I probably shouldn't be the one writing this; I barely watch any baseball, and I don't follow the M's outside of LL and USS Mariner. I'm not completely ignorant of modern statistical analysis, but I gave up a long time ago trying to keep up with any stats ore complicated than OPS and VORP. But, for whatever reason, I still get a thrill out of selecting rosters for the All-Star game (and I had a similar thrill for the NBA All-Star game, back when the NBA still existed). It probably goes back to poking holes into ballots at half-full games at the Kingdome, trying somewhat hard to balance a ballot that had legitimately good players on it, as well squeezing in as many Mariners I could rationalize. Or I'd get multiple ballots, saving one that would be reserved for all-M's. Suffice it to say, I took it all pretty seriously.
Since then I've grown up and have had just enough bizarre All-Star voting outcomes -- I specifically remember being incensed that Cliff Floyd failed to make an NL All-Star roster about a decade or so ago -- to dull my appreciation for it all. Really, those that truly deserve to go get to go a grand majority of the time, and the snubs are quickly forgotten shortly after the lineups are announced. Also, not being able to vote for pitchers is ridiculous. However, there is still something special about looking over a bunch of players' basic "Triple Crown" stats and picking out the best one, even if I'm doing it on a computer rather than a traditional hand ballot at the game itself. With about a month to go before the game occurs, let's have a look at how how Mariner players stack up against the best in the American League...
Quick note: This isn't an exercise in determining the best players in the game, which I assume can be easily determined over at Fangraphs or some other site. I'm just eyeballing the basic stats that the online 2012 All-Star game ballot provides (average, runs, homers, RBIs and stolen bases), and nothing more (although I'm trying my best to consider defensive reputation). The way I look at it, most other people voting for the All-Star game are using these stats, or worse, just going off of name recognition, so
My pick: Ol' Man Konerko -- jeez, I still remember him as an overrated 3B prospect for the Dodgers -- probably can't keep hitting above .350 all year, but he deserves to go, as does Fielder. It wouldn't surprise me if Pujols got voted in, but and even Teixeira appear to be more deserving of a spot than Smoak. My NL pick: Joey Votto.
My Pick: By virtue of having the best counting stats and being a Yankee, Cano looks like a lock for second base. If Ackley was hitting over .290 I'd give him a chance to make the roster, but instead it'll probably be given to a bigger name (Kinsler or Pedroia). My NL Pick: Jose Altuve (I have honestly never heard of him before I voted for him on this ballot today).
My Pick: No matter how special he is with the glove, no way a Mariner with a .157 average is going to go to the All-Star game. Jeter will be voted in, of course (I picked Hardy just because I hate voting for Derek Jeter), but I'm not sure who else gets in. Certainly not Brendan Ryan. My NL Pick: Troy Tulowitzki.
My Pick: I'm guessing that Beltre is still a far-better defensive third baseman than Cabrera, enough to make up the less-than-imposing stat gap between the two. But then there are park effects to consider....ah hell, I gave my vote to Miggy. But Beltre deserves to go, although A-Rod will very likely be voted in. In any case, there's too much competition here for Seager, even if there's a spate of injuries before the actual game starts. My NL Pick: David Wright (Should I be embarrassed voting for Wright? Not much to choose from at 3B in the NL.)
My Pick: Has Montero caught enough games/innings to qualify for catcher in the All-Star game? I could look it up, but....well, it's not like those stats are so good he'll get in for sure. I picked Joe Mauer and I think he'll get voted in, but after that, who knows. My NL Pick: Jonathan Lucroy. What a wild ride.
My Pick: God, that Adam Dunn line is just so Adam Dunn. Don't think Encarnacion is going to get the votes no matter what, so I would think it'd be down to Dunn and Ortiz (I picked Ortiz, because Dunn just rubs me the wrong way). If Jesus wants to get into this game, it'll be as a catcher. Or he could show up to the game escorted by a female bodybuilder, and pretend to be A-Rod. My NL Pick: n/a
My Picks: So, Guti is on the ballot even without playing a single game for in the majors, and Saunders is out (and Carp might as well have been out, by the look of his stats). You can write Saunders in, if you want, but I couldn't pick him over Jose Bautista, Josh Hamilton or Adam "Reminder of Epic Stupidity" Jones. Maybe if we cross our fingers and clap real hard- which is difficult when your fingers are already crossed -- the fans will vote Ichiro in again. But don't count on it. My NL Picks: Carlos Beltran, Ryan Braun and Matt Kemp.
So, after all the position players are tallied up, we have zero (0) Mariners as sure things to make the All-Star game. The competition is light enough at second base for Ackley to sneak onto the roster, I guess...but it won't happen. That leaves the pitchers; maybe there's a good reason why we can't vote on pitchers, but I can't think of one right now. I'm going to cobble together a list of the better pitchers in the AL and compare them to our M's (that are currently on the roster), and I apologize in advance if I forget to include anyone that I should have:
Even with the poor record Felix certainly deserves to be placed among the starting pitchers, along with (I'm guessing) C.C. Sabathia, Chris Sale, C.J. Wilson, Jared Weaver, David Price, Jake Peavy and Brandon Morrow. As for relievers, pretty sure Chris Perez, Jim Johnson and Fernando Rodney will go, as well as anyone from a team without any other representatives...maybe Vargas could make it in, if his ERA got down a little bit. That's 10 pitchers already, which means there probably aren't many spots left.
So, as usual, Felix is a sure thing, and that's about it. Again, I hope I didn't leave anyone significant out, but I think I've included a pretty good representation of players likely to be considered for the team.Also again, this was just a fun exercise, and while I hope no one takes this (or the All-Star game itself) too serious, any and all thoughts and criticisms are welcome.