Selection Sunday: Your 2012 All-Star rosters are revealed…

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Major League Baseball is announcing the All-Star rosters for each league this afternoon during an hour-long special on TBS. We’ll update this post as the names come in:

The 2012 MLB All-Star Game is next Tuesday, July 10, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Starters

C Mike Napoli
1B Prince Fielder
2B Robinson Cano
3B Adrian Beltre
SS Derek Jeter
OF Josh Hamilton
OF Curtis Granderson
OF Jose Bautista
DH David Ortiz

Pitching Staff

LHP Matt Harrison
RHP Felix Hernandez
RHP Justin Verlander
LHP CC Sabathia
LHP C.J. Wilson
RHP Jered Weaver
LHP Chris Sale
LHP David Price
RHP Joe Nathan
RHP Ryan Cook
RHP Jim Johnson
RHP Chris Perez
RHP Fernando Rodney

Reserves

OF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
DH Adam Dunn
1B Paul Konerko
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
3B Miguel Cabrera
DH Billy Butler
OF Mike Trout
OF Mark Trumbo
C Joe Mauer
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Ian Kinsler

*******

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Starters

C Buster Posey
1B Joey Votto
2B Dan Uggla
3B Pablo Sandoval
SS Rafael Furcal
OF Matt Kemp
OF Carlos Beltran
OF Melky Cabrera

Pitching Staff

RHP Clayton Kershaw
LHP Gio Gonzalez
RHP Stephen Strasburg
LHP Cole Hamels
LHP Wade Miley
RHP R.A. Dickey
RHP Lance Lynn
RHP Matt Cain
RHP Craig Kimbrel
LHP Aroldis Chapman
RHP Jonathan Papelbon
RHP Joel Hanrahan
RHP Huston Street

Reserves

SS Starlin Castro
1B Bryan LaHair
OF Jay Bruce
OF Carlos Gonzalez
2B Jose Altuve
OF Giancarlo Stanton
OF Ryan Braun
3B David Wright
C Carlos Ruiz
OF Andrew McCutchen
C Yadier Molina
SS Ian Desmond

Magic Johnson says the Dodgers will win the World Series

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Baseball, as we so often note around here, is unpredictable. Especially when it comes to the playoffs. You can be the best team in the land for six months but a few bad days can end your season once October hits.

In 2001 the Seattle Mariners won 116 games in the regular season but lost the ALCS to the Yankees, four games to one. In 1906 the Cubs won 116 games in a 152-game season and lost the World Series. In 1954 the Indians won 111 games in a 154-game season and lost the World Series. In 1931 the Philadelphia A’s won 107 games and lost the World Series.

More recently, with the advent of expanded playoffs, the chances for the team with the best record to win the World Series have been pretty dang terrible. Since the beginning of the wild card era, only five times has the team with the game’s best record gone on to win the World Series: The 1998 and 2009 Yankees, the 2007 and 2013 Red Sox and the 2016 Cubs. That’s it.

At the moment, the Los Angeles Dodgers have baseball’s best record. They’re 71-31 and sit 12 games up in their division. Their playoff chances are almost 100%. The above examples notwithstanding, if you had to make a prediction as to who might win the World Series, it would not be unreasonable to pick the Dodgers. Sure, you’d want to make sure they got Clayton Kershaw back by early September or thereabouts to make it a safer prediction, but it’d be a totally defensible pick. Maybe even the one most people make.

But it’d be the utmost in magical thinking to presume that one could make such a prediction with any degree of certainty, right? The Los Angeles Times, however, passes along some Magical thinking:

Magic Johnson called his shot Thursday night, and he wasn’t shy about it. The Dodgers’ co-owner did not hesitate when he predicted how the team would finish this year.

“The Dodgers are going to win the World Series this year,” Johnson said. “This is our year.”

The headline calls it a “guarantee.” I don’t know if I’d call it that — I think it’s more of a confident prediction — but it is a bold statement whatever you call it.

If I had to pick one team at the moment — and we could assume a healthy Clayton Kershaw — I suppose I would make them my World Series favorites too. And, yes, if I had an ownership interest in the Dodgers, I’d probably say what Johnson said.

But given the example of history, I think “field” would be a much safer bet.

Mariners trade Steve Cishek to the Rays for swingman Erasmo Ramirez.

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The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired reliever Steve Cishek from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for reliever Erasmo Ramirez.

Cishek had appeared in 23 games this season for Seattle after recovering from major offseason hip surgery. He’s 1-1 with a 3.15 ERA, with a 15/7 K/BB ratio in 20 innings. He’s a setup man right now, but he has experience as a closer, saving 25 games for Seattle last year and as many as 39 back when he pitched for the Marlins in 2014.

Ramirez has appeared in 26 games for the Rays and has started eight games. He’s 4-3 with a 4.80 ERA and a 55/16 K/BB ratio in 69.1 innings. This will be his second stint with the Mariners, having played for them from 2012-14.

Sort of a surprising deal given that both Tampa Bay and Seattle are competing for a wild card spot, but needs are needs.