Year after year, is anyone really surprised when absurd All-Star voting preliminary voting figures are released. We shouldn’t be, because there will always be the city that bombards the voting, the popularity contest, or the injured player who is inexplicably high. Here’s the rundown of how voting has shaped up across the league:
1B: National League- Albert Pujols. Pujols has almost doubled up Prince Fielder and will likely start in St. Louis. Pujols will and should win, but Joey Votto should be higher. Carlos Delgado is 4th.
American League: Kevin Youkilis. Youkilis has had a productive season, even though he spent time on the DL, but he has an equalizer; the Boston fan base. To his credit though, he leads in OPS. Miguel Cabrera leads all 1B (and the American League) is batting avg. Carlos Pena leads the AL in HR. Justin Morneau is leading in RBI, and is having perhaps the best all around season. Mark Teixeira is close in stats and votes. Any of them are deserving, but it will likely be Youk or Tex.
2B: National League- Chase Utley. Brewer fans have jammed the ballots for 2nd place Ricky Weeks (who is out for the season), but if you take out his votes, Utley has almost doubled up on 3rd place Orlando Hudson. Luis Castillo is 5th.
American League: Ian Kinsler. Kinsler is beating out his former Arizona St. teammate Dustin Pedroia, but Toronto’s Aaron Hill is having the best season among AL second basemen.
SS: National League- JJ Hardy. Okay, this is Milwaukee ballot stuffing in effect. Hardy leads Hanley Ramirez by 37,000 votes, the closest of any margin. Hanley will likely take it as voting goes on. Jose Reyes is 4th.
American League: Derek Jeter. Jason Bartlett of the Rays is having a better season, but Jeter’s a Yankee.
3B: National League- David Wright. Wright leads Bill Hall (Brewer ballot stuffing), who leads Larry Jones, who leads Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman and Wright are having the two best years for 3B’s, but it will likely be Wright.
American League: Evan Longoria. Longoria is blowing all other AL third basemen out of the water, in stats and in voting.
Catcher: National League- Yadier Molina. Molina leads Jason Kendall of the Brewers. Yadier Molina isn’t even the best Molina, as Bengie of the Giants is having the best season. But he’s a Cardinal, so he will likely start.
American League: Joe Mauer. Mauer leads Victor Martinez, but Mauer has been nothing short of amazing since he returned from the DL. Mauer’s finally showing power to go with his high average.
Outfield: National League- Ryan Braun, Alfonso Soriano, and Carlos Beltran. The Ballot stuffin’ Brewers have three outfielders in the top seven. Raul Ibanez of the Phillies is 6th. And the most notable story of the day is that Manny Ramirez is 4th, 34,000 votes behind Beltran. It would be a hilarious disaster if Manny was voted in.
American League: Jason Bay, Josh Hamilton, and Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro has had a bad year, but he gets Japanese votes. Bay is deserving, but there are other outfielders having a better season than Hamilton, who spent time on the DL. Nick Markakis and Carl Crawford are 5th and 6th. Torii Hunter, who has been having a great season is 10th. Also, Ken Griffey Jr., who is living off past popularity, is 1,000 votes behind Ichiro for 3rd.
Voting ends July 2.
Trivia: Who was the first Met outfielder to be voted in as a starter in the All-Star game, and in what year?
Till Next Time