get the no hitter.

  2. Sarah Green says:

    Yes, Melissa, I agree. There were cases, for instance, in the Schilling game where he did shake of Varitek—i think they said maybe five or six pitches Schilling had already shaken off. The Pedro game, I don’t remember. I wasn’t trying to make the case that those near-no-nos should count for Tek, just that when you start fudging, it’s hard to stop. The ol’ slippery slope, in other words. Like, just as Posnanski would like to say, damn the record books and give Pedro his perfect game, I would be tempted to say, damn the record books and give Varitek at least one more no-hitter. I admit these are not quite the same, but I think they are pretty close. After all, if Curt Schilling had thrown the pitch that Tek had called for, Tek would have five no-nos. And if Pedro’s teammates had scored even ONE RUN, he would have his perfect game. I think a perfect nine innings is not a perfect game, if the game is not over after nine innings. It’s a team game, and it’s a game that’s designed to break your heart.

  3. Its the whole coulda shoulda woulda theory. If I remember correctly, Schilling had Stewart at an 0-2 count, so most likely stewart was thinking he would waste a pitch. So why not try to fool him with a fastball over the plate? Pedro, in my mind, from 99-00, was the greatest pitcher in baseball history. Its a shame that Greg Vaughn and John Flaherty (it was flaherty that broke up the no no, right? And Vaughn, for some odd reason, always seemed to hit him hard) had his number, otherwise he would have had that no hitter. Although, I agree with joe. 27 outs is 27 outs.

  4. melissa says:

    Sarah, I’m with you except for the part about Tek having five no-nos if Schilling had thrown the pitch he called. There is no way of knowing what the outcome of that pitch would have been. How can you assume that there would have been a different outcome if a curve ball was thrown? It’s possible it could have worked, then again it may not have, we’ll never know.

  5. As a Phillies fan, I fully support all of the love Pat the Bat and Ryan Howard are getting.

    As a faithful Umpbump reader, I give Sarah credit for not picking Varitek.

  6. AL

    C- Mauer

    1B- Youk (higher OPS than the ‘Stache plus Gold Glove minus known-PEDer. You do the math)

    2B- Kinsler (even though Pedroia is my favorite player and on an absolute tear)

    SS- Young

    3B- A-Rod

    OF- Josh Hamilton

    OF- Manny Ramirez (solely for the high-five play earlier this year, and 500)

    OF- JD Drew (because I think I was the only person who stuck up for him throughout last year)

    DH- Papi (w/ Giambi taking his spot)

    SP- Doucherer

    NL

    C- Russell Martin (want to see more than half a season from Soto, plus Martin has played 89 games already this year. That is silly)

    1B- Berkman

    2B- Utley

    SS- Hanley

    3B- Chipper

    OF- Braun

    OF- Burrell

    OF- Holliday

    DH- Howard

    SP- Lincecum

  7. Lyndsay says:

    Sarah – I just don’t understand how you can go with anyone OVER Hamilton. you and I both know J.D. Drew’s streaky and inconsistent. Hamilton has been solid all year, and deserves to be the 1st man on that team, hype aside.

    my team would have to be based on consistency at the plate over hot streaks. Pedroia, Giambi and Drew have been streaky all year. Varitek – I can’t even BELIEVE he was up there in 2nd place – had like 3 good weeks at the plate in May, and that’s it. how anyone could go with him when Mauer’s been at the top in every stat is beyond me. I guess this is what happens when you let fans vote – which I don’t agree with. then it just becomes a popularity contest. the fact that Julio freakin Lugo, who in my book is the worst shortstop in the MLB, came up 5th in the voting shows how much power RS nation has over this thing.

  8. Lyndsay says:

    …and were there really NO other options better than Jeter at SS?

  9. Sarah Green says:

    Okay okay okay okay, first of all, Sean, I know your heart is in the right place, dude, but I am a little insulted that you really expected me to vote for ‘Tek. He’s having such a terrible year at the plate! Do you really think so little of my judgment? I CANNOT EVEN LOOK AT YOU.

