The Yankees did what they do best -- they whipped out their checkbook to complete the trade for a player whose 15 minute of fame passed quickly after he belted all kinds of obviously juiced baseballs to win last summer's home run derby. Few other clubs had serious interest in Abreu, mostly because of his outrageous $15 million salary in 2007 is totally out of balance with his meager 14 home runs in 604 at-bats since the '05 All-Star break.
Wait, 15 minutes of fame? What exactly does that mean? Abreu has a career OPS+ of 138. If he wasn't "famous" enough, what does this have to do with production? Reggie Sanders is more "famous." Scott Podsednik is more "famous." Would you prefer these players?
Well, maybe not since they don't hit a lot of homeruns. Good players hit homeruns, damnit!
Abreu's presence likely means farewell for Gary Sheffield next season -- the Yankees hold a $13 million option on him that they can decline, and they've already got Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon and, now, Abreu, in the outfield. Sheff will be worth watching very closely if he returns from his wrist injury in September because he will not take that well. One person who knows him well already predicted Sunday that he will pop off and rip the Yankees within the next couple of days.
Uh, ok. However Buster Olney has the complete opposite idea, and believes the Yankees will indeed bring back Sheffield as a 1B/OF. Sheffield's agent today said that Gary is happy about the deal, and hopes Abreu can help him win a World Championship, wants to play for three more years, and hopefully for the Yankees.
That sounds very much like a "pop off."
The additions of Abreu and Lidle significantly ratchet up the pressure on Boston to add someone like Tampa Bay shortstop Julio Lugo, and a starting pitcher like Philadelphia's Jon Lieber.
As a Yankee fan, I kinda hope Boston gets Lieber.
"The Yankees only deal for the present," New York skipper Joe Torre declared. "Certain players will certainly be able to help us in the future. But we made this move for right now. We gave up some young players to be a part of the future somewhere else."
That the Yankees agreed to absorb all of the dough owed Abreu this year and next -- roughly $19 million -- has, as usual, offended many throughout the game who get sick and tired of fighting New York's unmatched largesse. But Torre is dead-on accurate that in Steinbrenner's world, you only deal in the present. You might hate the Yankees, but admit it: Don't you wish your owner was as maniacal to win as Steinbrenner is?
When a sportswriter says that "many people" are offended and offers no quotes or evidence, what he's really saying is that he's offended.
"We're pleased to have Bobby because we know he is an established player who will be a regular in the middle of the lineup. Righty, lefty, it doesn't matter. He's a force, as far as I'm concerned."
Though Abreu's power has declined significantly, he works the count and gets on base (.427 this season; .412 career), which undoubtedly already has broadcaster John Sterling and other Yankee cheerleaders wetting their pants with glee.
I'm no Sterling fan, but what's with the non-sequitor rip here? And how is getting on base a bad thing? Getting on base is a very good thing. Dare I say... better than hitting a bunch of homeruns.
Few teams are even in a financial position to spend roughly $19 million on Abreu for this year and next.
Actually there are plenty of teams that could afford his salary. He's not paid much more than a guy like Brian Giles, a corner outfielder who plays for a small market team and gets on base a lot but doesn't hit a bunch of homeruns.
And of the handful that can, it would be stupid for most of them to spend that kind of dough on a guy who has a whole eight home runs this season.
Hey, it's two more than Derek Jeter.
But the Yankees can spend $15 million on a glorified leadoff man who rarely homers -- though he does lead the majors with 91 walks.
How can he be "glorified" if he's not "famous?" And walks? Screw that! That's for lazy players like Jason Giambi.
Would Derek Jeter be a glorified leadoff man who rarely homers? Thank God he's not making $15M a year, or I bet you'd tell us about it!
And by spending the dough, it allows them to keep key young players such as second baseman Robinson Cano and outfielder Melky Cabrera and minor league prospects Phil Hughes (pitcher) and Jose Tabata (outfielder).
"He's a solid .300 hitter," one scout who watches the AL East regularly said of Abreu. "His power seems to have gone down since the home run derby, but he's a solid hitter, he can steal bases and he can throw."
I don't think I'm nitpicking here, but why are you asking a scout who watches the AL East? Abreu has played his entire career in the NL East.
