The AL has been filled with surprises all season. The big spending Angels have floundered around the bottom of the AL West for most of the 1st half before a recent surge. Meanwhile the low budget A’s have moneyballed their way atop the division for the 2nd consecutive year. In the Central the Tigers stand atop, but the revitalized Tribe lead by new manager Tito Francona are lurking close behind. Then there’s the AL East which for small stretches has seen all 5 of its teams hold winning records. The Blue Jays made the biggest off-season noise but haven’t climbed out of the cellar, while the “rebuilding” Red Sox have the best record in the AL. I know this team has already been announced but without further delay here are the BA AL All Stars:
Finding the AL’s starting backstop for the past several seasons has been one of the easier riddles to solve. There’s no question Joe Mauer is getting the call once again. Guy is a hitting machine and gives Twins fans a glimmer of hope each night. Finding a backup catcher can be a little tricky this year. As I mentioned in my NL preview, I’m holding to tradition and picking a player to represent each team. Just like the real squad, Jason Castro will represent the Astros. One of those classic pity picks, but still a nice resume booster for a young catcher. The other young backstop getting the call is Salvador Perez of the Royals who is coming up huge as the Royals attempt to make themselves finally relevant after years of stock piling great minor league talent. Perez is batting over .300 for the season.
Starter: Joe Mauer, MIN
Reserves: Salvador Perez, KC
Jason Castro, HOU
If you got a power hitting 1st baseman who has already set career high’s in HR’s and RBI’s before the All Star Break, I’m pretty sure you found your starter. This year that man, or mammoth, is Crush Davis. Guy is straight smashing the baseball. Not to mention he has a top 5 current baseball nickname. Batting .316 with 33 HR and 85 RBI’s, this guy is a no brainer. For the reserves, I’m going to keep it an All A.L. East affair. Jame Loney of Tampa leads all 1B in average and Edwin Encarnacion plays Robin to Joey Bats at the Rogers Centre. Encarnacion has 23 HR’s and 68 RBI’s and is quickly becoming my favorite Blue Jay 1st baseman since Carlos Delgado. (it’s not a very populated competition)
Starter: Crush Davis, BAL
Reserves: James Loney, TB
Edwin Encarnacion, TOR
One of my favorite positions in the AL. I broke down a few weeks ago the two studs that dominate this position. So who else would be the starter other than Robinson Cano or Dustin Pedroia? HOMER ALERT, I’m going with Pedey. Yes he plays for the Sox, but its a completely justifiable pick. Better average, more SBs, and has played better defense this season statistically. That leaves Cano and 1 additional spot open. Cases can be made for both Howie Kendrick and Jason Kippinis. Both have all star credentials but I’m only choosing one. This time Kippinis is getting the nod. With credentials that across the board that nearly rival Robinson Cano, the honor seems well deserved.
Starter: Dustin Pedroia, BOS
Reserves: Robinson Cano, NYY
Jason Kippinis, CLE
Miggy, Miggy, Miggy, can’t you see. At one of the strongest positions in the All Star game, it’s headlined by the alpha dog of all alpha dogs in the reigning Triple Crown winner, Miguel Cabrera. Guy is out of control, hitting over .360 and nearly approaching the century mark for RBI’s and there’s still a week until the All Star Game. Without a doubt the best hitter on the planet. As far as his reserves go? Oh, only one of the best, if not the best, young players in the game in Baltimore’s Manny Machado. At only 21 he came up as a shortstop but has been just as magnificent at third batting .315 and leading the world in doubles. Following him is the surprising 3B from the 1st place A’s in Josh Donaldson. He was given a chance last season, retained the job in spring training and has never looked back. Remarkably, this position is so strong that deserving All Star regulars like Adrian Beltre and Evan Longoria don’t quite make the cut in this years grouping. That’s beast!
Starter: Miggy Cabrera, DET
Reserves: Manny Machado, BAL
Josh Donaldson, OAK
Here we find the pudgy faced SS of the Tigers. As strong as 2B and 3B are for the AL, this position is equally as weak. You won’t find any bad players making this all star team but they will certainly make one yearn for the days of the Iron Man, pre roids A-Rod, Jeter, Garciaparra, and even Miguel “What’s My Age Again” Tejada. Peralta was once a highly sought after prospect but has had himself a solid career and should get the start. The backup roles will be filled out by Jed Lowrie of the A’s and J.J. Hardy of the O’s. There’s not much flash to this group and I’m going to leave it that way and move on. Move ’em.
Starters: Jhonny Peralta, DET
Reserves: Jed Lowrie, OAK
J.J. Hardy, BAL
We gonna do 1 player and 1 player only. This position is and has belonged to Big Papi for over a decade. Man is rejuvenated and playing with a renewed spirit since the departure or Clown Face Bobby Valentine from a year ago. Man is straight raking with a .318 average, 18 HR’s, 64 RBI’s and an OPS over 1.000. Oh and he also gave one of the coolest fucking speeches of all time. Yeah this guy deserves a spot in the game. And he happens to be one of my top ten favorite baseball players of all time. Let’s call it a win win.
Legend: Big Papi Ortiz, BOS
No doubt another one of the Generation Next kidz is leading the way in this one. Mike Trout is one of the few Angels who hasn’t disappointed this season. As only a 22 year old, he is clearly the best outfielder in the AL and maybe even in all of baseball. Anchoring Trout in left and right should be Adam Jones of the O’s and the revitalized Torii Hunter of the Tigers. Hunter has been having an outstanding season after getting stiffed by the Angels who decided to go with the pricier Josh Hamilton. Not working out so well right now. Hunter is only one of 3 OF’s batting over .300 and this is a well deserved nomination.
Coming off the bench is fan favorite and another member of the top ten baseball nicknames club is Joey Bats of the Blue Jays. No one has hit more HR’s in the past 3 seasons than this guy. And when he hits it, you know it’s gone. Next to him will be fellow big time slugger Nelson Cruz. Not the best fielder in the world but has a very strong arm from right field. However, it’s his mighty bat that gets him a spot in this game, as he leads all OFers in HR’s and RBI’s. Rounding out the group is Alex Gordon of the Royals who has been essential to making the team somewhat relevant once again. A former top draft pick who seems to be finally turning a corner and coming into his own.
Starters: Trout, LAL – Jones, BAL, – Hunter, DET
Reserves: Bats, TOR – Cruz, TEX – Gordon, KC
Same format as the NL from last week, 10 pitchers consisting of 6 starters and 4 relievers. Let’s do this!
Starters: “Mad” Max Scherzer – DET, Felix Hernandez – SEA, Hisashi Iwakuma – SEA, Bartolo Colon – OAK (*NOT A MISPRINT),
Chris Sale – CWS, Matt Moore – TB
Relievers: Grant Balfour – OAK, Mariano Rivera – NYY, Joe Nathan – TEX, David Robertson – NYY
Few quick thoughts on the staff I’ve pegged for the BA AL All Stars. Clearly Max is getting the start at 13-0 and just above 3 ERA, but that’s not the real story. Look at this guy’s fucking eyes! He looks insane. Apparently he has some condition known as heterochromia and is one of only 500 people who have it. Absolutely nuts! Second biggest story of the AL is the fact that Bartolo Colon absolutely deserves a spot on this team. Yes, BARTOLO COLON! I mean if this guy doesn’t look like an athlete, I don’t know who does. Shoutout to Mo Rivera who if all all falls right will romantically end this game by nailing down the final 3 outs and doing what he does best.
Leave a comment and let me know where I messed up.