2013 MLB All-Star Game Preview: Does the Midseason Classic Need a Makeover?

‘Strap’s own Luca Lu dissects the all-star game… and finds surprises.

It’s July, which means it’s time for the midseason classic. The best baseballers from around the globe will line up on July 16th. With temperatures in New York City burning the melty seats at Citi Field.

It’ll be the National League All-Stars vs. the American League All-Stars. Who will win? Which league will have homefield advantage in the World Series? Will there be hot chicks sitting behind home plate? Will Tim Tebow be there? SO MANY QUESTIONS… First the roster breakdowns.

Photo credit: elitedaily.com
Photo credit: elitedaily.com

AL Roster Breakdown

Catcher – Joe Mauer, Jason Castro, Salvador Perez

Joe Mauer

Joe Mauer (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Major League Baseball has this stupid rule where one representative from each team needs to make the All-Star team. Note to Bud Selig: if you’re going to do that don’t make the game decide HFA in the World Series, ya jerk. Usually it’s some undeserving Royal, Astro or Pirate who has the dubious honor. Last year it was Jose Altuve, shit. So I know when I saw Jason Castro’s name I was thinking “oh wow, here’s the Astro…” but no, he has earned the right to be Joe Mauer’s backup. I’d rather have Carlos Santana’s bat off the bench than Salvador Perez’s glove but what are you gonna do?

1b – Chris Davis, Prince Fielder, Edwin Encarnacion

Chris Davis

Chris Davis (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Chris Davis has turned into what Bill James predicted he would be three years ago and Edwin Encarnacion is the new Carlos Delgado, fine. But what is Prince Fielder doing on the team? Let’s play pick the all star. Here are some HR-R-RBI-AVG stats. You can pick the all-star.

a) 9-37-43-.319

b) 19-50-54-.247

c) 15-45-66-.264

Player A is James Loney (a top defender). Player B is Mark Trumbo. And Player C is Prince Fielder. You might say, “Fielder has so many RBI.” And I will respond, “No shit he hits behind Miguel Cabrera.”

2b – Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Jason Kipnis

Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano (Photo credit: eviltomthai)

When the best players at a position all make the team I feel all warm and fuzzy. If I was running the team I’d start Pedroia, because I want him setting the proverbial table. Cano’s a great hitter but with so many other power bats in the order his value is mitigated.

SS – J.J. Hardy, Jhonny Peralta

Blue Jays at Orioles September 1, 2011

J.J. HardLy earned his position as the starting shortstop and was probably voted in because he has 15 home runs. Chicks dig the long ball. Jhonny Peralta is a serviceable number 8 hitter and would be my pick for starting shortstop by default. It’s really a sad season for American League shortstops. The team misses Derek Jeter. And Jed Lowrie got snubbed.

3b – Babe Ruth Miguel Cabrera, Manny Machado

Miguel Cabrera

Miguel Cabrera (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

There are six guys that could have made the team at third base. Shout outs to Josh Donaldson, Evan Longoria, Kyle Seager and Adrian Beltre. Can any of you play shortstop? SAT question of the day… The Undertaker is to Wrestlemania as Miguel Cabrera is to a) the devil, b) hitting, c) Empire State Building or d) touchdown.

OF – Mike Trout, Adam Jones, Jose Bautista, Torii Hunter, Nelson Cruz, Alex Gordon

Mike Trout

Mike Trout (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Torii Hunter ahead of guys like Raul Ibanez, Colby Rasmus, Jacoby Ellsbury, Desmond Jennings, and Nate McLouth isn’t going to help the AL win the game. Josh Hamilton is notably absent after signing a $123 million dollar contract in the off season. Also Mike Trout is making $500,000 this year, which is the equivalent of three Alex Rodriguez gameday checks.

P – Max Scherzer, Felix Hernandez, Clay Buchholtz, Brett Cecil, Justin Verlander, Justin Masterson, Chris Sale, Mariano Rivera, Bartolo Colon, Yu Darvish, Hisahi Iwakami, Jesse Crain, Joe Nathan, Glen Perkins

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernan...

