Picking the 2014 American League All-Stars

The All-Star Game isn’t for another 28 days, but with the voting in full swing and enough of the season under our belts, I figure it’s time to weigh in on how I’d fill out the roster if I were Grand Poobah and had the final say on all 34 players. I will note up front that I believe the All-Star Game is an annual affair, and we shouldn’t simply have the same collection of players every year just because those are the “true stars”.

The All-Star Game is best when it serves as both a platform for the game’s greatest players and recognition for those who have earned their way in. I will not be putting players on the roster who have not performed well in 2014, even if they are bonafide stars, with just one exception: people want the chance to honor Derek Jeter on a national stage, and an exhibition game is as good a place to do that as any.

We’ll start with the American League, with the NL to follow tomorrow. As a reminder, the rosters now comprise 34 players, which I’ll be splitting as 21 position players and 13 pitchers, as that has been the final tally for the game most of the last few years. And, yes, we’re honoring the rule requiring every team to be represented. I’ll list each player by the tier of how they got selected, then put the final roster down below. On to the picks.

The Game Would Be A Farce Without Them

These players are the epitome of All-Stars; great players having great seasons. I imagine there will be little disagreement about any of these 14 selections. It’s hard to imagine a reasonable case for excluding any of these players, assuming they stay healthy for the next few weeks anyway. Note: for pitchers, I’ve simply averaged their FIP-based WAR and RA9-based WAR, so the pitcher WAR listed below is a 50/50 hybrid of each.

Name Position WAR
Mike Trout OF 4.3
Alex Gordon OF 3.9
Josh Donaldson 3B 3.3
Jose Bautista OF 3.2
Miguel Cabrera 1B 2.5
Edwin Encarnacion DH 2.2
Robinson Cano 2B 1.7
Derek Jeter SS N/A
—– —– —–
Felix Hernandez SP 3.6
Yu Darvish SP 3.3
Masahiro Tanaka SP 3.3
Max Scherzer SP 2.5
Chris Sale SP 2.3
Koji Uehara RP 1.8
David Price SP 1.5

They’ve Earned It

You wouldn’t have necessarily pegged these guys as All-Stars headed into the season, but their 2014 performance has been so stellar that they have to be there. You might have a different line for how great a performance needs to be to overcome a lack of a track record, but these players should clear most people’s bar and get in based on their performance to date.

Name Position WAR
Michael Brantley OF 2.8
Brian Dozier 2B 2.7
Brandon Moss 1B 2.6
Nelson Cruz OF 2.5
Erick Aybar SS 2.3
Victor Martinez DH 2.2
Salvador Perez C 2.1
Lonnie Chisenhall 3B 2.0
—– —– —–
Dallas Keuchel SP 2.8
Scott Kazmir SP 2.7
Mark Buehrle SP 2.7
Dellin Betances RP 1.5
Greg Holland RP 1.3
Sean Doolittle RP 1.3

The Reserves

With 16 hitters on the roster, that leaves us five open spots to fill, so it’s time to start looking at where the holes are. The players listed below are having good campaigns, but aren’t necessarily slam-dunk picks. You could easily argue for others in these spaces, but these are the guys I chose to round out the roster and make sure the team has enough depth.

Name Position WAR
Adam Jones OF 2.6
Ian Kinsler 2B 2.2
Derek Norris C 1.8
Jose Abreu 1B 1.8
Xander Bogaerts SS 1.7

The Final Roster

Here are my 34 selections, with the starters listed first, and then the reserves below, sorted by position.


Starters Position WAR
Salvador Perez C 2.1
Miguel Cabrera 1B 2.5
Robinson Cano 2B 1.7
Derek Jeter SS N/A
Josh Donaldson 3B 3.3
Alex Gordon LF 3.9
Mike Trout CF 4.3
Jose Bautista RF 3.2
Edwin Encarnacion DH 2.2
Felix Hernandez SP 3.6
—– —– —–
Reserves Position WAR
Derek Norris C 1.8
Brandon Moss 1B 2.6
Jose Abreu 1B 1.8
Brian Dozier 2B 2.7
Erick Aybar SS 2.3
Xander Bogaerts SS 1.7
Lonnie Chisenhall 3B 2.0
Michael Brantley OF 2.8
Adam Jones OF 2.6
Nelson Cruz OF 2.5
Victor Martinez DH 2.2
Yu Darvish SP 3.3
Masahiro Tanaka SP 3.3
Max Scherzer SP 2.5
Chris Sale SP 2.3
Dallas Keuchel SP 2.8
Scott Kazmir SP 2.7
Mark Buehrle SP 2.7
David Price SP 1.5
Koji Uehara RP 1.8
Dellin Betances RP 1.5
Greg Holland RP 1.3
Sean Doolittle SP 1.3

And, finally, the starting line-up.

1. Mike Trout, CF
2. Robinson Cano, 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. Jose Bautista, RF
5. Edwin Encarnacion, DH
6. Alex Gordon, LF
7. Josh Donaldson, 3B
8. Salvador Perez, C
9. Derek Jeter, SS

Based on both career track record and 2014 performance, this is how I’d fill out the AL All-Star roster. There are a lot of great players who didn’t make the cut, and there are certainly judgment calls here that could have gone another direction, but overall, I think this is a pretty good set of players who would represent the American League quite well.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


202 Responses to “Picking the 2014 American League All-Stars”

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  1. Cespedes or Death says:

    Sean Doolittle RP*, not SP

    Sean Doolittle also BA MF.

