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Someone really good is getting snubbed from the All-Star Game next year

Dec 8, 2011, 5:50 PM EDT

Paul Konerko Getty Images

The American League now has all of the following at first base (presented with 2011 stats):

Albert Pujols (Angels): .299/.366/.541, 37 HR, 99 RBI
Miguel Cabrera (Tigers): .344/.448/.586, 30 HR, 105 RBI
Adrian Gonzalez (Red Sox): .338/.410/.548, 27 HR, 117 RBI
Mark Teixeira (Yankees): .248/.341/.494, 39 HR, 111 RBI
Paul Konerko (White Sox): .300/.388/.518, 31 HR, 105 RBI

There’s also a very promising 22-year-old in Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer who seems poised to join the elite in short order, though All-Star appearances figure to elude him for a few years yet.

It brings to mind the mid-to-late 90s, when Mark McGwire, Frank Thomas, Jim Thome, Carlos Delgado, Mo Vaughn, Rafael Palmeiro and Tino Martinez were all gunning for All-Star appearances in the AL. That crunch resulted in Delgado participating in just two All-Star Games as a Blue Jay. Palmeiro had a stretch of five straight years from 1993-97 in which he received MVP votes every years, yet never went to an All-Star Game. After Tino was voted in as the starter in 1997, McGwire, Thomas and Thome all made the team as backups.

  1. mwojo586 - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    Yea not hard to figure this one out.. One plays in NY, the other in Boston. I think we all know who is going. If it was a performance based vote, Cabrera and Pujols would be a lock every year. This is not the case and we all know it. Hell, Cabrera lost the silver slugger this year to someone he out performed in EVERY hitting category except RBI’s. Yea being in boston and playing at fenway had nothing to do with his RBI totals. But you learn to live with it I guess…

    • bozosforall - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:46 PM

      Agreed…Cabrera got screwed.

    • tashkalucy - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:19 PM

      As I’ve said, the Yankee-Red Sox thing has ended, and its great for MLB.

      Notice how neither team even had rumors about it at the meetings this week. Their rosters are full of overpaid guys that no one wants in trade even if they pay a good portion of the salaries. Their farm systems are average at best, and no one is buying what great prospects they have.

      MLB is entering a new era – the Red Sox and Yankees can battle each other for 3rd place in the AL East. America doesn’t care. Again – MLB is going to be the big winner as fans can hear about other teams…..maybe even their own!

      • uyf1950 - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:30 PM

        task…, you might want to check your facts on the state of the Yankees farm system. BEFORE you make comments that have no basis in reality. But why base your comments on facts when you can just babble like you have.

      • tashkalucy - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:51 PM

        uyf1950,

        The Yankee (and Red Sox) farm systems remind me of the Dodger farm system in the late-70’s / early 80’s. Because the major league team was winning their prospects were held in high regard. And teams traded quality players to them to get the coveted Dodger prospects….only to find out that they weren’t really that good.

        As far as the Yankees farm system goes, 2 can’t miss star prospects coming out of there that immediately come to mind are catcher Dioner Navarro and CF Austin Jackson. Decent players at times, but hardly stars that they were projected to be.

        Since I’m “babbling”, why not list 3 Yankee prospects that they traded in the last 10 years that went on to be All-Stars.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:52 PM

        Tash has been saying that for a while. He(/she?) really seems to think that there will come a time when neither the Sox nor the Yankees will make the playoffs. The last time that happened: 1993. It hasn’t happened even once since the advent of the wild card. And much of that time period was BEFORE first the Yankees and then the Red Sox began their spending sprees.

        But apparently both teams are headed for the cellar suddenly. Mmhmm.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:02 PM

        Oh? What are the last three players YOUR team traded that became stars?

        Or maybe it would be better to look at what prospects the team developed overall? After all, wouldn’t you rather your team kept its prospects? Why would it matter which ones your team traded away?

        In the Yankees’ case, the last 10 years have resulted in Ian Kennedy, Robinson Cano, Alfonso Soriano, Chien-Ming Wang, Brett Gardner, and probably others I’m forgetting.

        Boston’s got Jonathan Papelbon, Jon Lester, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Anibal Sanchez, Kevin Youkilis, Hanley Ramirez, Justin Masterson, and, again, probably others I’m forgetting.

        And, of course, none of that has anything to do with their current farm systems, which in Boston’s case is good and in New York’s case very good. And while ESPN and your average fan is often biased towards the big media markets, if you do some reading on the subject you’ll find that most prospect analysts are quite objective. And many, like Keith Law and John Sickels, are big fans of other teams.