At the very least, Abreu will help make up for the prolonged absences of Sheffield and Matsui (who isn't expected back until late August or September following surgery on his left wrist). And at the very least, Lidle, 8-7 with a 4.74 ERA, adds depth to help Randy Johnson, Mike Mussina and Chien-Ming Wang.
So, the Yankees didn't give up top tier talent, they can afford Abreu, Abreu is an upgrade, Lidle is an upgrade.. what am I missing here about why this is a bad deal? Oh, that's right, homeruns.
Now, it's clear what the Yankees must do next.
Win some ballgames and try and win the division?
They must take out their checkbook again and buy out all of Alex Rodriguez's insecurity. Just write a check, take possession of it and then sit back and watch a relaxed A-Rod take off.
Now that would be a trade deadline move that would be guaranteed to succeed.
Non-sequitor insult number two! Wait.. but Alex Rodriguez hits a lot of homeruns! What's going on here? Ohhh, you hate the Yankees. I get it now.
Following this article is another section which discusses the Red Sox response and how St. Theo, Boy Genius will pull of another deadline deal as he has always done in the past that will push the Red Sox over the top.
I wonder if Scott Miller is trying to get hired on at ESPN. They have an opening (or two) on Baseball Tonight, you know.
From: Mr. Faded Glory Sent: Wed 7/19/2006 6:24 AM To: Jay.Greenberg Subject: Concerning your 7/18 and 7/19 articles
Dear Mr. Greenberg,
I am a regular reader of the Post, and have noticed the past two days you have written two quite negative hatchet job articles regarding Alex Rodriguez. While I will ignore the fact that I disagree with you on almost every conclusion you've reached in both articles and believe that most of the fan negativity comes from repeated bashings in the press, I can't help but point out a fallacy you've repeated in both pieces.
In your July 19th article, you again mention how much Mr. Rodriguez is paid by the Yankees: "The Yankees pay Rodriguez $25 million a year to come to the park prepared as possible, including on nights hot enough for the trainers to post reminders about hydration, diet and 'limiting workouts.' "
The problem is that no matter how many times this is repeated in the press, it does not make it true.
The Yankees aren't paying Alex Rodriguez $25 million per year. I wish writers would do more research before they keep trotting out oft used and incorrect statistics. I'll break it down for you:
* Before 2001 season, Rodriguez signs 10 yr, $252M contract with Rangers. * Rangers pay Rodriguez in 2001, 2002, 2003. * Amount remaining on contract: $179M * Rangers trade Rodriguez and the 7 years and $179M remaining on his contract to Yankees for Alfonso Soriano and Joaquin Arias. As condition of trade, Rangers agree to pay $67M of the remaining contract. * Amount remaining: $112M * $112M divided by 7 years = $16M
The Yankees pay Rodriguez $16M per year, not $25M. The Yankees pay Mike Mussina, Derek Jeter, and Jason Giambi much more. Rodriguez only makes slightly more than Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, and rarely are any of these players' salaries mentioned in your articles.
If you wish I could go on to discuss such statements about how Rodriguez's errors remind you of "Chuck Knoblauch in his prime" when in his prime he was a Gold Glove defender, but I'll just assume that was tongue in cheek and leave it at that.
In the future I would appreciate though if your facts were correct when quoting the factual and not that based on opinion.
I would be amazed if I actually got a reply to this.
On 7/29/06, Jay.Greenberg wrote:
Mike: You don't have to dare me into a response. I answer all my e-mail, if it is signed and not sick., bigotted stuff.
I was aware that the the rangers are paying $9 million, just failed to phrase it . . "he is paid $25 million" which would have taken care of the problem.
I apologize. Any fact error compromises my credibility.
Every now and then, there is a sportwriter who gets it. Not neccesarily a guy you agree with 100% of the time, but a guy who understands how things are and how they should be and can back up most of his viewpoints.
There are times Alex Rodriguez doesn't help himself with the things he says. Then there are times when people are just unfair to him.
The YES pre-game show spent five minutes on Rodriguez's 16 errors. Michael Kay, Jim Kaat and John Flaherty went on and on about what a butcher he has been. Two points:
1. He isn't in the lineup. How about telling the viewers about somebody who is playing? It was ripping a guy just for the sake of ripping him. Probably on orders from YES suits trying to stir something up.
