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Tony La Russa adds Carlos Gonzalez to National League All-Star lineup with voted-in starters

Jul 9, 2012, 2:04 PM EDT

Carlos Gonzalez AP

Tony La Russa officially named Matt Cain his All-Star starter at this afternoon’s press conference and also unveiled the National League lineup, with Carlos Gonzalez as the designated hitter/leadoff man and the past two MVPs, Ryan Braun and Joey Votto, batting third and fourth:

1. Carlos Gonzalez, DH
2. Melky Cabrera, CF
3. Ryan Braun, LF
4. Joey Votto, 1B
5. Carlos Beltran, RF
6. Buster Posey, C
7. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
8. Dan Uggla, 2B
9. Rafael Furcal, SS

Unlike the other eight starters Gonzalez wasn’t voted in by the fans, but because the NL ballot didn’t include a designated hitter choice the spot was left to La Russa’s preference. It’s not often you see a leadoff man with a .578 slugging percentage, but Gonzalez has hit leadoff in a regular season game 107 times in his career, including 33 times last season.

  1. astrosfan75956 - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    This team is not nearly as good as the AL team unfortunately.

  2. sdelmonte - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    No Dickey and no Wright. I am going to declare an anti-Met conspiracy without a whit of evidence.

  3. dcornelius5 - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Fan voting should be abolished. If ballot stuffing didn’t occur then the right players would be starting and it would look very competitive against the AL’s starting lineup.

    • paperlions - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:19 PM

      Huh? If the fans didn’t screw up the vote then whatever other group was used would still screw it up. History shows that the players and managers are no more aware of who is good and who is not than the fans.

  4. Phillies Homer - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    I think the NL fans outsmarted their AL counterparts. Make the worst players on the team bat first against the AL best pitchers. Probably not going to score on Verlander/Weaver anyways… then bring in Wright, McCutchen, and Chooch!

    • lionsflyersandredbirds - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:05 PM

      I agree, it’s not always better to ‘bust your lineup nut’ too early in the game. Let some of the NL studs come in and face Darvish, Harrison, or Hernandez…

  5. riverace19 - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Couldn’t disagree more. The All-Star game is FOR THE FANS. Yes popularity wins over performance sometimes but I think the fans, on a whole, do a pretty good job of getting those who deserve it in the game.
    Now, regarding the All-Star game, here are a couple of ideas on how to fix the ever-expanding roster sizes and World Series home field advantage:
    1. Limit roster sizes to 25 players. The huge rosters have diluted what being an All-Star means.
    2. Give World Series home field advantage to the league that wins the interleague play battle (American League has crushed the NL in interleague play the past several years).
    3. Add a skills challenge the same night as HR derby; the skills challenge could include outfield throws to home, infield contests, etc.

    • Phillies Homer - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:08 PM

      I got an idea! How about we let the team with the better of the two records have Home Field Advantage in the World Series!!

      • riverace19 - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:15 PM

        Yah Homer,
        You are a freaking genius. I was coming up with an idea that would satisfy the Bud Selig-derived lunacy that the playoff structure had become. If you don’t make sense in Selig’s world then you are making sense.

    • thefalcon123 - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:12 PM

      “1. Limit roster sizes to 25 players. The huge rosters have diluted what being an All-Star means.”

      As pointed out in another post, a few percentage of players make the all star team today than they prior to 1961 expansion, and it’s roughly the same until the 90s expansion.

      • riverace19 - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:13 PM

        Not sure why you are comparing 2012 to 1960 but according to a different article on today’s HBT, 1 out of 8 regular players in MLB make the game and that’s too many.

      • thefalcon123 - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:43 PM

        Because they’ve always had All-Star games. More than 1-8 made it until 1961, around 1-8 made it until 1993…

        So, historically, 1-8 is not out of the norm at all.

    • thefalcon123 - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:23 PM

      Other ASG suggestions

      1. Three balls in play at a time.
      2. Batters fight their way around the bases using their bat as a weapon
      2. Gorgeous honey’s and vicious hounds roam the field to distract the players
      3. A car roams the infield, protecting some and flattening others
      4. Just behind second base is the gun circle. Inside of which is a fully loaded pistol that the players are forbidden to use.

      First person to get this reference wins my respect.

      • ajcardsfan - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:39 PM

        No clue on the reference, but I’d love for those to be the rules if I could be the car driver I’d only take out players with a lot of errors. So if Dee Gordon every made an ASG, he’d be dead before the national anthem was through

      • dcornelius5 - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:40 PM


      • thefalcon123 - Jul 9, 2012 at 9:44 PM

        …and Dcornelius proves to be a better human being than all of you.

  6. edpeters101 - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Good for Carlos! Smart move by Tony…

  7. sasquash20 - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Did Car-go just get added? Shows how good OF is in the NL. Or how dumb the fans are. Harper will be a stud but Car-Go should have got in before Harper.

    • dcornelius5 - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:42 PM

      He was selected as the representative of the Colorado Rockies. Every team has at least one representative. Stil a damn crime that he finished out the top 10 in votes for NL outfield though.

      • riverace19 - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:11 PM

        CarGo will win the HR derby just to prove your point.

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:25 PM

        The HR derby is being held at Coors Field?

        CarGo remain an average hitter away from Coors. He’s just not that hard to pitch to outside the thin air environs.

      • dcornelius5 - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:42 PM

        @paperlions Yeah your completely right because his bench coach, Tom Runnells, is really going to be trying to strike Cargo out when he throws to him at the derby tonight right? Are you really trying to make the splits argument against Cargo when he’s basically taking BP? Completely ridiculous.

      • riverace19 - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:45 PM

        It’s the HR derby dude. Batting practice. Don’t try to get too cutsy and compare regular season performance with the derby.

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:58 PM

        The point was, and is, that CarGo isn’t really that good and it isn’t a shame or slight that he was a late addition as he wouldn’t even garner consideration if he played his home games anywhere else. There is no point to be made by winning the HR derby.

        I’ll wager that CarGo proves the point by not making it out of the first round.

    • clemsteelpens - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      McCutchen should be in before both of them.

  8. crali - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Why didn’t he add Jose Reyes – his numbers might not be Reyes like yet but it would have avoided “the argument” w/the Marlins + he’s a MUCH better defender than Furcal or Starlin Castro at this point in his career. Both teams need sure-handed defense especially at the end of the games but…the great LaRussa knows all (well, at least he knows Spanish)

  9. clemsteelpens - Jul 9, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    LaRussa is such a douchebag. Andrew mcCutchen in the NL MVP right now. The Pirates are in first, the Rockies suck. No way Carlos Gonzalez should be starting over Andrew McCutchen. Period

    • paperlions - Jul 10, 2012 at 7:36 AM

      Except that Carlos Gonzalez can’t play defense at all, he sucks in the field…so he is a natural DH choice, whereas McCutchen plays decent CF D and will give them more flexibility making changes later in the game.

      • spellingcops - Jul 10, 2012 at 9:26 AM

        You might wanna watch some Rockies games if you think CarGo sucks defensively. What’s with all your hate toward CarGo, BTW? Or do you just like being a contradicting, pessimistic a-hole about every player other than the ones you root for?

      • paperlions - Jul 10, 2012 at 9:55 AM

        Yeah, because that is the best way to evaluate OF defense, watching on TV. Not buying into hype for players who don’t seem to be any good away from places like Coors or Chase isn’t hate, it is just appreciating context of performance. CarGo (like Upton) is generally over-rated because the context within which he produces at high levels is limited.

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