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The 2014 All-Star Game Preview

Jul 15, 2014, 2:00 PM EST

all-star game logo 2014 Getty Images

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — The salad is finished. Bring on the steak.

We have spent 48 hours looking at the Future, watching a sideshow and gazing at baseball’s navel. Now that that is over the All-Star Game itself is at hand. And, no matter what you think of it, the fact that it is the only baseball game around makes it worth your time.

The starting pitchers and starting lineups are set. Here’s the order A.L. starter Felix Hernandez will face to start things off:

NATIONAL LEAGUE:

CF Andrew McCutchen
RF Yasiel Puig
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Paul Goldschmidt
DH Giancarlo Stanton
3B Aramis Ramirez
2B Chase Utley
Jonathan Lucroy
LF Carlos Gomez

And the hometown nine, technically speaking anyway, which will do battle with N.L. starter Adam Wainwright:

AMERICAN LEAGUE:
SS Derek Jeter
LF Mike Trout
2B Robinson Cano
1B Miguel Cabrera
RF Jose Bautista
DH Nelson Cruz
CF Adam Jones
3B Josh Donaldson
Salvador Perez

The National League seems to have the stronger set of starters on paper. It’s certainly no walkover, but the outfield defense is unusually strong here, and that could make a big difference.

Of course, the starters may have the lease amount of impact on this game. Given how All-Star managers have taken to trying to get every player on the roster into the game at some point, bench players and relievers are going to play a large part in how this All-Star Game goes.

But make no mistake: no matter what happens on the field, the star of tonight’s show is going to be Derek Jeter. He’ll lead off to a huge amount of applause and he’ll be paid multiple tributes both at the ballpark and on the Fox broadcast. If he does anything notable — say, hit a homer in his final All-Star Game like Cal Ripken did several years ago, Katie bar the door.

Yes, it’s an exhibition, but it’s one with a great pedigree. And one, as the name promises, that is loaded with stars. It’s easy to get cynical about a lot in this world, but if you’re cynical about the All-Star Game, well, I feel kinda bad for you.

  1. bronco58lb - Jul 15, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    This has always been my favorite day of the baseball season. Nothing else in sports matters but baseball. I love the introductions. I like seeing every uniform worn on the field. I love the 1-on-1 matchups: Kershaw vs. Cabrera is as good as it gets.

  2. scorpiox1960 - Jul 15, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    This would liven things up tonight and tomorrow on the internetz – Puig goes all out and makes a spectacular play (or fails spectacularily at it) and is critized by people for playing too hard during the ASG. All because he just doesn’t respect the game. Where have you gone Bo Jackson?

  3. sdelmonte - Jul 15, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    Not at all cynical about the game. Only tired of Jetermania.

    Prediction: it’s low scoring but won’t be decided on penalty kicks. And Idina Manzel will be awesome.

  4. bronco58lb - Jul 15, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    If you don’t like Jeter mania, were you offended by the attention Mike Schmidt (1989), Ozzie Smith (1996) and Cal Ripken Jr. (2001) received in previous All-Star Game farewells?

    • Marty - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      None of those players were playing under the constant barrage of Sportscenter and steady flood of internet news. It’s not Jeter’s fault, nothing against the guy, but the media attention is more indicative of our dismal interest in substantial topics, and the media’s fulfillment of that defect.

      And he’s a Yanker, and didn’t we just do the Rivera thing? Kind of tired of this story.

    • SocraticGadfly - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:31 PM

      Yeah; where’s my nine cloned Jeters to start the whole game?

  5. El Bravo - Jul 15, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    Here’s my fantasy leagues points-based version of who should be starting tonight (I know you care). I’m surprised they are this similar. Some obvious ones, and then some less obvious. All in all I think my espn fantasy points set up is better than ASG voters’ selections….haha

    Felix Hernandez will face to start things off (based upon average points per start & total points = he’s a total badass):

    NATIONAL LEAGUE:

    OF Andrew McCutchen
    OF Yasiel Puig
    SS Troy Tulowitzki
    1B Paul Goldschmidt
    DH Giancarlo Stanton
    3B Anthony Rendon (Aramis out)
    2B Jose Altuve (Utley OUT; not even close to close)
    C Jonathan Lucroy
    OF Charlie Blackmon (Gomez out)

    And the hometown nine, technically speaking anyway, which will do battle with N.L. starter Clayton Kershaw (based upon average points per start, which he has by a mile. total points would be Cueto):

    AMERICAN LEAGUE:
    SS Eric Aybar (Jeter OUT!!!)
    OF Mike Trout
    2B Robinson Cano
    1B Miguel Cabrera
    OF Jose Bautista
    DH Nelson Cruz
    OF Michael Brantley (A. Jones out; not even close really)
    3B Josh Donaldson
    C Salvador Perez

    • bluesoxbaseball - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:40 PM

      Altuve is in the American League.

      • El Bravo - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:16 PM

        bahahha, good point..altuve SHOULD be starting, just not in the NL haha. still not Utley….how about Dee Gordon then?

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      How in the hell could you tabulate a starting roster for an all star game and NOT have Osborne Earl Smith starting at Shortstop? Blasphemy Bravo. Blasphemy I tell you!

  6. cabrera24 - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    Half Of These Guys Are Hispanic Baseball Players. Gotta Love The Excitement & Talent !!!!

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:41 PM

      I hate to break it to you Miquel…
      But this isn’t a new phenomenon.

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