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WPA All Star Ballot, 9th vote (6-19-06)

Here is the 9th vote.  With the 6-29-06 voting deadline fast approaching, I'll have several votes remaining.  Thus, whoever leads the league at their respective positions in WPA will get the remainder of my votes.  As it stands, one at a time, plz.

Also, there were a TON of changes.  Asterisks (*) indicate a write-in candidate, only included when a player a) has at least half the at-bats of the teammate with the most ABs and b) is among the top 3 in WPA for his team.

AL 1ST BASE
9TH VOTE

  1.  David Ortiz - BOS (5):  188.6 (+86.0)!!
  2.  Travis Hafner - CLE (2):  180.0 (+42.5)
  3.  Paul Konerko - CWS (4):  175.6 (+71.7)!
  4.  Jason Giambi - NYY (1):  155.9 (-28.5)
  5.  Justin Morneau - MIN (NR):  115.1 (+131.4)!!!!
Whatever Papi did, it was awesome.  Whatever  Morneau did, it was even more awesome.  Looking through the WPA game logs, I don't see many games that jump out at me (more than a +25.0 impact).  It's a mystery.  Meanwhile, Jason Giambi picked a bad week to blow.

MARINER WATCH:
16.  Richie Sexson: -149.7 (-37.8)

Richie, meanwhile, blows on a near daily basis.

AL 2ND BASE
9TH VOTE

  1.  Brian Roberts - BAL (3):  97.9 (+36.5)
  2.  Mark Loretta - BOS (2):  54.3 (-27.6)
  3.  Ian Kinsler - TEX (NR):  50.3 (+6.0)
  4.  Jose Lopez - SEA (5):  44.9 (-0.1)
  5.  Adam Kennedy - ANA (1):  42.6 (-74.9)!
The bottom fell out on Adam Kennedy's performance, allowing Brian Roberts to take the lead almost by default in one of the league's weaker categories.  Notice the blogosphere darling Jose Lopez climbing into 4th.

AL SHORTSTOP
9TH VOTE

  1.  Derek Jeter - NYY (1):  306.3 (+34.1)
  2.  Michael Young - TEX (3):  150.8 (+51.3)!
  3.  Orlando Cabrera - ANA (4):  143.7 (+44.7)
  4.  Carlos Guillen - DET (5):  122.8 (+41.3)
  5.  Miguel Tejada - BAL (2):  67.0 (-48.6)
MARINER WATCH:
7.  Yuniesky Betancourt:  -22.6 (-5.2)

Jeter's got a Pujolsesque grip on the AL SS vote.  Great weeks from Michael Young, Orlando Cabrera and Carlos Guillen didn't even get them close to NUMBAH TWO.

AL 3RD BASE
9TH VOTE

  1.  Melvin Mora - BAL (1):  177.5 (+2.4)
  2.  Hank Blalock - TEX (3):  124.8 (-17.5)
  3.  Eric Chavez - OAK (4):  112.0 (-9.2)
  4.  Joe Crede - CWS (5):  91.9 (+15.5)
  5.  Brandon Inge - DET (NR):  36.7 (+20.2)
MARINER WATCH
15.  Adrian Beltre:  -152.1 (+13.5)

Mora retains his hold on the lead, while Ty Wigginton, due to playing several other positions recently, has been removed from consideration for the 3B slot, bumping up Brandon Inge.

AL CATCHER
9TH VOTE

  1.  Jorge Posada - NYY (1):  219.1 (+16.5)
  2.  Joe Mauer - MIN (3):  188.9 (+6.8)
  3.  Ramon Hernandez - BAL (2):  136.0 (-57.5)!
  4.  Jason Varitek - BOS (4):  71.1 (-15.3)
  5.  Victor Martinez - CLE (5):  33.2 (-27.8)
MARINER WATCH:
6.  Kenji Johjima:  22.3 (-4.5)

Mauer cooled off, and just in time to allow Posada to hold onto the top spot.

AL OUTFIELD (TOP 10)
9TH VOTE (TOP 3)

  1.  Jermaine Dye - CWS (5):  232.9 (+92.3)!!
  2.  Gary Matthews Jr. - TEX (2):  224.2 (+42.3)
  3.  Curtis Granderson - DET (7):  220.2 (+96.2)!!
  4.  Manny Ramirez - BOS (1):  193.1 (-25.6)
  5.  Vernon Wells - TOR (4):  182.2 (+38.2)
  6.  Nick Swisher* - OAK (3):  172.1 (-1.9)
  7.  Frank Catalanotto* - TOR (NR):  168.4 (+67.2)!
  8.  Mark DeRosa* - TEX (6):  135.3 (+4.5)
  9.  Alex Rios* - TOR (9):  131.3 (+18.0)
  10.  Marcus Thames* - DET (10):  119.5 (+14.5)
MARINERS WATCH:
  1.  Ichiro:  78.7 (+13.3)
  2.  Raul Ibanez:  58.9 (-4.0)
  3.  Jeremy Reed:  -114.3 (+7.4)
Massive weeks from unlikely candidates (Dye and Granderson) bump two long-timers (Swisher and ManRam).  Meanwhile... write-ins galore round out the list.  Even with his steady improvement from his slow start, Ichiro is not even a remote candidate for an All Star vote.

