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The AL All-Star ballots: Ellsbury and Hamilton fighting for the start

Jun 28, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

Ellsbury_Jacoby

The final update in AL All-Star balloting before the starters are announced on Sunday is in, and it breaks down as follows, which is how it has broken down, more or less, for the past few weeks:

C: Russell Martin
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
2B: Robinson Cano
3B: Alex Rodriguez
SS: Derek Jeter
OF: Jose Bautista
OF: Curtis Granderson
OF: Josh Hamilton
DH: David Ortiz

The only position with any real up-in-the-air to it is that last outfield slot, which Hamilton holds over Jacoby Ellsbury by around 120,000 votes.  And for the record, Asdrubal Cabrera holds on to second place at short, which could be notable in the event that Derek Jeter is either not yet back from his calf injury or if he’s held out of the All-Star Game as a precaution.

  1. halladaysbicepts - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    Well, if the cokehead doesn’t secure the last OF spot, the whole starting lineup, with the exception of Bautista, will all be either Yankees or Red Sox.

    What a joke!

    • Kevin S. - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:11 PM

      Is it really? Gonzalez, Rodriguez, Granderson, Ellsbury and Ortiz are all deserving of their spots. Alex Avila should probably be the choice behind the plate, but Russell Martin isn’t terrible. Likewise with Cano at second, who really should be behind Zorilla and Pedroia, but isn’t having a bad year himself. The only egregious selection is obviously Jeter.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:15 PM

        It’s a culmination of mediocre talent in the rest of the AL besides those (2) teams, along with ballot stuffing.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:17 PM

        Mediocre talent, huh? That’s why the AL is kicking the stuffing out of the NL in interleague play again, right?

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:23 PM

        1). Comparitive talent in the AL. Yankees and Red Sox have more talent than the rest of the AL as a whole.

        2). Yankees and Res Sox have the largest fan bases in the country compared to the other teams, so they will generally stuff the ballots for those players that they are fans of, even if the player is not deserving that year.

        Bottom line, and I have stated this before, is that they need to take the ballot out of the fan’s hands and give it back to the managers and players to get the right players that deserve the honor on the field.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:26 PM

        Except… the balloting right now has six of the players more or less correct, and two of the other players aren’t that far off. All the people have messed up is Jeter’s legacy vote.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:30 PM

        Not necessarily disagreeing with you, Kevin. Just stating that it is curious every year that some of the Yankees and Red Sox players, even years they are not the best at their positions, get the legacy vote regardless. I just think that this can be remedied by manager and player votes.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:33 PM

        You know it’s the managers who keep voting Derek Jeter the Gold Glove, right? While it’s only in the last couple years he’s fallen apart as a hitter, he’s won four or five GG’s despite barely being average at his best. Managers are not immune to venerating Jeter.

      • paperlions - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:35 PM

        Heading into play today the AL is 90-84 against the NL (a whopping .517 winning pct)….is that kicking the stuffing out of them?

      • kopy - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:36 PM

        Russell Martin’s is messed up. I completely agree that everything except C/SS is right (or shouldn’t be considered incorrect), but Jeter is an abomination, and the Tigers have two catchers more deserving than Martin. Weiters of the Orioles is having a better year as well, unless you really REALLY value stolen bases.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:42 PM

        It is when the NL has been the home team 96 times to the AL’s 80.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:43 PM

        Kevin, it’s not just managers that vote for Gold Gloves. It’s the coaches too. But, regardless, they tend not to look solely at stats, but more so what they see when they play opposing teams. Derek Jeter is still a very good defensive shortstop, even though his range has somewhat suffered with age.

        Point is that I think you will get a more deserving All-Star team every year if you allow managers and players to do the voting. Nothing is perfect, but this is a better alternative.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:57 PM

        Well, no, it’s the managers who get the ballots, though they often sublet out their votes to staffers. Would they do the same for the ASG? Who knows, but I have little confidence in them.

        Re: AL v. NL, I mis-counted, it’s 95 NL games against 79 AL games, and adjusting for that provides less of a boost than I thought – adjusted record becomes 91-83. Still, winning more than 52% of the IL games is right in line with the multi-year trend we’ve seen.

      • b7p19 - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:04 PM

        No, bicepts, Derek Jeter is not “still a very good defensive shortstop.” He’s below average because as you said “his range has somewhat suffered with age.” Thats a REALLY big part of playing shortstop. It’s not enough in MLB to just stop the balls that come to you.

  2. yettyskills - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    So when Ellsbury passes Hamilton, the AL team will be AL East only, Yankees and Sox with one Blue Jay.
    No no no, Baseball voting process does not need to be changed.
    Football is stupid to have fans voting only account for 33%, with the players having a 33% say and coaches and GM’s having the remaining say.
    25 votes per email address. BRILLIANT!

    • Kevin S. - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:12 PM

      And yet, the only positions that probably deserves to go to a player outside the AL East are catcher and shortstop. Yup, real East-Coast bias there, all the best players being in the best division in baseball.

  3. riverace19 - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Why don’t you communists elect an equal number of players from each team then – would that stop the whining?
    I think being required to have one player from each team is left wing enough!

    • jjschiller - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:20 PM

      What happened to you? Who hurt you so badly?

  4. natstowngreg - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    Once again, the discussion of All-Star voting misses the real problem.

    All-Star voting is a fraud, one that MLB encourages. Doesn’t really bother me; it’s harmless, as long as we recognize that it’s just a meaningless exhibition game.

    The real problem is MLB pretending it’s not just a meaningless exhibition game.

    • kopy - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:39 PM

      I cry when I see clubs’ advertising campaigns to vote in their whole lineup.

  5. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    Jeter should be held out of the All-Star Game because he’s no longer an All-Star.

  6. spudchukar - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    Here is an little bit of historic all-star lore that might be applicable today. In 1957 the Cincinnati Reds, or more accurately their fans, were found to be guilty of stuffing the ballot boxes in the fan voting. Commissioner Ford Frick, then stepped in an removed 2 players from the NL team. Boy Howdy, would that cause a stir today.

    Now that Bud Light (Gator’s anointment, that I’m borrowing), has deemed the outcome of the All-Star game to decide home field advantage in the World Series, isn’t it time the NL protested? With 2 additional teams to mollify with selections it dilutes the squad; advantage AL. Plus, the NL beginning this year must incorporate the DH, and while less of an issue than the regular season it is still a disadvantage albeit a minor one.

    One last note, the two players added to the NL squad by Ford Frick, were Willie Mays and Hank Aaron.

    • Kevin S. - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:59 PM

      Yes, the NL getting to put both Prince Fielder and Joey Votto in it’s starting lineup totally hurts it. Wait, what? I can at least understand how NL teams having to field a DH in AL parks hurts them, since they’re going with their best pinch hitter against the AL team’s regular DH, but this argument makes no sense whatsoever.

      And actually, the NL has a larger player pool to draw from to fill the same size roster, so if anything, it’s the AL at a disadvantage there. But I thought only DH supporters whined about the difference between the leagues. *eyeroll*

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