    Second, Keagan gets props for voting for Russell Martin. I love Martin. He’s on my fantasy team. And I think I actually voted for him on my real All Star ballot back in May. I love that he’s a catcher who steals. Hotness!

    And finally, I completely disagree about Hamilton, Lyndsay. We have no way of knowing whether he’s streaky or not, actually—because he was off doing DRUGS and getting TATTOOS for so many years. I read a very convincing article—maybe on BP? can’t remember now—arguing that pitchers still haven’t managed to adjust to him because of his relative lack of experience in the bigs and his subsequent switching of leagues. I think the jury is still out on Hamilton. And Drew has the best OPS of any AL outfielder. How can you deny him?

    And about the shortstops….Michael Young is actually a better choice than Jeter, at least by the numbers. Looks like I didn’t have to go over to the Dark Side after all.

    Guess who has the best OBP, though, of any AL shortstop? Yes, it is none other than…JULIO LUGO. GAAAAAAAH! How is that even possible?!

  10. Sarah – I am honored by your verbal tongue lashing, and apologize for questioning your judgment.

    Actually, you guys need to let my wife pick her all stars, it would be just like that Bugs Bunny baseball episode, but instead of Bugs, all positions would be played by Cole Hamels:

    first base, Cole Hamels, second base, Cole Hamels.

    You get the idea.

    I know he’s a pitcher – but this would not deter her.

  11. Danny O says:

    Sarah -

    What do you got against the Braves?

  12. Paul Moro says:

    Danny, you didn’t know?

    The Braves smell.

  13. Lyndsay says:

    Sarah – I think it’s because most shortstops are mediocre at best. thus, relative mediocrity makes Lugo look better. which is very aggravating. I think Lugo is probably a better hitter than we give him credit for, but his horrendous fielding overshadows his potential at the plate.

    my definition of “streaky” is up and down through the first three and a half months of a season. since you brought up OPS to defend your position on Hamilton v. Drew, I dont’ think you’re looking at it over the full course of the past few months. if you look at the stats since the first regular season game (and thats what All-Star should be based on, not the past 7 or 30 days), Hamilton has been more consistent than Drew. Drew’s OPS in June was an unbelievable 1.310 while April, May, and July have all been in the .700 range. but his pre-OPS avg together is .964. Hamilton’s is .922, but his lowest OPS between April and July was .813 in June, while his highest, in April, was .982. you can make the same comparison between the two if you look at batting average, HRs and hits – same trend. so yeah, one outstanding month and three fairly average months vs. three and a half great months is streaky vs. consistent to me. Drew had a freakish June, and that’s all you’re basing it on.

    I also don’t think it’s fair to leave Hamilton out just because he’s done meth, pitchers haven’t figured him out yet, he switched leagues, or whatever else there is. none of that matters. to me, the jury is still out on DREW, not Hamilton.

    and poor Joe Mauer – he’s been batting over .300 since May and yet he almost lost the vote to a guy batting a pre-all star .220.

  14. Paul Moro says:

    Isn’t that a little backwards? JD Drew has been a big leaguer for 11 years now. Josh Hamilton has played 180 games in his entire career. We’ve seen enough of JD Drew to know who he is – a guy who OBPs around .400, slugs around .500, has a tendency to get injured, and is hated by every team’s fans. We haven’t seen nearly enough of Hamilton. The guy’s obviously an incredibly talented player. But he hasn’t played enough to prove all that much. And he too will be “inconsistent” at certain points in his career. Happens to everyone.

  15. Smell?

    Where the hell is Svee?

  16. Why does Michael Young get no respect? One of three players in baseball history with 200 hits five straight seasons. On pace to do it again this year. Plays above-average defense. Doesn’t date supermodels. What’s not to love?

  17. Paul Moro says:

    Simon, are you saying that we don’t give Michael Young any love? Three out of the four who voted for an AL SS picked Young. I had to abstain because I have morals. No SS in the AL deserves much credit this year.

    As for everybody else, that’s probably because Young has only had one really good season – in 2005. The others have been good, but nothing amazing.

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