Adam Dunn

The 2011 un-All-Star team

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MLB sent 66 players to Phoenix today. Here’s 58 who can head to Siberia instead. Presenting your un-All-Stars.

(I won’t be taking salaries or expectations into account. Playing time, however, will be a big factor. Basically, I’m looking for the guys who have done the most harm this year.)

Catcher
AL: Jeff Mathis, John Jaso
NL: Josh Thole, Rod Barajas

There haven’t been any truly horrible everyday catchers this year, if only because Mike Scioscia has split time between Mathis and Hank Conger pretty evenly. Barajas may have eight homers for the Dodgers, but it comes with a .261 OBP, plus he’s just 4-for-44 with RISP.

First Base
AL: Daric Barton, Derrek Lee
NL: Lyle Overbay, James Loney

Barton hit .212 with no homers in 236 at-bats before the A’s were finally forced to send him down at the end of last month. Loney has been hot lately and has his average all of the way up to .271, but he’s driven in a total of 28 runs in 295 at-bats despite hitting fifth and sixth all year.

Second Base
AL: Aaron Hill, Ryan Raburn
NL: Dan Uggla, Bill Hall, Jose Lopez

At least Hill can still pick it at second base, unlike the rest of the dreck here. However, he’s hit .239/.281/.332 with just three homers in 259 at-bats. Uggla has had 135 at-bats with runners on base this season, and he’s driven in just 17 Braves besides himself (he has 12 homers and 29 RBI).

Third Base
AL: Chone Figgins, Brandon Inge
NL: Casey McGehee, Chris Johnson

If these two teams actually were to get together for an un-All-Star Game, I think there should be a reentry rule so that Figgins can start, get pulled and then later return for round two.

Shortstop
AL: Reid Brignac, Cliff Pennington, Matt Tolbert
NL: Miguel Tejada, Yuniesky Betancourt

It’s a pretty good year for AL shortstops that Pennington is the second worse. Still, he’s been a disappointment both offensively and defensively after a 2010 season in which he was arguably the AL’s best shortstop (in a much weaker class).

I had to throw Tolbert in here. He’s mediocre defensively, he doesn’t hit and he doesn’t steal bases, yet he may well get 250 at-bats for the Twins.

Outfield
AL: Juan Pierre, Alex Rios, Vernon Wells, Rajai Davis, Magglio Ordonez
NL: Chris Coghlan, Jason Bay, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth, Carlos Lee, Nate McLouth

Pierre has gotten hot at the plate and improved to .262/.320/.311 for the season, but he has the worst defensive numbers of any AL outfielder. Davis has been another big disappointment with the glove, and he’s getting on base just 25 percent of the time for the Jays.

Give National League teams credit: there haven’t been any truly atrocious outfielders playing regularly in the circuit this year. Maybe Ibanez qualifies if one puts total faith in his terrible defensive numbers, but he’s the only one. Even Coghlan, who was struggling to master center field after moving over from left, was only a liability against southpaws before getting sent down.

Designated Hitter
AL: Adam Dunn

Well, that was a no-brainer. 1-for-53 against left-handers.

Starting Pitchers
AL: Fausto Carmona, Kyle Drabek, Kyle Davies, John Lackey, Luke Hochevar
NL: J.A. Happ, Bronson Arroyo, Mike Pelfrey, Travis Wood, Brett Myers, Chris Volstad

The lone thing stopping Davies from becoming the AL’s ace is some missed time with a sore shoulder.  He’s joined here by his teammate Hochevar. Another pair of Royals starters, Sean O’Sullivan and Jeff Francis, didn’t miss the cut by much.

Two Astros and two Reds here. Like the Royals, I just had to go with a six-man rotation for the NL squad. I couldn’t let that talent go to waste.

Relievers
AL: Mike Gonzalez, Frank Francisco, Ryan Perry, Joe Nathan, Bobby Jenks, Andy Sonnanstine, Daniel Schlereth
NL: Ryan Franklin, Brandon Lyon, John Grabow, Danys Baez, Aaron Heilman, Fernando Abad

It looks like Nathan is turning the corner now, but since he was at 7.63 before going on the DL, he has a lot of work to do to make his ERA respectable again.

Franklin’s ERA stood at 8.46 before he was cut by the Cardinals. Still, that pales in comparison to Lyon’s 11.48 mark. He’s done for the season after shoulder surgery.

Tim Lincecum to hold long-awaited showcase on Friday

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 16:  Tim Lincecum #55 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the game at AT&T Park on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images
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At long last, the Tim Lincecum showcase has an official date: this Friday, May 6 in Scottsdale, according to CSN Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic (citing a report from MLB Network’s Jon Heyman). Lincecum, still a free agent, has been allowed to throw at the Giants’ facility in Arizona.

Lincecum, 31, has reportedly still drawn the interest in at least half the league. San Francisco remains Lincecum’s preferred landing spot, however, per Pavlovic.

The right-hander showed better results in 15 starts last season after three consecutive tough campaigns. He finished the 2015 season with a 4.13 ERA and a 60/38 K/BB ratio in 76 1/3 innings. Given how starting pitching is always in demand, Lincecum should walk away with a handful of offers.

Video: J.J. Hardy collects carom off Manny Machado’s glove, converts the out

A ball hit by Chicago White Sox' Todd Frazier gets by Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, May 1, 2016, in Baltimore. Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, not seen, was able to get the ball and throw it to first to get out Frazier on the play. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
AP Photo/Nick Wass
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Some great defensive plays leave you saying, “Wow!” This one will leave you saying that, and, “How the heck did that happen?”