2. Yes, A-Rod has 16 errors and that's a lot. But look a little deeper, those 16 errors have led to only five runs. His butchery has been relatively harmless.
Then you have Steve Phillips going on ESPN Radio and suggesting the Yankees should trade A-Rod. Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Sort of like trading for an aging Robbie Alomar and Mo Vaughn.
A-Rod doesn't need me to defend him. But the whole thing is getting ridiculous.
The NY Post Needs to Admit They Have No Interest In Serious Journalism
.. and are just a bunch of yellow journalists, especially Jay Greenberg.
HEAD CASE ALEX NEEDS TO WORK ON FUNDA-MENTALS
Did you catch the witty pun in the article title? Don't worry, if you missed it, the point will be drilled home.
July 18, 2006 -- Johnny Damon broke in at Kansas City, where in the withering Missouri summer, the Royals suffer the agony of defeat and agony of the feet.
We're one sentence in and already on our second witty pun.
Trust him, when you play in Kaycee, you are hot to trot long before free agency becomes an option.
And now a third. Is everyone else splitting their sides right now or is it just me?
"It was always smoking there," said Damon, who thus had previous experience with the calf cramps he suffered Saturday.
From what I hear he also has had previous experience in smoking.
Last night, after a one-game absence, he jumped back into the boiling Stadium vat, delivering three hits and driving in a run as the Yankees beat Seattle, 4-2.
Only an Idiot would dare suggest that Damon, who has missed only five games this season while playing through foot, back, rib cage and shoulder problems, can't stand the heat. It is coach Larry Bowa's theory that if you can play in Philadelphia or Boston, where Damon helped changed the city's baseball personality of dread to one of success, you can play in New York.
Oh, I get it! The "heat" of the high temperature is your way of alluding to the "heat" of a pressure packed environment!
And Damon, tied for sixth in the AL in runs scored, tied for seventh in stolen bases and delivering exactly what the Yankees projected for their $52 million over four seasons, can definitely play in New York.
Sure, Damon's been swell. Good stats, plays hurt, model citizen, good clubhouse guy. He can definitely play in New York.
But 21/2 seasons into Alex Rodriguez' time in New York, we can't say that about him, not even close, not even after an MVP season, as weird as that has become.
Just out of curiousity, why exactly can't we say that Rodriguez can play in New York? I mean, Greenberg arrived at the NY-PRIME-A-OK stamp for Damon after less than four months of time spent playing for a New York team... but even though Rodriguez is the reigning AL MVP and won the AL Player of the Month Award for May.... he... can't... play.. in.... New.... York. Now I'm sure we'll get a well thought out and rational explanation of why Mr. Greenberg feels this way.
Since A-Rod, accompanied by his wife Cynthia, was photographed sunning himself in Central Park yesterday, perhaps heat exhaustion was a factor in his sailing three throws into errors last night before completing an 0-for-4 with a bases-loaded strikeout. Because Rodriguez' left big toe had swollen from a foul ball during his second at-bat, Nick Green was at third when the Yankees took the field in the eighth.
Amazingly, Greenberg blames Rodriguez's errors on spending a day in the park with his wife and not on something more rational, which he also mentions in the same paragraph, the swollen foot.
"That's the only reason he came out," said Joe Torre, who said he believed A-Rod's pain was a factor in a Stadium throwing carnage not seen since Chuck Knoblauch in his prime. "Footwork is most important in the field."
I know Greenberg is again trying to be funny (or cruel) by comparing Rodriguez to Knoblauch, but wouldn't "Chuck Knoblauch in his prime" actually be a Gold Glove second baseman? Jeez, I wonder if Greenberg got all over Jeter last year when he went 0-5 with 3 strikeouts and 2 errors against the (gasp!) Mets. My guess: no.
That's especially true on a New York field mined with $25 million in bills and a seemingly equal number of teammates left on base in late innings of tight games.
How does one actually become a New York sports writer? Do you have to sign a blood oath to Rupert Murdoch to never actually check facts or God forbid know them offhand?