    +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. adam k says:

    one note, you have miggy at 3b instead of 1b in your lineup

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  3. Jaker says:

    Jeter? Is that a joke?

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    • Aaron says:

      He’s going to be there and he’s going to start. Might as well accept it. I have no problem with it, it’s a career achievement award.

      +15 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Puig's Translator says:

      I have to agree that Jeter does not belong. It is not that big of a deal, except where does it stop? He has been winning bogus gold gloves for years when he is clearly not the best defender. We can honor his amazing career without giving him an All Star trip this year. My biggest issue is that like the gold glove, it steals the award/all star appearance from a more deserving player.

      +17 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chronicles of Reddicks Beard says:

        Fighting windmills!!!!!

        +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Shao says:

        Well, people already honor him by taking away two MVP that should have been belonged to him, 1998 and 2006.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          1999, not 1998.

          He was only excellent in 1998, not otherworldly.

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        • Los says:

          Pedro’s 1999 season says hello.

          +22 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Yeah, that was fucking nuts, but people didn’t really vote for pitchers to win the MVP at that point.

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        • JayT says:

          I’ve never understood why so many people think Jeter got screwed on the 2006 MVP voting. I mean, sure Morneau didn’t deserve it, but Santana, Mauer, and Sizemore were all more deserving than Jeter.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Yeah, that makes no sense to me.

          I can understand going with Jeter over Mauer, (0.1 difference in WAR, Jeter is Jeter), but Sizemore was just hands-down better.

          Maybe it’s the “playoffs!” argument? I don’t know.

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      • vivalajeter says:

        It’s not like he’s taking the spot away from a mid-90’s Arod, or a mid-00’s Reyes or Ramirez. I wouldn’t be surprised if every SS in the AL finishes with under 4 WAR this year.

        Aybar is deserving, but he’ll be in the game either way.

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      • Eminor3rd says:

        Lol. That’s a good question: where DOES it end? I guess the answer is “next year.” He just gets every award by default every year until 2015.

        Because, by golly, he could hit. And he was an “ambassador for the game.”

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      • Seth says:

        “…except where does it stop?”

        It stops right here. This is it. He’s not winning a Gold Glove award. He’s retiring. So this is where it stops.

        +22 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • RMD says:

        My list of injustices:

        1)The Gold Glove voters looking only at Fielding%

        2)EVarything else!!!

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      • WAR-slave says:

        It doesn’t really end here though. He has a career 74 WAR and he’s one of the best SS ever, so he deserves the HOF, but he’ll get in on his first year with near 100% of the vote, while arguably better players or at least near equals are still on the outside looking in. Such as Ron Santo, Bagwell, Raines and a few others. Hopefully those will get corrected as best they can by the time Jeter appears on the ballot though…

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        • Puig's Translator says:

          My buddy is a part time baseball fan, full-time Jeter Nut-Hugger, and he just made a great point. NL fans should be glad the AL is starting a horrible shortstop, cause we are more likely to win. Thanks Scooter!

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        • tstack01 says:

          Santo got in

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Santo’s in, Bagwell is only not in yet because of stupid steroid speculation, and Raines is worse than Jeter (and a no-doubt Hall of Famer).

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Yilan Dai says:

          Adrian Beltre has a higher bWAR than Jeter.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Cool? If you count A-Rod as a 3B, they’re each 9th on the career WAR list for their positions, and while everyone ahead of Beltre on the 3B list played post-Integration, two of the guys ahead of Jeter (Bill Dahlen and George Davis) played the majority of their careers pre-World Series, and three more (Appling, Wagner and Vaughan) played their entire or almost their entire careers pre-Integration.

          Jeter is the 4th or 5th best SS of the Integration Era by bWAR, while Beltre is the 8th or 9th best 3B, depending on how you categorize Alex Rodriguez. Beltre needs 12 more WAR to pass Chipper and be as good of a 3B as Derek Jeter was an SS.

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      • Bdiatribes says:

        Jeter’s gonna be in, we might as well accept it. Assuming that the intent is to honor his career, what’s the best way to set the lineup to do that? I wouldn’t hit him 9th; i would hit him leadoff and then pull him once he gets his second AB like in the third inning. Let him go out to the field to warm up after his AB and then replace him before the inning starts and let him have a moment as he walks off. Then after he leaves, go try and win the game.

        If the intent is to let him play all 9 innings, hitting 9th seems fine. But I like the leadoff / pull early option better.

        +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • gilstrap says:

      No… Dave addressed Jeter at the beginning of the artice.

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      • Jaker says:

        Who cares about people wanting to honor him? Who wants to honor him? This article is about how Dave would fill out the roster. He bases every one of his picks on WAR and then throws in Jeter. The man has been honored enough and is now barely above a replacement level player. Enough is enough. There are other more deserving players who’d surely love to attend.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Everyone fucking wants to honor him. That’s the entire point of Dave’s first paragraph. He’s going to be starting the All Star Game, because he’s one of the 5 or 6 best shortstops to ever play the game, and it’s his last year.

          No AL shortstop (not even TEH Bogaerts!) is playing well enough that they should be starting over one of the greatest shortstops of all time in an exhibition game designed for the fans.