        But I’m not sure why I’m arguing with someone who’s so clearly irrational, anyway. (Probably because I’m waiting for a train.)

      • tashkalucy - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:32 PM

        Ari Collins,

        Next time you speak about irrational, please put down facts.

        Yes, the Red Sox developed some good players the past 10 years. But the Red Sox traded their best current prospects over the past few years. Other then Cano that you mentioned, the Yankees developed talent is average at best. Teams like the Braves and Marlins have done much better (just to name 2 teams).

        My point remains – were the Red Sox or Yankees trading guys from their farm systems that became stars…OK, hey could continue to trade prospects and eat large salaries to get experienced stars – as they’ve done for years. But two things are happening – 1) other teams realize the Red Sox and Yankee prospects are (like the teams) terribly overhyped, and 2) even the Yankees and Red Sox are suffering major revenue shortfalls in this terrible economy with advertisers not being able to pay anywhere near as much as they did in the past to get on their cable telecasts (and ratings are down as well), meanwhile 3) those teams are locked into huge long term contracts for guys whose best days are behind them.

        Red Sox and Yankee fans think only they have good team, farm systems and players. And they don’t follow other teams. Don;t look now, but the Rays and Blue Jays have exciting young teams and excellent front offices. You might want to read up on them istead of simply dismissing them….as you do me.

        Have a nice day!

      • uyf1950 - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:35 PM

        task… – how about I do better then that and attach a link to Baseball America’s MLB Farm System Listings. It the last one available date March 2011. Yankee Farm System is ranked 5th in all of baseball. But I’m sure your vast knowledge of the teams farms systems knows more then these people.

        http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/organization-talent-rankings/2011/2611472.html

      • Ari Collins - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:51 PM

        Point to where anyone said the Jays or Rays don’t have good systems. The Rays and Jays both have top 10 systems, and possibly top 5.

        Point to any evidence at all that teams used to buy into Sox/Yanks prospect hype. Or any evidence that they have stopped.

        The only evidence of someone dismissing prospects is you dismissing Sox/Yankees prospects.

      • lardin - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:14 PM

        The Yankees farm system has produced jeter mo posada gardner Robertson Kennedy Hughes cano soriano wang and if you want you can add mike Lowell even though he’s retired all are or we’re all stars that’s a pretty good track record for team that most of the time doesn’t pick in the first round. In fact the only guy on this list that was picked in the first round was Jeter.

  2. Ari Collins - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    And Fielder could well still end up in the AL.

    • vegasmasons - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:02 PM

      Right – as a Rangers fan I sure hope it’s with them.

    • uyf1950 - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:34 PM

      I’m still not sure anyone should count out Toronto as a landing place for Fielder.

  3. scapistron - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    Konerko had a mighty fine season that seems to have been over looked by a lot of people. Myself included till now.

    • bozosforall - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:49 PM

      Konerko was in the top five in all three categories (BA, HR and RBI) for most of the season, yet constantly written off.

  4. rambodiaz - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    “After Tino was voted in as the starter in 1997, McGwire, Thomas and Thome all made the team as backups.”

    Man, that statement seems absolutely crazy, yet it’s absolutely true. 1997 – bizarro world.

    • bozosforall - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:48 PM

      Not near as crazy as pathetic Varitek getting voted into the All-Star game in the two years following the Red Sox WS titles.

    • mashoaf - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:36 AM

      Tino was also the 1997 All-Star steroid derby champion… I mean All-Star Home Run Derby champion.

  5. Ben - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    Yeah, some of those are not like the others..

    http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?players=1281,1744,1177,1908,242

    • dondada10 - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:50 PM

      Very well done, Ben.

    • Ari Collins - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:55 PM

      Good point on their careers. But look at the last graph and look at each one’s WAR the last couple seasons, and you’ll see it’s Teixeira and Konerko who don’t really belong.

    • jackkoho - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:59 PM

      Paulie is being punished badly in those graphs for his supposedly bad baserunning and defense.

  6. mykolm - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    And Matt Laporta.

  7. oasisish - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    Former AL MVP Justin Morneau?

  8. dadawg77 - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    I would say Konerko would get left out but who else will be on the Sox to make the all star team? Since every team need at least one rep, I think Konerko might have a higher chance to make the team. Everyone else has a teammate who is a sure fire All Star.

  9. comeonnowguys - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    Another reason All-Star designation is becoming less and less important nowadays.

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