All Star countdown
As the 76th All Star game at Comerica Park approaches, there has been a lot of speculation as to how many Tigers may make the American League team. Manager Alan Trammell was selected to be a part of Terry Francona’s staff, but the Tigers again are looking to have multiple players named to the team for the second straight year. Last season Carlos Guillen and Pudge Rodriguez were named to the club, marking the first time since 1994 that the Tigers had more than the obligatory one player named to the team. Travis Fryman and Mickey Tettleton made the ’94 club, but can the Tigers get more than one player selected this year? What do you think?
The first name that comes to mind is Jeremy Bonderman. I think Bonderman has a terrific chance. Only Jon Garland (12) and Roy Halladay (10) have more wins than Jeremy (9). But the starters position is crowded with the above names along with Mark Buehrle, Bartolo Colon, Kenny Rogers, Cliff Lee and Matt Clement all deserving.
Pudge Rodriguez may have a shot. He has been hovering around .300 with a big month of June and while his power numbers may not be as impressive as those of Jorge Posada, his defense is better and I would take him over Joe Mauer. Of course, if Tigers fans would hit the boxes hard the last week or so and boost Pudge past Jason Varitek, it would be a moot point. Varitek at last check led by better then 300,000 votes.
Brandon Inge has had a marvelous season. Not only has he learned a new position at the big league level, but he has also had to learn the nuances of hitting leadoff. His season has been worthy of consideration, but with Alex Rodriguez running away with the vote, and Melvin Mora and Hank Blalock having good seasons with better power numbers, it may be tough for Inge to crack the list.
There has been some thought that Kyle Farnsworth should get some consideration even though he is not a closer. His numbers are very impressive, but non-closers like Jesse Crain, Arthur Rhodes and Cliff Pollitte all have a better ERA. I don’t think he gets the call, as it is tough for a relief pitcher that doesn’t close to be selected.
Carlos Guillen has a .355 average but has played in only 45 games, so it’s unlikely he will be selected.
One thing is certain, selecting the team is not an enviable task. Every season, there are deserving players that are shutout. This season will probably be no different. Part of the problem in the past had been Joe Torre’s penchant for selecting 9000 Yankees to the squad every year. It will be interesting to see how many Red Sox Terry Francona will select this year. While it is the managers prerogative to select as many of his players as he would like, it invariably shuts out some deserving players.
One other note, I just posted a couple of pictures from Minnesota, with other pictures from this trip in Arizona coming in a few days.