Scrolling around Fannation just a little while ago, I saw a story on the side that stated 5 Boston Red Sox players lead their positions in voting for the All-Star Game this July in the Bronx. Five is a lot of players to be starting in an All-Star game from the same team. When I first saw the story title my immediate thought was "undeserving". Don't get me wrong, every Boston Red Sox player is one of the best at what they do, but there are others better.
First off, at first base, Kevin Youkilis leads by roughly 300,000 votes. He possibly could be leading, there is an argument for him, but there is also once against him. Youk is batting .305 with 11 HRs. His fellow AL first baseman Justin Morneau is batting .306 with 10 HRs. However, Morneau has played in 4 more games. But, to look closer at the situation, Morneau has had the better year. In Minnesota, Morneau has Mauer to protect him. Meanwhile, in Boston, Youkilis has Ortiz, Ramirez, Lowell, and the red hot J.D. Drew to back him up and get him good pitches. The All-Star game should be voted on like the MVP award - every aspect has to be looked at to really determine who is having the better year, not just numbers. Among the top 3 vote getters for AL first baseman, Youkilis leads in only doubles, runs, RBIs (tied), SBs (3 on the year), and OBP. He also leads in strikeouts and caught stealing. In my opinion, Justin Morneau should be the starter with Youkilis a close second.
The man slotted to be playing ninety feet away from Youkilis in the Midsummer Classic is young Dustin Pedroia. D-Ped leads by over 200,000 votes. This is a very close race, but the man who is leading should not be. Out of Kinsler, Polanco, Roberts, and Pedroia; Pedroia has the worst batting average with .269. He is also dead last in OBP and SLG. His stolen base numbers (6) are also low with Roberts (19) and Kinsler (17) about 3 times more. His RBIs aren't staggering either. His 32 are only second to Kinsler's 42 but Brian Roberts has 29 with close to 30 less at bats. His homerun numbers are also surpassed by; you guessed it, Ian Kinsler with 10. In all, Kinsler has more runs, hits, 2Bs, 3Bs, Hrs, RBIs, TBs, BBs, SBs, OBP, SLG, and BA. That is about every offensive category. And once again, Pedroia bats in a line-up with Youkilis, Ortiz, Ramirez, Lowell, Drew, and Varitek while Kinsler has Milton Bradley and Josh Hamilton. Pedroia should not be leading this race at all. It should be Ian Kinsler and it shouldn't even be close.
Behind the plate there is a very close race. Jason Varitek leads by only 41,000 over former AL batting champ Joe Mauer. This race shouldn't even be close let alone Varitek leading it. Look at the batting averages. Mauer is batting .324 while Tek is batting .249. Yes, Tek leads in homeruns by 5, but that's not Mauer's job. Mauer also has 3 more RBIs. Go ahead; make the argument that Mauer has had close to 40 more at bats. Just be prepared to explain why Tek has struck out 33 more times then. Or why he has walked 16 fewer times. Or why he has a lower OBP, SLG, and BA. And once again, look at the line-ups. Ortiz, Pedroia, Ramirez, Drew, Lowell, Youkilis vs. Morneau. So, instead of 2 Red Sox - Varitek and Youkilis; there should be two Twins - Morneau and Mauer.
I can surely understand this voting decision that has been made at the designated hitter position. The poster boy for the DH is David Ortiz. So, he gets all the votes for the all-star game. He currently leads over rival Yankee Hideki Matsui by about 800,000 votes. Ortiz almost has double the amount of votes Matsui has. And it is all because of his name. The fact that Ortiz is now hurt also should have increased Matsui's votes by a few hundred thousand. Also, Matsui is batting .325 while Ortiz is batting .252. That means Matsui gets a hit roughly every 3 at bats; while Ortiz has a hit every 4. Matsui also has more hits, 2Bs, and TBs while also having a higher OBP, SLG%, and BA. He also has struck out 9 less times. He is also only 1 run, 4 BBs, 9 RBIs, and 6 HRs behind Ortiz. Voters should take into account injuries, but obviously they didn't here. Matsui should be leading this.
In the final spot, I agree that Manny should be starting in the outfield. So, I would like to argue FOR a Red Sock here. JD Drew NOT Ichiro should be #3 in all star voting. JD Drew is simply on fire now and his numbers took a big jump due to it. Yea, Ichiro does have 20 hits on Drew, but Ichiro also has 90 more at bats. With a .322 batting average, Drew would easily pass Ichiro in hits if they had the same number of at bats. Even with the 90 less at bats, Drew has more 2Bs, HRs, RBIs, TBs, BBs, and one less triple than the speedster from the Land of the Rising Sun.
In conclusion, there should really be only 2 (maybe 3) Red Sox starting in this year's Midsummer's Classic.