In the top of the fourth inning at Camden Yards, White Sox slugger Todd Frazier lined a Ubaldo Jimenez offering right at third baseman Manny Machado. The ball skipped and caromed off of Machado’s glove, creating what seemed to be an easy single for Frazier. Shortstop J.J. Hardy, however, was ranging to his right and used his cat-like reflexes to snag the redirected ball. He planted and threw a one-hopper to Chris Davis at first base to convert the out.

The replay at about 21 seconds really does the play justice. Outstanding stuff by Hardy. The Orioles, however, wound up losing 7-1 to the White Sox.

Clayton Kershaw K’s 14 in three-hit shutout, provides Dodgers’ only run

National League pitcher Clayton Kershaw, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, throws during the second inning of the MLB All-Star baseball game, Tuesday, July 15, 2014, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
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You could say Clayton Kershaw had a pretty good day. The Dodgers’ lefty limited the Padres to three hits over nine scoreless innings, striking out 14 while walking none. The Dodgers won 1-0, and Kershaw provided that lone run with a single up the middle in the third inning off of Drew Pomeranz.

Kershaw amassed a game score of 95 with the effort — the third game of his career with a game score of 95 or better. The others: a 97 game score against the Giants on September 29 last year, and 102 against the Rockies on June 18, 2014.

Kershaw improves to 3-1 on the year with a 1.96 ERA and a 54/3 K/BB ratio in 46 innings. He’s had double-digit strikeouts in each of his last four starts and he’s yet to go fewer than seven innings in all six starts this season.

Wanna work as a baseball broadcaster for free?

Two drake Mallard ducks fly over Lake Erie near the Cleveland shoreline, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, in Cleveland. Warming temperatures have brought a variety of waterfowl to the area as they stage for the northern migration. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
AP Photo/Mark Duncan
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(Hat tip to @ItsTonyNow on Twitter for pointing this story out.)

The Madison Mallards are a collegiate summer baseball team in Wisconsin. College players join the league to have an opportunity to showcase their talents for scouts. Though they’re not exactly the New York Yankees, the Mallards do relatively well for themselves. In 2013, they had the highest average attendance among amateur teams, per The Capital Times.

That makes one of their latest job postings seem rather curious. The Mallards are looking for someone to handle both play-by-play broadcasting duties as well as media relations, as seen in this post. Only one problem: the position is unpaid. Here’s the full description (emphasis mine):

The Madison Mallards are looking for an enthusiastic and ambitious individual to join the front office as the Radio Broadcaster.

This position will manage all day-to-day media relations duties and act as the traveling secretary on all road trips. This is a seasonal position, beginning in May 2016 and ending in mid-August. This position is unpaid. The candidate will serve as the full-time radio broadcaster, traveling with the team during the season.

Duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to:
* Write press releases promoting team initiatives including post-game recaps for the team website.
* Coordinate all aspects of team travel including notifying restaurants, hotels, and other teams, getting team orders, room assignments, etc.
* Broadcast all 72 Northwoods League games on 1670 The Zone including pre- and post-game shows, during the regular season (and playoffs if necessary).
* Ability to work long hours, including weekends, as business indicates.
* Strong written and verbal communication skills
* Produce radio commercials for the Mallards and business partners
* Work closely with GM and Corporate Service team to include all sponsor and promotional live reads each gameUpdate the Mallards website daily
* Other duties as assigned by GM

The habit of baseball teams looking for free labor isn’t exactly new. The U.S. Department of Labor investigated the Giants and Marlins in 2013 for possible wage law violations. That included the Giants being investigated for “possible improper use of unpaid interns.” The Giants ended up paying $544,715 in back wages. In a memo that year issued by Rob Manfred, he cited the Department of Labor believing that MLB’s habit of taking advantage of unpaid interns was “endemic to our industry.”

According to U.S. law, a for-profit company can hire an unpaid intern by meeting each of six criteria, according to FindLaw:

  • The internship is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment
  • The experience is for the benefit of the intern
  • The intern does not displace regular employees but works under close supervision of existing staff
  • The employer providing the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded
  • There is no guarantee of a job at the conclusion of the internship
  • Both parties understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the internship

It would seem that the third and fourth criteria wouldn’t be met.

The Mallards are almost certainly looking for a college student — not a well-credentialed media veteran — looking to add to his or her resume. They are also very clearly looking to take advantage of that student given the plethora of job responsibilities with no pay. Current college students are part of the millennial generation which has increasingly been taken advantage of through unpaid internships. Steven Greenhouse wrote for the New York Times in 2012:

No one keeps statistics on the number of college graduates taking unpaid internships, but there is widespread agreement that the number has significantly increased, not least because the jobless rate for college graduates age 24 and under has risen to 9.4 percent, the highest level since the government began keeping records in 1985. (Employment experts estimate that undergraduates work in more than one million internships a year, with Intern Bridge, a research firm, finding almost half unpaid.)

In a capitalist society, businesses are always going to search for the cheapest source of labor. Considering how bad the economy is and has been for millennials, they’ve had a pretty good time finding it. It’s hard to fault college students jumping at the opportunity to work in an industry they like in the hopes of one day landing a dream job. But as much as those businesses might loathe admitting it, that labor is worth something whether it’s for an amateur baseball team or a major league team.