The All-Star Game rosters are out, which for baseball fans means it's time to start arguing about who got in and who didn't. Here's my list of top snubs and runner-up snubs:
Who got in: Russell Martin (NL), Brian McCann (NL), Victor Martinez (AL), Pudge Rodriguez (AL), Jorge Posada (AL)
Top Snub: Kenji Johjima, Mariners
Runner-up Snub: Joe Mauer, Twins
Johjima and Mauer have similar numbers at the plate (117 park-adjusted OPS+ for Johjima, 126 for Mauer; OPS+ is an index whereby 100 is the average) and throwing runners out. The difference is simply in games played -- injuries have limited Mauer to only 49 games while Johjima has played in 65. Both of them are probably better options than AL starter Rodriguez, who has thrown out only nine runners in 39 attempts and is well into his third straight season of boycotting anything resembling a base on balls.
Who got in: Prince Fielder (NL), Albert Pujols (NL), Derrek Lee (NL), Dmitri Young (NL), David Ortiz (AL), Justin Morneau (AL)
Top snub: Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox
Runner-up snub: Carlos Pena, Devil Rays
The NL has four first basemen but no room for reigning MVP Ryan Howard. Go figure. Todd Helton and his .438 OBP and Youk with his .918 OPS get to stay home, too. Pena has the highest slugging percentage (.596) of any non-All-Star at the position.
Who got in: Chase Utley (NL), Orlando Hudson (NL), Freddy Sanchez (NL), Placido Polanco (AL), Brian Roberts (AL)
Top snub: Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
Runner-up snub: Kelly Johnson, Braves
Who thought anybody would be waving the Pedroia for All-Star flag a few weeks ago? Pedroia and Johnson both have OBPs hovering around the magic .400 while playing adequate defense. Glove work is why I can't endorse either Dan Uggla or B.J. Upton despite their gaudy offensive numbers.
Who got in: David Wright (NL), Miguel Cabrera (NL), Alex Rodriguez (AL), Mike Lowell (AL)
Top snub: Chipper Jones, Braves
Runner-up snub: Casey Blake, Indians
Jones has been nicked up but he's posted a 170 OPS+ in 250 plate appearances, so at least he's making it count when he does play. Blake has been the Indians' answer to the failed Andy Marte experiment and been nothing but a steady contributer. If not for missed time to injury Akinori Iwamura would be very deserving of a spot for his all-around brilliant play.
Who got in: Jose Reyes (NL), J.J. Hardy (NL), Derek Jeter (AL), Carlos Guillen (AL), Michael Young (AL)
Top snub: Orlando Cabrera, Angels
Runner-up snub: Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
Young does nothing for me on the AL roster. Sammy Sosa was more deserving to be the Rangers' lone representative. Cabrera is hitting .337 and playing his usual brand of outstanding defense (only four errors). Say, you think the Red Sox could use a guy like that? Edgar Renteria deserves mention as well, as does Jimmy Rollins, but none of them have as much of a case as Ramirez, who leads all shortstops in VORP.
Who got in: Barry Bonds (NL), Ken Griffey Jr. (NL), Carlos Beltran (NL), Alfonso Soriano (NL), Carlos Lee (NL), Aaron Rowand (NL), Matt Holliday (NL), Vladimir Guerrero (AL), Magglio Ordonez (AL), Ichiro Suzuki (AL), Carl Crawford (AL), Torii Hunter (AL), Manny Ramirez (AL), Grady Sizemore (AL), Alex Rios (AL)
Top snub: Curtis Granderson, Tigers
Runners-up snub: Gary Sheffield, Tigers; Eric Byrnes, Diamondbacks; Adam Dunn, Reds
Sheffield posted a 1.061 OPS from April 28 through June 29. Granderson hit 19 home runs in 2006, his first full season in the big leagues, and already has 11 this season. His combination of power at the plate and speed in that vast Comerica Park outfield is a huge reason why the Tigers are the defending AL champs and in the race again. Byrnes leads the D'backs in home runs (13) and steals (15). As for Dunn, it's hard for people to look past the strikeouts and appreciate how many runs he creates with his patience (39 walks) and power (23 homers).
This is going to get messy if we list all the pitchers, so let's just address the ones who did not get named to the teams and are not on the vote-in lists (which consist completely of pitchers in both leagues).
Top snub: Chad Gaudin, Athletics
Runners-up snub: Ian Snell, Pirates; Jeremy Guthrie, Orioles; John Maine, Mets
Gaudin has the fourth-best ERA+ in the AL at 147 among qualifiers. Just ask the Yankees how much fun it is to hit against him. Guthrie is second only to Dan Haren in ERA+ at 178, but he has not been in the rotation all season. Maine (150 ERA+) has been the Mets' top starter all season, and Snell has been slightly better than teammate Tom Gorzelanny, who got a spot on the fan vote-in ballot..