I was initially afraid to fill out an All-Star Ballot, because anytime I vote for someone, for anything at all, he or she immediately dies. That’s why I only participate in Republican primary elections.
But once I realized that my All-Star votes are utterly meaningless, given that people can fairly easily stuff the ballot box with dozens of votes each, I was willing to take the risk. I was also eager for the online voting option, since I suffer from a terrible case of hanging-chad-ophobia, and so I am very uncomfortable attempting to punch the little circles out of the paper ballots. As a child, I had nightmares that I was the All-Star ballot and my parents were taking small pencils and poking holes through my most important internal organs. I don’t know how to interpret that dream.
Enough about me. Onto my selections. This week, the National League. Next week, the Americans. At first base, there really is no alternative to Casey Kotchman, who did so well in his brief time in the majors this season (0-for-20, with a walk — but, somehow, only one strikeout) that he has been exiled to Jupiter. Sometimes I wish I lived on Jupiter. Kotchman easily gets my vote.
At second base, Danny Espinosa, who just this week has shown supernatural talent in getting reporters to believe absolutely ridiculous statements, leading to the bizarre headline on this Washington Post article, “Danny Espinosa embracing returning to minors, rediscovering old swing.” Yes, because every major leaguer dreams of returning to the minors, going on long bus rides, and hanging out with people who make 2% of the salary you do, and hate you for it. Also, it seems unlikely that Espinosa’s old swing has been hanging out in the minor leagues, waiting for Danny to return, like a lazy sibling who can’t quite get it together enough to leave home.
Shortstop is a tough one, but I have to go with Troy Tulowitzki, because there’s something that just feels good about electing someone to the All-Star Team when you know they’re too injured to play, and all you’ll be doing is making them feel even worse about their injury. And robbing them of three days of rehab. Third base is easily Luis Cruz, for trying to break what seems like unbreakable records of futility. .127/.175/.169. In 128 plate appearances, his OPS+ is -2. Not a typo. You win, Luis. You have broken the game of baseball. Catcher Yadier Molina, because there’s something superhuman about what he’s doing that not even Hopeless Joe can deny.
And, finally, my three outfielders, the Upton brothers, and Carlos Gomez. Gomez is an obvious pick, because he represents everything Hopeless Joe believes the world to be — completely random, with no explanation for anything. How Carlos Gomez has gone from a speedy player of uselessness to what he is right now is entirely inexplicable, and that’s what makes it great. The Upton brothers, on the other hand, stand for sibling harmony and togetherness. Sure, Justin got off to an amazing start — but then he looked over at B.J., 8 spots down in the lineup, and realized it wasn’t fair for him to steal all of the glory. So over the last month, Justin has gone .181/.278/.234, and now it’s barely even clear who’s having a better season. That’s love, man. Brotherly love.
We don’t get to pick pitchers, but if we did, I’d make sure Adam Wainwright, Shelby Miller, Clayton Kershaw, and Shaun Marcum were all on the team. Why Marcum? Because someone has to stop the NL’s three-year winning streak, and who better than the guy who’s 0-9. “He hasn’t pitched bad enough to be 0-9,” someone said somewhere, surely. And maybe he hasn’t. But such is luck. Shaun Marcum must have done something terrible to someone. Or maybe the universe just hates the Mets.
AL selections next week, unless the world ends before then!
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