FIRST BASE: Joey Votto
Also Considered: Yonder Alonso, Ryan Howard
First base on the NL All-Star Ballot is weird this year, almost as weird as the growth on my foot. No one on the ballot has been as awful as many of the American Leaguers, with .095 averages or the entire year spent in the minors so far. No one’s even had fewer than Brandon Belt’s 129 at bats. (129 is also my income for June. In pennies.) So I could give this one to Ryan Howard for hitting .234 (but didn’t most people see this coming?) or Yonder Alonso for underperforming dreams and hopes, or Joey Votto for looking about as much like Joey Votto as I look like Grady Sizemore. We’ll go with Votto.
SECOND BASE: Rafael Furcal
Also Considered: Pretty much everyone on the ballot
Now here is where we make up for the logjam of okay-ness at first base. Good grief, where to start? Dan Uggla? Jedd Gyorko? Darwin Barney? No, we’ll go with Furcal, who had a lovely time off the disabled list for about as long as it takes a hearty meal to inch its way through my system when I don’t remember to take my fiber supplements. If I told you Rafael Furcal was 47 years old, you’d believe me, wouldn’t you? It does seem like he’s been around forever, though in reality he’s only 36, and his rookie year was indeed in this century (well, barely). He had a great 2010, at age 32, and now his best and only position is injured. Like the bird I found in the gutter who I’m nursing back to life by chewing my food and dropping it directly into his mouth. I once had a girlfriend who liked to do that to me. I think it had to do with her pathological need to rescue people. We almost got married but then an even more hopeless Joe showed up on her doorstep and now they have three kids, fourteen feral cats running loose in their living room, hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, four liens on their broken-down Honda, and, damn, he’s living the dream life that I could have had. THAT COULD HAVE BEEN ME.
SHORTSTOP: Jordy Mercer
Also Considered: Troy Tulowitzki
Even I had to consider Tulowitzki. But Mercer sealed the deal not with his .228 batting average but with a single tweet, confirming a fear I have of aliens slowly creeping into our society and trying to blend in unnoticed before taking over and banishing the most useless of us (like me, for instance) to the scrap heap. Because how could someone who writes this tweet be human?
Love being delayed in the OKC airport!
— Jordy Mercer (@jordy_mercer) January 5, 2014
THIRD BASE: David Wright
Also Considered: Chase Headley
I’m not going to pile on and pick Chase Headley. I’m sure he knows he’s having a disappointing season. He doesn’t need me reminding him. But let’s look at David Wright in April and David Wright in June. April: .262/.314/.318. June: .233/.320/.395. If we knock out his fine (though not spectacular) May, this is not a season that a future Hall of Famer has. Wright, a future Hall of Famer? Well, not if this is his new normal. It must be hard to be a superstar. Expectations. Someone like me, no one expects anything. If I go a day without vomiting on the street it’s a triumph. David Wright, he practically needs to hit three home runs a game or someone’s going to call him a disappointment. Not my mom, though. Even when he’s slumping, my mom loves David Wright more than she loves me. And that should count for something.
CATCHER: Travis D’Arnaud
Also Considered: A.J. Ellis
Has anyone gone from future star to why-the-heck-was-anyone-calling-him-a-future-star faster than Travis D’Arnaud? Give him this. Give him an All-Star berth. Salvage his disaster of a thus-far-epically-terribly MLB career. Like giving kids a trophy even when they don’t do anything worthwhile. It’s still a trophy! Everyone deserves trophies!
OUTFIELD: Peter Bourjos, Carlos Quentin, Chris Young
Also Considered: Matt Holliday, BJ Upton, Jay Bruce
I once called Carlos Quentin a sleeper. I think he may just be asleep. Chris Young was rumored to be losing his roster spot last week. On the Mets. And Bourjos has lost his job to Oscar Taveras. I lost a job to Oscar Taveras once too. Me and Pete, we should share a beer sometime. He’s paying.
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