          +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Boris Chinchilla says:

          Don’t include me in “EVERYONE”

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        • Doug Lampert says:

          If he were basing every pick on WAR he’d have Lester rather than David Price. Lester is better in WAR by both RA-WAR and fWAR. He’s presenting WAR for them, but it’s hardly the only thing he’s using.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Jaker says:

          Well not everyone wants to honor him. And Aybar has been in the league a long time and is putting together a pretty nice season, on pace for a personal best, and his 3rd >3.5 WAR season in the last 4 years. He’d have my vote.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Aybar really isn’t doing anything special, though. He’s just having a normal, good-not-great Erick Aybar year.

          And Cameron has Aybar on the roster, so it’s pretty hard to say he’s being snubbed.

          No one’s being robbed by letting Jeter start his last All-Star game. It’s just a nice gesture to an all-time great.

          Doug, Price is the Rays’ only representative, so he’s forced onto the roster.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • JamesDaBear says:

          Gesture or no gesture… he’s starting the game. Maybe everyone doesn’t want to honor him, but enough people do to overwhelm the objections, and I have no problem with Dave respecting that as well.

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    • Shawn Young says:

      Yeah, it’s a joke, but he’s a geriatric Yankee so we’re stuck with him. If anything, it cheapens stuff for those who earned it like Mariano Rivera.

      -7 Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Urbanman says:

    As usual, Dave leans bias towards the guys he predicted to play well and away from those he thought would have a bad season. What a joke!

    -28 Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Stringer Bell says:

    Why Edwin over Victor? You can’t go purely on WAR when it factors in defense for DH. Victor has the superior offensive stats in a stadium that isn’t a home run paradise.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dave Cameron says:

      Encarnacion has been doing this for three years, Martinez a few months. When it’s close, default to the guy with the track record.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Stringer Bell says:

        It’s really not all that close. 5th in wOBA to 14th. Same difference between the two as it is between Edwin and Todd Frazier.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Brian says:

        And yet, there’s Betances over Perkins and Soria. And that’s REALLY him only doing it for a few months. only 7.2 innings pitched prior to 2014.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Bo Jackson says:

          The divergence seems much bigger between Betances and Perkins than that betwixt E5 and VMart.

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        • Junior Amaro Reuben Sandwich says:

          Betances does have 10 more K’s than Buehrle.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Grant says:

          Bo knows Calculus!

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Jason B says:

          Subtraction =/= calculus, but I do give Bo bonus points for using “betwixt”.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Grant says:

          He used the word divergence. Since it’s Bo Jackson, I gave him the benefit of the doubt!

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Jason B says:

          That’s fair. It was through Bo that I learned that Super Tecmo Bowl could not record more rushing yards than 4,095. He literally maxed the game out. (Who knew that they would need one more binary placeholder so that you could then have up to 8,191 rushing yards? BO KNOWS.)

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Roto Wizard says:

        That doesn’t even make sense in this instance Dave. V-Mart has a higher career wOBA in nearly 1k more PA’s than Edwin. So who’s been doing it longer? I could really go on and on.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Puig's Translator says:

      Victor does have slightly better stats but it is close. I think it is silly to vote when there is still another month of games to play before the All Star Break.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Tim says:

    Felix as your starter I am guessing? I would argue Sale.

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    • Logan Davis says:

      Nah. Sale has better K and BB rate stats, but Felix has his crazy ground balls. You could point to Felix’s HR rate as a source of coming regression, but his HR rate has historically been quite good (and Sale’s got that .200 BABIP). It’s close on Value/IP, but the IP will probably swing it for Felix.

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      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        Or you could go with the guy leading the MLB (and the AL) in RA9-WAR while playing in a tiny park with an atrocious infield defense.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tim says:

        Yeah, the RA9-WAR was my point. He has been the most dominant pitcher in baseball.

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  7. William says:

    How is Jon Lester not on here? him over david price any day.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

      Price has one more K/9 and a third as many BB/9.

      Also, Tampa needs a representative, and he’s the only one qualified.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • redsoxu571 says:

      Not that it’s a big deal either way, but people will always forget that Lester pitches in LHP hell-zone Fenway Park. Think about what his and Price’s numbers would look like if they flipped teams.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Los says:

    While Alex Gordon should get in, I would hardly call it a Farce without him. He has earned it but not to the degree stated here.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Shauncore says:

      What do you want to go by?

      Past years? He’s already been an All-Star. Won 3 straight gold gloves, and got some MVP votes along the way. Has been worth nearly 20 wins over the past 4 years including this year or 5 wins a year.

      This year? He’s the best AL outfielder not named Mike Trout and he’s the 3rd best OF in baseball and just 0.1 WAR behind Stanton. He’s been the best defender at any position in baseball by a good margin, and he’s one of the Top 15 hitters in the AL by wRC+.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jason B says:

      His WAR is propped up by some otherworldly defensive numbers. He’s been a consistently good defender, but his YTD defensive stats are eye-popping.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Los says:

        And probably overstated by a good amount.

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        • ecp says:

          Where do you get that? If his numbers are overstated, by definition so are everybody else’s.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Los says:

          No matter how many times the creator of UZR states that UZR does not measure what happens in a single season people still treat it like gospel. I am one of the biggest proponents of UZR but let’s not pretend that anyone performs at 43 runs saved for a season.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • a eskpert says:

          43 runs a season seems quite reasonable to me, provided it’s a peak season by an all time great defender – OZ, Vizquel, Brooks Robinson etc. A good offensive season might be 20 batting runs above average. A good defensive season – 10. The best seasons ever are about 4 times those figures (stupid way of looking at it, but it provides some context). Also, while UZR isn’t gospel, neither is the opposing assertion (sometimes implicit) that defensive play is stable. It isn’t. Players have good years, bad years, and great years defensively.