The Yankees aren't paying Alex Rodriguez $25 million per year. Seriously, sportswriters, broadcasters, journalists, for the last fucking time, do some goddamned research. Here, just bookmark this blog, ok? I'll spell it out for you:
Before 2001 season, Rodriguez signs 10 yr, $252M contract with Rangers.
Rangers pay Rodriguez in 2001, 2002, 2003.
Amount remaining on contract: $179M
Rangers trade Rodriguez and the 7 years and $179M remaining on his contract to Yankees for Alfonso Soriano and Joaquin Arias. As condition of trade, Rangers agree to pay $67M of the remaining contract.
Amount remaining: $112M
$112M divided by 7 years = $16M
The answer then is that had you written it was a "New York field mined with $16 million in bills" you would be correct. I am sure in your future articles you will make sly references to how Jeter and Giambi are being paid $20M this year by the Yankees or how Mike Mussina is making $19M in 2006.
Rodriguez has 16 errors this season, his third playing third base, after having 12 all of last season.
A head case, Torre has repeatedly called Rodriguez, although not in those words, of course. In fact, by admitting the fans get to him, A-Rod even calls himself a head case.
OK, let's break down that paragraph.
"A head case, Torre has repeatedly called Rodriguez" He did?!
"Although not in those words, of course." So, he didn't. Then why did you just say that he said that?
"In fact, by admitting the fans get to him, A-Rod even calls himself a head case." No, he doesn't. Isn't a part of journalism quoting people correctly? Can you imagine if FOX News quoted Bill Clinton in 1998 as "Clinton said he did not have sexual relations with the mistress who he says likes to be diddled with cigars"?
"The one time he got under the ball when he threw to first base and it just looked like he wasn't as relaxed as he was [making two good plays Sunday]," said Torre. "That's the best I can do trying to find any fundamental or mechanical flaw.
"It didn't look like he was as soft as yesterday. But it's different if it costs you the game."
What's different is a two-time MVP developing mental blocks about playing in his home stadium. Mike Piazza got treated just as poorly in his first few months here until he changed it by keying a huge, if ultimately failed, stretch drive. Things won't change for Rodriguez until he has a big September and postseason that shuts up not just the fans, but the voices in his own mind.
See, I think if the media shuts up, the fans will shut up too. But here you go, perpectuating things, and forgetting that without Rodriguez down the stretch last year, the Yankees don't make the playoffs at all. And where is the evidence that he has "mental blocks" about playing in his home stadium? The Torre (non-)quote above?
"Yesterday I had a brilliant day," he reminded us afterward. "And tonight I stunk. Tomorrow is another day. I'll be here."
Yep, he had a great game at Yankee Stadium with a great defensive play and a homer the night before, but somehow, he still "can't play in New York" and has "mental blocks" about playing in his ballpark.
For X-rays first. Of his foot, not his head.
Look, even if you think he has a mental block, I can tell you're no doctor as an X-Ray isn't likely to show anything. Unless of course you think there are actual physical blocks there.
"When you are playing in this city or the city [Damon] just came from, if you don't find a way to release a little pressure, its going to build up inside," Torre said about his center fielder before the game.
"Personality-wise, he helps us along in that area."
Rodriguez could use more help in that area. Of course, a large percentage of the population can't control its worrying about what it can't control, which basically, is Bowa's theory, too.
Philly has performed the kind of love on Bobby Abreu that toughens him for New York, where he may arrive within two weeks. Maybe A-Rod needs to be farmed there or to Boston for more seasoning.
So what you're saying is that you need to play in Boston of Philadelphia and get booed for a while and then you can "handle New York." Or be born a Yankee like Jeter. Or play in Oakland like Giambi. Or Baltimore like Mussina. Or.. Japan like Matsui. What exactly are you saying here?
Oh. Jokes. I get jokes.
Feel free to email this jackass at the address above.
I keep hearing from Mets fans how the Victor Zambrano-Bartolome Fortunato/Scott Kazmir trade is the "worst trade of all time." Now mind you, that was a terrible trade and everyone except Jim Duquette seemed to know it even at that time. However it wasn't even the worst trade of that year.
GM Brian Sabean of the San Francisco Giants is responsible for a bigger disaster.