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

I’d start Yu Darvish over Max Scherzer, they’re both awfully good choices. Then I’d go with Scherzer-Sale-Felix-Verlander-Bucholtz-…-Rivera.

How funny is it that Bartolo Colon is an all-star in 2013? Very funny. Up for final vote in the AL is a bunch of relief pitchers but not Greg Holland which is stupid. Grant Balfour has been lights out this season, so has Derek Holland, Doug Fister, Hiroki Kuroda and James Shield but they’ll all be watching on TV. Or not, maybe they have families.

Enjoy our halftime show…

NL Roster breakdown

C – Yadier Molina, Buster Posey

*Warm fuzzy feeling*

Buster Posey

Buster Posey (Photo credit: SD Dirk)

1b – Joey Votto, Allen Craig, Paul Goldschmidt

*Warm fuzzy feeling*

Joey Votto

Joey Votto (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Votto doesn’t get enough credit as one of the top hitters in the game. Paul Goldschmidt won the MLB sponsored “Awesome Name Contest” to earn his roster spot. Allen Craig plays many positions.

2b – Brandon Phillips, Matt Carpenter, Marco Scutaro

Chase Utley rounding the bases after hitting a...

Chase Utley has a right to be pissed off that Scutaro made the team ahead of him. It’s what happens when Scutaro’s manager, manages the All-Star team. Gotta network to get work…

SS – Troy Tulowitzki, Everth Cabrera, Jean Segura

Troy Tulowitzki

*Warm fuzzy feeling* You know when you feel great and then you get used to it and you’re like I miss the pain because without pain I wouldn’t know what pleasure feels like? Yeah, that’s me and the NL All-Star team.

3b – David Wright, Pedro Alvarez

David Wright

David Wright (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

MLB fan voters made the Wright choice by voting David Wright to start at third base. Pedro Alvarez will be available off the bench to either hit a home run or strike out.

OF – Carlos Beltran, Carlos Gonzalez, Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen, Michael Cuddyer, Domonic Brown, Carlos Gomez

Carlos Beltran

Carlos Beltran (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Beltran was voted in by the fans but guys like Sterling Marte, Dexter Fowler, Gerardo Parra, Shin-Soo Choo, Hunter Pence, and Jay Bruce are equally deserving. Did anybody see that catch CARLGO made last night on Votto’s homer? 1) Yes, I named Carlos Gomez CARLGO 2)  It’ll be on Webgems at the end of the year. 3) CARLGO could also be the drive thru window at Carl Jr.’s.

P – Clayton Kershaw, Patrick Corbin, Matt Harvey, Adam Wainwright, Jason Grilli, Jordan Zimmerman, Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman, Travis Wood, Jose Fernandez, Cliff Lee, Jeff Locke, Madison Bumgarner

Clayton Kershaw

How ya gonna snub a guy who just pitched a no-hitter? Where’s Stephen Strausberg? Remember when I said earlier that there’s always some guy who makes the All-Star game because his team sucks… Ladies, I give you Travis Wood. The NL didn’t optimize it’s pitching rotation that’s for sure – Mat Latos, Lance Lynn, Jeff Samardzija, Edward Mujica, Sergio Romo and also Trevor Rosenthal are noticeably absent.

My starter is Kershaw. Then it’s Harvey-Wainwright-Lee-…-Grilli.

COMMENTS…

Final vote NL pick either Ian Desmond or Yasiel Puig. For final vote AL pick David Robertson.

I think it’s interesting that the American League picked some set-up guys for their team and the National League didn’t. The National League has won 3 straight All-Star Games after going 0-12-1 the previous 13 years. The American League has scored 2 runs over the course of the NL’s winning streak.

The teams are pretty even. I’m picking the American League to win because once the game gets into the middle innings I think the NL’s pitching might falter. I don’t trust Travis Wood, Jeff Locke, or Jordan Zimmerman as much as I trust Chris Sale, Clay Buchholtz and Justin Masterson. If Bartolo Colon comes in to pitch, all bets are off. He’s just awful.

Anyway, the game will be on FOX a week from Today starting at 7:30. First pitch between 8:00-8:30.

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