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        • Sam says:

          You are getting so caught up on questioning the accuracy of defensive metrics that you’re missing the forrest through the trees here. Regardless of whether Gordon’s defensive metrics are inflated or not, how does that make him anything other than a no-doubt All-Star?

          He’s won GG’s each the last 3 years, and if you simply compare the defensive metrics used to value his GG seasons with those very same metrics for 2014, it’s clear he’s having his best defensive season of all….by far. Once again, the valuation components are constant from year to year – whether they are inflated is completely irrelevant if you’re comparing years straight up.

          Even putting the defensive metrics aside, surely you can’t deny that he’s been one of the best, if not the best, defensive OF’s in the game this year, can you? It’s not like the eye test and the metrics conflict…they’re telling the same story. Discredit his defensive output all you want, does that really change things at all? He’s sporting a 130 wRC+ and is on pace for 4.5 oWAR alone!

          –Gordon deserves to start in the ASG, especially after getting royally snubbed in both ’11 and ’12…should have been a no-brainer in those years as well…

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Los says:

          I never said that defensive play was stable. It clearly isn’t. Players just don’t have the required opportunities to be 40 RUNS better than AVERAGE in the field. He could be 40 runs better than Morse but not average.

          Also, why should we believe that offense and defense have similar distributions (i.e. the best seasons are 4X good seasons).

          For what it is worth, my starting outfield is Trout in Center, Bautista is Right, and Gordon in Left. Do I think replacing Gordon in Left with Brantley would make the game a farce? No. Gordon has earned it but he is clearly (IMAO) a tier below Bautista (and two tiers below Trout).

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Sam says:

          I can’t really argue with that. Trout’s clearly a tier above everyone…maybe two tiers, and Bautista’s elite in his own right. Actually quite interesting to note the similarities between Bautista and Gordon.
          -Both derive a significant amount of their defensive value from their cannon-arms, although Gordon’s similarly impressive range has helped push him into GG territory.
          -Both were age-curve outliers – late bloomers who didn’t become elite – or even average for that matter – until they were 27 or 28.
          -Both were actually in the Royals’ system early in their careers. Imagine if KC had kept both around instead of parting ways with Bautista..what an OF combo that would have been!
          -Both have similar WAR totals over the past 4 years, with Gordon actually holding a slight edge – though Bautista is a couple years older.

          Two players I really enjoy watching play.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Hobbes says:

    As an A’s fan I would like to Cespedes in there. I can’t argue and I can’t see anyone in the outfield that is not deserving and it is not like Oakland is not represented. I guess I can just hope that while he is not batting in the HRD he is out shagging flys with the kids, mishandling them, then throwing strikes to home plate.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • dlk1100 says:

      I’m with you, but even more forcefully. There are some better outfielders, but few more exciting. He earned his way on with the two throws last week, and his HRD win last year. I really hope he gets voted in.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. BJ Birdie says:

    No Kluber?

    +28 Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Notorious DAD says:

    I would have to go Seager over Chisenhall mainly because of Chisenhall’s inflated BABIP. There is little chance he maintains that for a continued length of time. Of course it could just be my teal colored glasses.

    -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • AC says:

      And if not Chisenhall, then he probably deserves it more than a third SS. Like it or not, Jeter plays most of the game. Give Seager some love!

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Westside guy says:

      I’d hazard to guess the average All-Star ballot voter probably can’t spell BABIP, let alone factor it into their decisions.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

      It’s a reward for performance as such, not for the sustainability of said performance.

      And the performances have not been close, at all (I don’t think a third of a season’s worth of UZR is worth considering).

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • skippyballer486 says:

        “It’s a reward for performance as such, not for the sustainability of said performance.”

        “(I don’t think a third of a season’s worth of UZR is worth considering).”

        These two things are completely at odds.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          No, they are not. Chisenhall’s batting line represents exactly what happened on the field.

          Chisenhall’s UZR represents what a third of a season of a highly unstable model thinks happened on the field.

          UZR may be the best thing we have to measure defense, but let’s not pretend that it even approaches wRAA as an account of what happened on the field.

          Unless you genuinely believe that Derek Jeter has been better defensively than Jose Reyes, Adeiny Hechavarria and Yunel Escobar this season, and that Jed Lowrie has been more valuable than Elvis Andrus.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dunx says:

      Nah, the All-Star game is a reward for performance. His BABIP is absolutely unsustainable, but that doesn’t mean those extra hits don’t count. He’s been one of the best offensive players in baseball so far, he probably deserves to get in.

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    • Fred says:

      Seager’s been streaky. It’s not clear-cut.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. Angelsjunky says:

    Why no Garret Richards? He has a 2.5 WAR and 2.4 RA9-WAR, so certainly he at least deserves a mention in the “they’ve earned it” category.

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Will says:

    Alexei Ramirez?

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  14. I don't care what anyone says:

    So N/A is an abbreviation for 0.5?

    You learn something new every day.

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    • Dave K says:

      Or it’s an abbreviation for “it doesn’t matter.”