In order to get one year of "production" (.272/.319/.410, 85 OPS+) out of A.J. Pierzynski before waiving him after the season, the Giants handed the Twins Joe Nathan, their setup man who had a 145 ERA+, 2.96 ERA, 83/33 K/BB ratio, and 1.063 WHIP and two of their top prospects.
Siince that deal, Nathan has put up ERA+ of 292(!) in 2004 and 163 in 2005 with 44 and 43 saves respectively and he's got 15 saves with a 1.80 ERA and 0.8 WHIP already this season.
As if that part of it isn't lopsided enough, the prospects the Twins received were Boof Bonser, who is now, as a rookie, the Twins 5th starter, and Francisco Liriano, another rookie starter who may just be the bezt your pitcher in baseball. He may even surpass his rotation mate and fellow lefty Johan Santana. So far this year he's 9-1 with a 1.99 ERA, and a 94/20 K/BB ratio in 81.1 innings pitched.
Mets fans can bitch about Kazmir all they like, but a deal; doesn't get any more one sided than that.
They're Professional Athletes, They're Used To This Kind of Thing, It Rolls Right Off Their Back!
Let's preface this by saying that Ken Davidoff is an idiot. Everyone's favorite punching bag, Alex Rodriguez, gets a "clutch" hit (Lord, how I detest that word now), hits 2 homeruns including a grand slam to take the lead and drives in 7 runs, and Davidoff has to focus on, and I'll paraphrase "Alex is an asshole."
I might not have known before where Davidoff's loyalties lie, and I've both criticized and praised him in the past, but now I'm pretty sure he's a Mets fan:
Let Alex Rodriguez tick everyone off, from Paul Lo Duca to Curt Schilling to the Yankees' own fans. Let him do that obnoxious seal clap each time he reaches base. Each time he looks at a ball out of the strike zone, if that floats his boat.
A-Rod, when he's right, uses all of the negative energy surrounding him as a weapon. The Yankees desperately need that weapon, as they move back into intraleague play. They can put up with the nonsense, as long as they get the homers in return.
So the fact that Rodriguez claps when he gets to first base - that's nonsense! But the Yankees put up with such appalling behavior as long as he hits homeruns! Yankees like St. Jeter and His Majesty Bernie Williams!
With a huge assist from jumpy Mets starter Alay Soler, the Yankees showed some might and, in A-Rod's case, both power and gall. So perhaps this can prove to be a momentous victory, although it's not as though the Yankees were slumping horribly before last night.
The gall of Rodriguez, with the clapping and all! Wait, was there something more galling than clapping going on? Inquiring minds want to know.
When Rodriguez stepped to the plate in the third inning, the Yankees had closed the gap to 4-2, and Jason Giambi had loaded the bases on what was generously ruled an infield single. It wasn't very shocking when A-Rod pounced on the shaky Soler, crushing a grand slam into the right-centerfield bleachers.Look, we're all human, and Rodriguez obviously feels pressure to produce. But that doesn't excuse his antics as he a) admired the blast for a second; b) did the exaggerated clap as he began his trot; c) spent an extra second celebrating with third-base coach Larry Bowa; and d) sang, "Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)" as he stepped on home plate.(Just kidding about letter d, although it would've been a natural progression from the first three.)
That show understandably upset Lo Duca, the Mets' catcher, who said something to A-Rod as he crossed home plate. Rodriguez turned back to respond, but home-plate umpire Tim McClelland astutely stepped in front of A-Rod. Giambi uttered a few words of support to Lo Duca, and the scene ended.
Well first I must admit, you don't get to the level of being a main sportswriter for a major New York newspaper like Newsday without having a rapier wit and savage sense of humor. I mean, "Na, Na, Hey Hey" was a great setup and I believed him until he admitted he was only joking! Jesus, Ken Davidoff, more warning next time before you break out the funnies!
So Rodriguez watched the blast "for a second." Ask yourself how long a second is. Count with me: "one-one thousand." Then Rodriguez - the gall of that man - proceeded to look into his own dugout to see his teammates, who were very happy that he'd just hit a go ahead grand slam. When was looking into your dugout ever considered offensive? Honestly after decades of watching baseball, this is the first time I have ever heard that this is taboo. Well, in any event, Rodriguez continues to circle the basepath and while Davidoff says he "spent an extra second celebrating" with Larry Bowa... he didn't. Since when is a high five spending extra time celebrating? You see this all the time. But when Rodriguez does it: lousy showboat! And of course Lo Duca was "understandably" upset.