AL ALL STAR BALLOT
9TH VOTE

C:  Jorge Posada - NYY
1B:  David Ortiz - BOS
2B:  Brian Roberts - BAL
SS:  Derek Jeter - NYY
3B:  Melvin Mora - BAL
OF:  Jermaine Dye - CWS
OF:  Gary Matthews Jr. - TEX
OF:  Curtis Granderson - DET

NL 1ST BASE
9TH VOTE

  1.  Albert Pujols - STL (1):  455.3 (E - injured)
  2.  Ryan Howard - PHI (3):  223.6 (+7.4)
  3.  Nomar Garciaparra - LAD (2):  190.0 (-30.7)
  4.  Lance Berkman - HOU (4):  189.7 (+40.6)
  5.  Todd Helton- COL (5):  159.8 (+34.9)
Pujols probably has the remainder of the votes as long as he doesn't play again.

NL 2ND BASE
9TH VOTE

  1.  Chase Utley - PHI (1):  195.0 (-16.5)
  2.  Jeff Kent - LAD (2):  83.2 (+23.6)
  3.  Dan Uggla - FLA (3):  76.7 (+25.7)
  4.  Ryan Freel - CIN (4):  62.2 (+11.6)
  5.  Marcus Giles - ATL (5):  40.6 (-4.8)
These are the only candidates with positive WPAs on the ballot.  Pittsburgh's Jose Castillo is 6th with -13.0.  Honus Wagner, he is not.  Meanwhile, like Pujols and Jeter, Utley, even with a bad week, is head and shoulders above his contemporaries.  Jeff Kent came back from his injury (and funny how despite not playing, he was still a top 3 guy on this list), played well, and it didn't matter.

NL SHORTSTOP
9TH VOTE

  1.  Bill Hall* - MIL (2):  110.9 (-2.4)
  2.  Felipe Lopez - CIN (1):  81.9 (-53.4)!
  3.  Omar Vizquel - SF (3):  62.2 (-33.8)
  4.  Edgar Renteria - ATL (5):  50.8 (-18.0)
  5.  Jose Reyes - NYM (NR):  32.2 (+50.7)!
Several NL shortstops had a bad week, allowing relatively new write-in candidate Bill Hall to cakewalk to his first All Star vote.  Also, Jose Reyes made the list by being basically the only NL SS to have a good week.

NL 3RD BASE
9TH VOTE

  1.  David Wright - NYM (4):  200.5 (+69.5)!
  2.  Miguel Cabrera - FLA (2):  174.3 (+35.0)
  3.  Scott Rolen - STL (1):  172.9 (+21.5)
  4.  Morgan Ensberg - HOU (3):  131.2 (-2.0)
  5.  Ryan Zimmerman - WAS (NR):  130.7 (+119.4)!!!
David Wright is riding the high life to his first All Star vote.  Also, the top-shelf of NL 3Bs begins to get crowded: following Zimmerman (and WTF did he come from?!) at #5, Edwin Encarnacion and Chipper Jones also have WPAs over 100.

NL CATCHER
9TH VOTE

  1.  Paul LoDuca - NYM (2):  70.9 (+10.0)
  2.  Brian McCann - ATL (3):  60.7 (+7.5)
  3.  Michael Barrett - CHC (4):  60.2 (+27.1)
  4.  Damian Miller - MIL (1):  38.6 (-29.2)
  5.  Ryan Doumit - PIT (5):  17.8 (E - injured)
With top guy Damian Miller finally falling off, this was the time to take the top spot.  Michael Barrett continued his steady run, but Paul LoDuca did just enough to steal it away.

NL OUTFIELD (TOP 10)
9TH VOTE (TOP 3)

  1.  Bobby Abreu - PHI (3):  220.7 (+26.6)
  2.  Matt Holliday - COL (8):  187.9 (+69.8)!
  3.  Barry Bonds - SF (4):  175.4 (+7.4)
  4.  Jason Bay - PIT (2):  166.7 (-52.9)!
  5.  Carlos Lee - MIL (NR):  163.9 (+59.6)!
  6.  Carlos Beltran - NYM (10):  146.6 (+33.3)
  7.  Ken Griffey Jr. - CIN (1):  146.5 (-107.8)!!!
  8.  Pat Burrell - PHI (NR):  119.4 (+34.4)
  9.  Moises Alou - SF (6):  116.0 (-19.6)
  10.  Alfonso Soriano - WAS (7):  115.4 (-6.3)
Jason Bay collapses and Matt Holliday surges to take his place.  Also, amidst the wild back and forth, Barry Bonds snuck himself another vote with a steady performance, as Ken Griffey Jr. just completely collapsed, but remains in the top 10.

NL ALL STAR BALLOT
9TH VOTE

C:  Paul LoDuca - NYM
1B:  Albert Pujols - STL
2B:  Chase Utley - PHI
SS:  Bill Hall* - MIL
3B:  David Wright - NYM
OF:  Bobby Abreu - PHI
OF:  Matt Holliday - COL
OF:  Barry Bonds - SF

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