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    • hefe says:

      Only when Jeter is involved. You have to censor his stats if they fall below certain levels. His career UZR, for instance, is also NA.

      +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        His career UZR/150 is -6.7, actually. That’s more than playable at SS, as evidenced by his “Defense” total of 4.5 since UZR’s introduction.

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        • hefe says:

          That (what I said) was a joke, but he was a poor defender for a shortstop. It’s OK, I’m not denying his status as an all-time great player; you don’t have to get defensive.

          I don’t understand why he got the “NA” treatment either. NA means not applicable, whereas Jeter clearly does have a WAR, and a not very good one at that. Perhaps Dave meant that Jeter’s WAR is not useful in determining his worthiness for an ASG, which is more defensible (“NU”).

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    • Russ Adams says:

      It’s an abbreviation for Not Applicable, because it wouldn’t matter if he had +5 WAR or -5 WAR, he’s going to be starting.

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  15. Brian says:

    I agree with every selection Dave picked for both starters and reserves and I agree with his reasoning for each.

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    • Spit Ball says:

      Of course you do. Listen, this team is as good as any up to this point, but their are some close calls. Stop brownnosing and offer something other than a clone response to the discussion.

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  16. Jason Kates says:

    Jose Altuve needs a spot.

    +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • AynRand'ssocialsecurity# says:

      seconded.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Michael says:

      Farce without Price? You don’t have Phil Hughes on here at all.

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    • Ivan Grushenko says:

      I’d have picked him over Keuchel. He can at least pinch run or something and help the team win. I wouldn’t want Keuchel pitching to an all-star lineup when “It Counts”. They can subtract Chisenhall and add Kluber. But on the whole Dave’s team is easily defensible.

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  17. Marco says:

    Kluber?

    +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. Paul says:

    1/ Rank the players using WAR
    2/ Fill the roster according to WAR
    3/ Write the article, saying basically WAR rules so I use it for pretty much everything I write about

    I guess being a baseball writer is not too difficult sometimes

    -22 Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. jerry60555 says:

    Hey Dave,Sean Doolittle is a RP,but you wrote SP in the last spot.

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  20. jerry60555 says:

    WAR can help us choose the better answer,so I agree what Dave’s pick

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  21. Lefty says:

    Hybrid of RA9 and WAR? Annual event but edge goes to track record? Jeter because “people” want to see him? Not a very consistent ballot.

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  22. Matt says:

    If you’re basing it on this year’s performance and not reputation/past performance, I think you could argue that Kinsler and Cano are close enough that it doesn’t matter who starts.

    But if that’s truly the basis of your selections then Dozier should be the starter at 2B. He has outplayed Cano in all phases of the game: hitting, defense, and baserunning.

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  23. redsoxu571 says:

    Considering that Encarnacion is not a DH, and that you said you’ve factored in some amount of career performance, you can’t really leave David Ortiz off this team. He’s not up to his usual standards, but he’s been reasonably good and is among the AL leaders in home runs, so that’s enough performance for the greatest DH of this generation to justify a spot. You certainly can’t place boring ol’ Jeter on there and leave off the guy who always makes the HR Derby and ASG a lot of fun with his hugs and such.

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  24. KCDaveInLA says:

    Reality: Yankees and Red Sox in starting lineup, reserves are the players that John Farrell wants to piss off the least and tokens from the lesser market teams. Thanks and drive home safe.

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  25. John says:

    I don’t quite get Chisenhall as the choice over Longoria, Beltre and/or Seager. Dave, what am I missing? Seems like in this case you are choosing a small sample size (including one amazing game) over years of production/stardom….

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    • Jason B says:

      Longoria is simply not having a very good season. If you’re going to let them totally ride on past glories, may as well call in Pedro and Maddux. (I’d watch that!)

      Yes, Jeter is riding in on past glories, but his is a victory lap. Methinks Longoria will make another ASG or three before he’s finished.

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    • Ivan Grushenko says:

      Ya I’d take Longoria as well. Abreu is bumpable. Also why do we need 13 pitchers? Is that a rule or something?

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  26. Robert Hombre says:

    Interesting fact: Greg Maddux didn’t make his farewell season’s all-star game.

    Jeter’s a genuinely great offensive player, and an all-time great offensive shortstop. No denying: them’s the facts.

    But that’s what the hall’s for. He’ll challenge for a unanimous selection. No need to turn the All-Star game into another incestuous presentation ceremony for the Commissioner’s Achievement in Derek Jeter Award. That’s what it’s going to be, of course, but it’s silly.

    Regardless of the joweled solemnity with which one mutters ‘respect the greats,’ there’s not a substantial difference between this and starting Greg Maddux in 2008. Except, of course, Maddux didn’t start the all-star game, despite the fact that Maddux was substantially better in 2008 than Jeter is now.

    I wonder what the difference was between the two.

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    • Umpire Weekend says:

      Gift baskets.

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    • Los says:

      He won’t challenge a unanimous selection.

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      • Robert Hombre says:

        Maybe not; it doesn’t really matter one way or another. Point being, Jeter was good, and everyone recognizes it.

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    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

      Maddux didn’t announce his retirement before the season, so whether or not he made the All-Star team has nothing to do with Derek Jeter making it this year.

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      • Robert Hombre says:

        Alright, then. Fair point. I’ll grant the inconsistency of the Maddux point, so long as you’re internally consistent on this point – i.e.: so long as you were fine with Chipper and Ripken’s farewells, and so long as you condemned Jeter leading the votes in 2013, before he was pulled from the ballot.

