Yay! It's the 2010 All-Star Selection Show…


Major League Baseball is announcing its All-Star teams this afternoon on TBS.  The squads, as they are revealed:

American League Starters

C Joe Mauer
1B Justin Morneau
2B Robinson Cano
3B Evan Longoria
SS Derek Jeter
OF Ichiro Suzuki
OF Josh Hamilton
OF Carl Crawford
DH Vladimir Guerrero

National League Starters

C Yadier Molina
1B Albert Pujols
2B Chase Utley   injured, will not play
3B David Wright
SS Hanley Ramirez
OF Ryan Braun
OF Jason Heyward   injured, might not play
OF Andre Ethier


Utley was voted in by the fans, but will not be available due to right thumb surgery.  The Braves’ Martin Prado will start in his place.  Heyward is questionable with a deep bone bruise in his left thumb.

AL Pitching Staff

SP CC Sabathia
SP Clay Buchholz
SP Fausto Carmona
SP David Price
SP Phil Hughes
SP Jon Lester
SP Cliff Lee
SP Trevor Cahill
RP Neftali Feliz
RP Mariano Rivera
RP Matt Thornton
RP Jose Valverde
RP Joakim Soria

NL Picthing Staff

SP Roy Halladay
SP Ubaldo Jimenez
SP Josh Johnson
SP Tim Lincecum
SP Tim Hudson
SP Adam Wainwright
SP Chris Carpenter
SP Yovani Gallardo
RP Jonathan Broxton
RP Arthur Rhodes
RP Brian Wilson
RP Evan Meek
RP Matt Capps


That’s a first-time selection for Rhodes, 40, and very much deserved.  He has a 1.09 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP in 37 appearances out of the Reds’ bullpen this season.

You’ll notice that Stephen Strasburg did not make the cut.  He will not be part of the “Final Vote” either.

American League Reserves

IF Ty Wigginton
3B Adrian Beltre
DH David Ortiz
1B Miguel Cabrera
OF Torii Hunter
3B Alex Rodriguez
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Ian Kinsler
3B Jose Bautista
C John Buck
OF Vernon Wells

National League Reserves

OF Chris Young
IF Omar Infante
C Brian McCann
2B Martin Prado
OF Marlon Byrd
2B Brandon Phillips
3B Scott Rolen
OF Michael Bourn
OF Corey Hart
SS Jose Reyes
1B Ryan Howard
OF Matt Holliday
1B Adrian Gonzalez


It’s fairly disappointing that Reds first baseman Joey Votto did not make the cut, but he will almost certainly be a part of the NL’s “Final Vote.”  With a .988 OPS, 19 home runs and 57 RBI, he deserves to be on this squad.

Infante is a questionable pick, but National League manager Charlie Manuel told the TBS crew that he wanted a few guys who can get on base and lay down bunts.  He’s thinking about bringing a little small ball to Anaheim.

John Lackey to start Game 1 of the NLDS for the Cardinals

John Lackey
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St. Louis has decided on John Lackey as the Game 1 starter in the NLDS versus the winner of tonight’s Wild Card game, manager Mike Matheny announced.

Lackey led the Cardinals in starts (33) and innings (218) this season while posting a 2.77 ERA and 175/53 K/BB ratio with 21 homers allowed.

Carlos Martinez being out for the playoffs with a shoulder injury took a big rotation option away from Matheny, but Lackey has a 3.10 ERA in 43 starts since joining the Cardinals in mid-2014 and also has a 3.08 ERA in 117 career postseason innings.

He’ll face either the Cubs or the Pirates, in St. Louis. No word yet on the order, but Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, and Jaime Garcia figure to follow Lackey in the rotation.

The Yankees were booed last night. Did they deserve it?

Masahiro Tanaka

The boos came raining down from the Yankee Stadium faithful last night. They started when Brett Gardner grounded out in the eighth inning. More came later. A lot of it was, no doubt, based on Gardner’s disappointing performance late in the season. A lot of it was because, around that time, it seemed like the Yankees had zero shot whatsoever to mount a comeback. Which, in fact, they didn’t. A lot of it was pent-up frustration, I assume, from a late season skid which saw the Yankees lose their lead in the AL East and wind up in the Wild Card Game in the first place.

Anyone who buys a ticket has a right to boo. Especially when they buy a ticket as expensive as Yankees tickets are. It’s obviously understandable to be disappointed when your team loses. Especially when your team is eliminated like the Yankees were. And last night’s game was particularly deflating, with that 3-0 Astros lead feeling more like 10-0 given how things were going.

But isn’t booing something more than a mere manifestation of disappointment? Isn’t a step beyond? Booing isn’t saying “I’m sad.” It’s saying “you suck!” It’s not saying “I’m disappointed,” it’s saying “you should be ashamed of yourselves!” And with all respect to Yankees fans, the 2015 Yankees have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

This was a club expected to miss the playoffs, full stop. Maybe some people allowed for an if-everything-breaks-right flight of fancy, but hardly anyone expected them to play meaningful games late in the year, let alone a playoff game. They were too old. Too injured. There weren’t enough young reinforcements to fill the gaps. Some even went so far as to claim that they were about to spend years in the wilderness.

But then A-Rod broke out of the gate strong. And Michael Pineda had a really nice first couple of months. And Mark Teixeira put up numbers that wouldn’t have been out of place for him several years ago. The bullpen did what it was supposed to do and more, Masahiro Tanaka held together somehow and, eventually, a couple of young players like Greg Bird and Luis Severino came in to reinforce things. The not-going-anywhere Yankees were contenders. And they led the division for a good while. Of course they stumbled late. And of course they lost last night, but by just about any reasonable measure, this was a good team — better than expected — and, unlike a lot of Yankees teams in the past, was pretty darn enjoyable to watch.

Then the boos. I just can’t see how this Yankees team deserved that.

I realize a lot of people in the media have duped a lot of people into thinking that a team with a high payroll is supposed to be dominant. And I realize George Steinbrenner duped a whole lot of people into thinking that anything less than a World Series championship for the New York Yankees is failure. But that’s rhetoric and branding, not reason. In the real world where baseball players play baseball games World Series titles are rare, even for the Yankees. At the end of the season all but one of 30 teams are either at home for the playoffs or went home after suffering a gut-wrenching playoff loss. The Yankees are the most dominant franchise in the history of American professional sports yet they still have finished their year without a title over 75% of the time.

With that as a given, fans are left to judge their team’s performance based on its talent, its health, its heart, its entertainment value and the strength of the opposition which ultimately vanquished it. The Yankees weren’t nearly as talented as many, yet made the playoffs anyway. They were a walking hospital ward, let limped on. They never quit and never got pulled down into the sort of muck a lot of New York teams find themselves in when things start to go sideways. And, ultimately, they were simply beat by a better team. By any reasonable measure the 2015 Yankees were a good story, a successful enterprise, a resilient bunch and no small amount of fun.

It’s OK to be sad that it ended as it did. But that doesn’t deserve to be booed. Not by a long shot.