All star lineups have been released (not that you needed to come here to find out). Here they are:
1. Ichiro (Mariners) rf
2. Derek Jeter (Yankees) ss
3. Josh Hamilton (Rangers) cf
4. Alex Rodriguez (Yankees) 3b
5. Manny Ramirez (Red Sox) lf
6. Milton Bradley (Rangers) dh
7. Kevin Youklis (Red Sox) 1b
8. Joe Mauer (Twins) c
9. Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox) 2b
SP Cliff Lee (Indians) lhp
1. Hanley Ramirez (Marlins) ss
2. Chase Utley (Phillies) 2b
3. Lance Berkman (Astros) 1b
4. Albert Pujols (Cards) dh
5. Chipper Jones (Braves) 3b
6. Matt Holliday (Rockies) rf
7. Ryan Braun (Brewers) lf
8. Kosuke Fukudome (Cubs) cf
9. Geovany Soto (Cubs) c
SP Ben Sheets (Brewers) rhp
C - To tell you the truth I may have this one wrong. I just don't know too much about Soto. I haven't seen him play. I do know that I really like Mauer so he gets the nod from me.
3b - Look, Jones is great. He's having a great season, and I really do hope he hits .400. That would be incredible. But he's up against a guy who is arguably the greatest ever.
lf - If you are picking a guy for your team for the long haul you definitely go with Braun. If you need one guy to give you a big hit in one game you go with Ramirez.
cf - Josh Hamilton has 95 rbi. 95. I'll write it again, Hamilton has 95 rbi. Fukudome has a name that is fun to say and a shitload of singles. The guy is a slappy. This one's no contest.
rf - Ichiro has een soing it for a long time. Holliday is great but do you really pick him over Ichiro away from Coors? Let me ask it this way. If you were pitching, who would you rather face with the game on the line? I'd rather face Holliday. If you disagree, well, that's just like, your opinion, man.
SP - I'm a Cleveland guy. I love Cliff Lee. What he's done this year is incredible. He may win the Cy Young AND Comeback Player of the Year. I don't know if that's ever been done before. But I think you really have to go with experience here, and Sheets has more.
1b - Berkman vs Youklis is no contest.
2b - Dustin Pedroia is scrappy. He's a gamer (whatever the hell that means). But, if given the opportunity, even Red Sox fans would trade him for Utley in about 1/2 second. Why? Because Red Sox fans are annoying, not stupid. Another no contest.
ss - I like Hanley. He's going to be great for a long time. Just maybe not at short for too long. And Jeter may be the most overrated player ever. Now, New York fans probably wouldn't trade Jeter for Ramirez. Why? Yankee fans are annoying AND stupid.
Prediction? One game with this level of talent...anything can happen. Has the AL dominated this past decade because they are a better league? Possibly. They ARE a better league. But, I think that this streak is just random. You can flip a coin and come up with 10 straight heads too. It just isn't likely. That doesn't mean heads is better on the next flip. I don't necessarily think that the AL is a better All Star team. The lineups look pretty even to me.
Final: AL8 - NL3. Just because when it rains, it pours.
Fred C. Harris and Brendan C. Boyd
5 weeks ago