        None of these points are directly relevant to 2014 Jeter, only to the internal consistency of the stance that no-doubt hall-of-famers deserve a farewell ASG after they’ve announced they’re retiring after the season. It’s an internally consistent stance with precedent, the logic of which I don’t take massive issue with.

        I disagree with the premises of it, but arguing premises is way too time-consuming for the comments section of an article. So I’ll live and let live. Have a good one, CLS.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          By all means, disagree with the premise, I’m just taking issue with the example you used.

          But essentially, I don’t think who starts the All Star Game matters that much, so Ripken, Chipper, Mo and Jeter deserved it as a lifetime achievement thing.

          If Pujols announces his retirement pre-season at some point, I’ll vote for him, too. Same for Miggy, and Utley, and Papi (even if I don’t think he’s a Hall of Famer, he is an all-time great at DH).

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        • Sam says:

          While Chipper probably was voted to the ASG in ’12 mostly b/c of his “farewell tour,” it doesn’t feel right to lump him together with Jeter and Ripken here. Jeter and Ripken’s ASG criticism (while I don’t agree with it) exists b/c they were/are performing at a far-below ASG level when they got their “farewell” inclusion, thus preventing a more deserving candidate from attending.

          Chipper was actually performing at a high level during his final year – batting .318/.381/.480 at the break – so given that his numbers alone were at least reasonably deserving of the ASG, I hesitate to view his ASG send-off through the same lens.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          I agree, but I also think that Chipper was going to start the ASG if he was hitting, say, .277/.330/.325, or .240/.270/.324

          And that would have been exactly the right thing to do.

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        • Sam says:

          Interesting fact about Chipper’s 2012 ASG send off that I’d forgotten, but remembered when I read your reply. (IMO, it really shows the big market vs. smaller market effect – just how significant the popularity gap can be between two very similar players playing in different settings, and how national popularity can truly dominate ASG voting.)

          When I say “very similar,” I refer to the fact that both Chipper and Jeter are:
          -Considered amongst the best to ever play their respective positions,
          -both will be 1st ballot HOFers,
          -both were well-liked/respected by the media and fans in general,
          -both came to symbolize the single franchise player as it became exceedingly rare,
          -both won MVP’s or were close regularly,
          -both were champions, (Jeter obviously won many more, but Chipper still lead his team to many WS/postseason appearances and was the face of an amazing Atlanta run of franchise success)
          ….and so on and so forth.

          It amazes me that, upon looking back to 2012, Chipper was actually NOT voted into the ASG by the fans at all! He was out-voted by three other 3rd Basemen (Sandoval, Wright, Freese), and officially earned inclusion by replacing the injured Matt Kemp, and his participation was limited to a pinch hit single in the 6th inning. –Granted, he would have won the final roster spot online ballot if he hadn’t replaced Kemp, but still… It shocks me that he was pretty much given next-to-no “farewell” ballot support by the fans whatsoever. This is especially hard to believe given the massive voting support seen now for Jeter.

          Just something I found interesting…

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Jeez, that’s an abomination.

          I’m just glad “we” are doing it right this time.

          Although that does remind me of a great Onion article: http://www.theonion.com/articles/nation-dumbfounded-as-to-why-littleleaguers-favori,2716/

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        • Sam says:

          Very interesting article…actually quite relatable for me. Like many other midwestern kids with no geographic loyalties growing up, I became a Braves fan due to their mid-late 90’s national exposure on TBS….it gave them a significant national following that still exists to this day.

          Just like the kid mentioned, I had a father who idolized Mickey Mantle growing up, so I naturally idolized Jones – also an injury-prone switch hitter – who I’d hoped at the time would be my generation’s equivalent to The Mick. Of course Jones’ father had also idolized Mantle, thus he taught his son to switch hit, and the rest is history! Fascinating how the two players are intertwined.

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    • Plucky says:

      A more apt comparison is Ripken. He was put on about 4 or 5 AS teams he had no business on, objectively speaking, including his final age-40 season where he slashed .239/.276/.361 . That he didn’t objectively deserve to be there was utterly irrelevant- he was a beloved player and after he’d earned his way onto 10 AS teams it just wouldn’t have felt like a real AS game without him

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      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        Yup.

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      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        Ripken started at 3rd over Koskie, Chavez and Glaus in 2001, and A-Rod even let him play short in the first inning.

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      • hefe says:

        two wrongs do not a right make.
        Let’s put away the lifetime achievement award stuff for the Hall of Fame–which IS A LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. The all-star game is for people who play well in a given year, which Jeter–sadly–is not.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Who says it’s for playing well in a given year, though?

          If it was, would every team have a representative each year?

          The All Star Game is, at its core, about providing a showcase for and honoring the great baseball players from around the league. Letting Jeter (or Ripken, or whoever’s next) start fits with that mission.

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        • nd says:

          CLS, I agree with basically everything you have said on this chain. But if this is the spirit of the game, why the hell are we letting it determine home field in the World Series?

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Because the owners are stupid.

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      • dougiejays says:

        Ripken absolutely didn’t deserve to be on that 2001 team, and probably should have only made one or two teams in the last decade of his career. He was a totally marginal player at that point.