I'm wondering if maybe we were watching two different games, me on ESPN on my Panasonic television, and Ken on NPSE on his Bizarrovision. (If I keep coming up with golden nuggets like that one, folks, perhaps I too can someday write for Newsday. Or, maybe even the Post! Squeeeee!)
It's like Davidoff's making excuses for the fact - not even mentioned in his article - that Randolph left Soler out to dry on the mound when he obviously had nothing left. I am almost positive that's what Lo Duca was really frustrated about, but took it out on the man who put the nail in the coffin of the pitcher he already knew was cooked.
As for Giambi, he "uttered a few words of support" to Lo Duca? It's like he wasn't even part of the story. Watch the replay on ESPN or Fox Sports or MSG or YES and watch Giambi. I guess "Fuck you Paul" are a few words of support.
Surprisingly, the Mets didn't retaliate by hitting anyone. Not Jorge Posada, the next hitter, and not A-Rod when he came up to bat in the fourth. They must have regretted that decision when Rodriguez singled and scored in the fourth, then drilled a three-run homer in the fifth, off the facade of the unoccupied black seats in centerfield.
Yes, one must truly applaud the Mets for not drilling Jorge Posada in the ear because Alex Rodriguez looked at his friends as he rounded the bases. What great fellas, those scraptacular amazin' Mets!
Davidoff does go on to say that if Rodriguez continues hitting and hitting well it would be better than anyone the Yankees can trade for and that they need him. Truly a revelation that the best player on the team is needed. I bet the Twins need Johan Santana, and the Angels need Vlad Guerrero and the Red Sox need Manny Ramirez (that's right, Ramirez. Ortiz is no where near his league despite what you see on tv and read in your papers).
If Davidoff thinks that was showboating, what does he think of the aforementioned Manny Ramirez? It wasn't that long ago this year where Rodriguez was also thrown under a bus by the New York and Boston media as well as Red Sox players (such as that stalwart citizen of good sportsmanship and the right way to play the game, Josh Beckett and the guy certainly worth trading for an All Star second baseman, Doug Mirabelli) for supposedly showboating on a homerun at Fenway Park. (Screwballs has the history of the event as well as videos of both the Rodriguez and Ramirez homeruns from that game for comparison - fun stuff). Check the youtube version below.
Manny got a pass then.
Lo Duca gets one now for overreaction.
What does Alex Rodriguez have to do over a game or a season in order to get any respect whatsoever from the New York media?
Then, of course, the fans read those papers and prove once again that sheep don't baa, they boo.
This is all not to mention his manager doesn't really support him either:
Joe Torre was asked to identify the Yankees' first-half MVP before last night's Subway Series finale and unintentionally delivered one of the strongest blows yet against Alex Rodriguez - and as opposed to David Justice this was not delivered from a YES-man. Torre not only picked Derek Jeter, citing the shortstop's seasonlong reliability, but named Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi and Robinson Cano as the rest of the pool from which he was choosing. To be around Torre in 2006 is to know he would have chosen Jorge Posada, Mike Mussina and Mariano Rivera before Rodriguez, as well. This is the reigning MVP of the whole league we are talking about. Yet, Torre said his picks were based on "consistency" and, "if you look at it, (Rodriguez) has struggled. If you ask him, he'd tell you the same thing."
Strawberry: You're pinch-hitting for me?
Mr. Burns: Yes, you see you're a left-hander and so is the pitcher. If I send up a right-handed batter it's called playing the percentages. It's what smart managers do to win ballgames.
Strawberry: But I hit nine home runs today!
Mr. Burns: You should be very proud of yourself. Sit down.
I've been watching shop.mlb.com for the past week or so, because they always tend to jump the gun on upcoming sales items (who could forget this little nugget of goodness):
(and if you really believe the MLB bullshit that this was actually a "hoax" you need your head examined)
Well, this morning their "Purchase an Ugly and Only used in the Homerun Derby and Not in the Real Game All-Star Jersey" for the AL or NL page was updated, and the "Select a Player" names all changed. Gone was Jason Giambi, in was Chris Capuano.