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  27. Nick says:

    They frequently carry 3 catchers on all star teams, and I don’t imagine Victor Martinez will be strapping on the pads for this one. Who do you think would be the 3rd catcher? Gomes, McCann, Suzuki? do we live in a world where Kurt Suzuki actually should be in an all star conversation?

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  28. Luke says:

    Can we lean a bit toward FIP-WAR on Corey Kluber, knowing that the Indians’ defense sucks, and sub him in for Mark Buehrle?

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    • a eskpert says:

      As a blue jays fan, I would be heartily in favour of kicking Mr. Average for Mr. Unperturbable.

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    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

      Sure, but if you do that you have to lean on RA9-WAR for Buehrle, since we have a 3000 inning sample size establishing that he should be expected to outperform his FIP.

      Buerhle’s BABIP this year is actually right in line with his career totals. He’s only “overperforming” in LOB% and HR/FB%.

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      • a eskpert says:

        Exactly. He pitches to a lower ERA than his DI peripherals would predict, but not nearly this much.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Eh, he’s done this before, and he’s got a career high IFFB%. It’s unsustainable, sure, but give the guy the All Star Game.

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        • Luke says:

          No, Buehrle has not done *this* before. Some good years, yes, and plenty of FIP outperformance, but nothing that comes close to what he’s doing this year.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          You’re right, this is a .2 higher differential than his previous best.

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  29. Bryan says:

    Based on results over the past calendar year, my starting nine were the same, with the exception of shortstop, where I went with a living player:

    http://replacementlevel.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/a-2014-all-star-ballot/

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  30. Mike Green says:

    Pete Rose was not an All-Star in his final year. Maybe there is an explanation for this injustice, but I’ve forgotten. Could it have been because the voters just decided that he was lousy by the time he was 45?

    Derek Jeter is a Hall of Famer, but honouring him by voting him into the starting lineup is silly. If you want to make a spot for him on the bench, fine.

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    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

      Jesus, there are like 30 comments to this effect.

      Pete Rose making or not making the All-Star team has nothing to do with Jeter making or not making the All-Star team, because Pete Rose did not announce his pending retirement before the start of the 1986 season.

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      • hefe says:

        and how is that a magic ticket to an all-star game?
        And where does it stop–do we give ASG’s to only the all-time greats? What about the near-all-time-greats? What about the really great guys who are borderline HOFers?

        Hey, I have an idea. We could just give ASG spots to players who are playing really well this year, irrespective of their impending retirements or prior accomplishments.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Because it’s the All Star Game, not the “Playing Really Well This Year Game.”

          And by all means, give borderline HOFers the start if they announce their retirement before the season. David Ortiz should get an ASG start in 2015 if he announces his retirement before the season. So should Chase Utley and Adrian Beltre, regardless of how well they’re playing at the time.

          At the end of the day, the point of the ASG is to celebrate the great players in baseball. Giving one of the best players ever to play a curtain call in no way conflicts with that goal.

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    • KCDaveInLA says:

      Does it turn anyone else’s stomach when these players set up thier own victory lap by announcing they’re retiring at the end of next season? I guess the limelight is addictive.

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      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        Yeah, it’s weird.

        Blame Chipper.

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        • Sam says:

          I can see how it looks self-serving, and who knows, it probably is for some guys. However, even the most humble player of that caliber (1st ballot HOF) realizes that fans are going to appreciate the certainty of knowing when their last chance to see someone like that in person will be so they can experience it first hand if they choose.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Yeah, I really need to make that pilgrimage to YS3. I didn’t see Mo’s last year, and Jeter’s was the first jersey I ever owned.

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  31. BenRevereDoesSteroids says:

    Maybe I wouldn’t mind Jeter being in the game if it wasn’t for the fact that the game is suppose to count nowadays. If you are going to make the All-Star game determine home field advantage in the World Series, then you should NOT use it to honor over the hill players who are not currently playing at an All-Star level.

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  32. Joe says:

    I think it would be better to bring Jeter in at the end of the game. Then he can kinda get a seperate intro from the starters.

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  33. Jim says:

    Surprised Dave didn’t try to somehow include Wil Myers. He is after all the second coming of Mickey Mantle.

    I guess he can’t do that right now while the Royals are the hottest team in baseball especially since he left Wade Davis off his team.

    By the way how are the Rays stacking up to the Royals this year. How are Odirizzi and Myers stacking up to Shields and Davis?

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    • a eskpert says:

      Wil Myers =/= Mickey Mantle. Yasiel Puig, Mike Trout = Mickey Mantle.

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      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        I think of Trout as more of a Willie Mays type.

        Harper, if he can fucking stay healthy, is Mickey Mantle.

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        • Ivan Grushenko says:

          Harper is Babe Ruth…or Pete Reiser, depending on whether he can stay healthy…and pitch.

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        • a eskpert says:

          Trout’s offensive profile is different. Willie Mays didn’t walk a ton, he didn’t often hit for fantastic average, and (as yet) seems to have had more power than Trout.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Mays hit .302 for his career, and .345 in his third season, and walked more than he struck out over his career.

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  34. Dwezilwoffa says:

    So from reading the comments I have gathered that if you are a HOF caliber player, let everyone know your retiring so you can get a pity placement onto your final all star team.

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    • bookbook says:

      Most HOFers get pity placements onto their last two or three all-star teams if you’re looking purely at quality of play in the current year. If the game were meant to honor just the best players of that year, the All-Star game would have to come at the end of the season.

      Personally, just because it may not happen again, I’d love to see Seager get an all-star spot.

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      • Ivan Grushenko says:

        No they don’t. Adrian Beltre isn’t getting one. Neither is Chase Utley. Nor Carlos Beltran. Nor David Wright.

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      • dougiejays says:

        Why wouldn’t you think Seager will earn his way onto another one? He’s still only 26 and he started this year off terribly.

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  35. david says:

    jeter saw what mo did and thought,” hey, people say nice things about you when they know you’re leaving, and they also give you a bunch of gifts and tributes. it’s like a funeral except you get to go on living.”

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  36. ErnestoSalvaderi says:

    Did Cal Ripken Jr have as many haters as Jeter does?

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    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

      No. Ripken’s Orioles only made the postseason 3 times in his career. There was never any reason to hate him.

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      • Mike Green says:

        I don’t hate Jeter. He’s just a Hall of Famer- not an inner circle guy like Morgan or Schmidt or Rickey Henderson. And I don’t mind if the Manager adds him to the roster so he gets to wave to the fans. That he is voted on to the roster is a reflection of hype.

        Brooks Robinson would have been a similar player in overall quality. He had made the All-Star team 15 straight seasons, and had been a key part of the Oriole juggernaut. In 1975, he was done offensively but actually still contributed something with the glove. The fans rightfully didn’t vote him on (and surprisingly the Manager didn’t add him).

        It’s not about Jeter; it’s a rejection of hype.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Did Brooks Robinson announce his retirement before the 1975 All-Star Game?

          No, he didn’t, so your comparison means absolutely nothing.

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        • Joe says:

          Im sorry but jeter isn’t hovering around the mendoza line as brooks was.

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  37. Mack says:

    Only quibble here is Betances over Soria. Soria’s a former All-Star who’s having his best season ever from a peripheral standpoint. He’s 0.2 fWAR short of Betances despite having pitched 13.2 fewer innings. And he’s got that slow curve…

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    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

      But Betances has those 13 more innings in only 3 more games.

      Being a multi-inning reliever has value.

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  38. Spit Ball says:

    I agree with the Jeter pick for the reasons you mentioned. He’s Cal Ripken like. I would bat him second behind Trout to make sure he gets a couple at bats. It also seems like sacrilege to bat him ninth and I’m a Red Sox Fan. Besides that, well done. Their could be minor quibbles based on preference…..but why do that.

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  39. Spit Ball says:

    Is their a rule where a catcher can be removed for his backup and reinserted in the case of injury should the backup get injured? I thought I remembered some noise about that after that tied All Star game. If not I would make three catchers necessary in case any injury happened to the second stringer. The third catcher would have to remain a spectator unless the second stringer got injured. I really do not want to watch Kinsler strap on the tools of ignorance.

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  40. MK says:

    If Yuniesky Betancourt didn’t get the farewell tour all-star nod last year, then I say no to Jeter. And to those who say that he didn’t announce it, I refer you to his player page; he tried to tell us, but the words wouldn’t come out.

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  41. Tommy John says:

    No love for Garrett Richards?

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  42. ballfour says:

    WAR is useful, but not an answer key. I know, it’s not overtly said, but it sure seems like it’s implied.

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  43. pft says:

    If the game is supposed to be more than an exhibition game where winning is important, Jeters being on the team is a joke, at least as a starter.

    I understand the rationale for him starting, it is just an exhibition game, and he is a HOF’er in his last season. Maybe he gets one of his patented bloops or IF hits and helps the AL win, maybe not, but who cares, its all a show. Go Jete!

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  44. Ozzie Guillen says:

    And what is the argument for Bogaerts over Alexei? Not a fan of Alexei’s superior home run numbers, batting average, stolen bases, or defense? Or maybe because his BABIP is closer to his average, which is 35 points higher. Alexei is the 2nd best SS in the AL this year, yet he doesn’t get a top 3 spot in the ASG….hmm…

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  45. Yilan Dai says:

    I wonder since the game is not a full-exhibition (deciding WS homefield) like 2001, is the NL Starting Pitcher still going to groove Jeter with a meatball like Chan Ho Park did with Ripken back then?

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  46. Sam says:

    There needs to be a way to honor “farewell tour” players such as Jeter without forcing his team to suffer from a less-than-deserving performance on the field, especially since the game means something now. I’m thinking an “Honorary Captain” designation could be the perfect solution in such cases…let him on the team, but don’t take a roster spot that another SS deserves as a result. The “HC” could still sign autographs for the kiddos, give a rousing pre-game speech to the fellas, throw out the first pitch, present his team’s lineup card, and maybe even be available for PH duties if the manager feels comfortable doing so. Hell, he could even participate in some between-inning shenanigans…maybe lead “take me out to the ballgame.” …just spitballing here ;)

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  47. whiterasta80 says:

    Lol at “Bryce harper=Mantle if he could only stay healthy”.

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    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

      Obviously Mantle’s age-19 season wasn’t at Harper’s level, but I’m trying not to get too carried away, here.

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  48. Wobatus says:

    Alright, 7 of these guys are on my…I mean, I really like 7 of these players Dave has on his all-star team.

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  49. A different Mike says:

    I think Kluber has to be on here, and it seems like you need three catchers. Yan Gomes over Victor Martinez would be my suggestion.

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  50. Dreamin says:

    So…is the NL team post ever gonna happen?

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