Thanks mlb.com! I agree! It is a great choice!
So much for tomorrow's ESPN All-Star selection show nonsense. Anyhow, without further ado, here are your first 23 AL All-Stars and first 25 NL All-Stars:
NL: C - Paul LoDuca, NYM 1B - Lance Berkman, HOU 1B - Nomar Garciaparra, LAD 1B - Ryan Howard, PHI 1B _ Albert Pujols, STL 2B - Chase Utley, PHI SS - Jose Reyes, NYM 3B - David Wright, NYM 3B - Miguel Cabrera, FLA OF - Carlos Beltran, NYM OF - Jason Bay, PIT OF - Alfonso Soriano, WAS OF - Matt Holliday, COL OF - Andruw Jones, ATL
P - Bronson Arroyo, CIN P - Chris Capuano, MIL P - Pedro Martinez, NYM P - Jason Schmidt, SF P - Brad Penny-Milano, LAD P - Brandon Webb, ARI P - Carlos Zambrano, CHC P - Tom Glavine, NYM P - Tom Gordon, PHI P - Derrick Turnbow, MIL P - Trevor Hoffman, SD
AL: C - Joe Mauer, MIN C - Jason Varitek, BOS "1B" - David Ortiz, BOS "1B" - Jim Thome, CHW 2B - Robinson Cano, NYY 3B - Alex Rodriguez, NYY SS - Derek Jeter, NYY SS - Miguel Tejada, BAL OF - Vladimir Guerrero, LAA OF - Ichiro Suzuki, SEA OF - Manny Ramirez, BOS OF - Vernon Wells, TOR OF - Grady Sizemore, CLE
P - Roy Halladay, TOR P - Johan Santana, MIN P - Curt Schilling, BOS P - Scott Kazmir, TB P - Mike Mussina, NYY P - Kenny Rogers, DET P - B.J. Ryan, TOR P - Joe Nathan, MIN P - Jonathan Papelbon, BOS P - Mariano Rivera, NYY
As for the game itself, my opinions are as follows:
The only thing stupider than interleague play is having the All-Star game "count" for home field advantage in the World Series. Wrong way for Bud to try and placate fans because of a tie due to managers trying to "play everyone" in 2002. So it ended in a tie - who cares? It's an exhibition game.
No DH in NL parks. There should always be a DH in any park in the ASG. There's no reason to have pitchers hit, it allows more guys to play, and you wind up with asinine voting like David Ortiz starting at 1B when the guy only has played 5 games there all season because of - you got it - interleague play. Who tunes into the All-Star Game to see Roy Halladay take some hacks against Tom Glavine?
I do not root for the guys on the team I follow to make it. I don't want them playing, especially the guys who are making their umpteenth. I want them home, resting, because it's a silly exhibition game. Give the poor bastards 3 days off to rest their injuries.
MLB needs to do away with the antiquated "one player from every team" rule. While this may appease some fans of some horrible squads, and the managers and league should give more weight to players on unrepresented teams, this was a rule in effect when there were eight teams in each league. With expansion taking the leagues to 30 teams, it just doesn't make sense anymore, especially since the fans seem to vote for a lot of the same players from the more popular squads, making selecting the backups a very flawed process if one has to follow this edict.
I won't even be watching the game this year more than likely as I'll be busy in Sin City. The thing I enjoy most about these games is seeing the new guys take part, and the Homerun Derby, but as everyone knows the best part of the All-Star break is the Futures Game.
I guess I'll root that the AL wins so that if the Yankees make it they get home field advantage but the whole concept is stupid.
You'll notice I haven't even gotten on the fans about voting in guys who clearly do not deserve it, because frankly the fans in general have proven to be stupid and completely unknowledgable neanderthals who couldn't explain what OBP is or how its calculated.
UPDATE: Oddly enough, in the last hour, Ichiro was removed from the AL player option on the jersey page. Interesting. I'm keeping him on my list though. Rivera was listed twice, that's been updated.
Just to clear up any confusion folks, in no way shape or form are these the complete rosters. There are 32 players on each squad. There are partial rosters, and injured players like Robinson Cano are not likely to be on the final roster anyway.