When I saw the list of starters for the 2010 All-Star Game, I was disappointed, but not surprised. I've been following the vote, and it's been a popularity contest as usual. Of course, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Evan Longoria, and Ichiro Suzuki are all deserving, but I'm so OVER the Derek Jeter Admiration Tour I could scream.
The list of reserves was much more to my liking, as it included six Red Sox players, all of whom are extremely deserving of the nod, in my humble opinion. Of course, Dustin Pedroia and Clay Buchholz will not be able to play on July 13, as they'll both be on the disabled list, but my guess is that they'll both make the trip.
Other Red Sox include David Ortiz, Jon Lester, Victor Martinez, and Adrian Beltre, with Kevin Youkilis an option for the "Final Vote" fan selection. Youk's competition for this roster spot is pretty stiff: the Yankees' Nick Swisher currently leads the voting.
Honestly, I don't mind Nick Swisher. He has an engaging and fun personality, and if he didn't play in pinstripes I might even like him. But this is war. The Yanks already have six players, including two starters, in the ASG, and I want the Sox to have more. Also, Youkilis has been unbelievable this season. It's a testament to how incredibly consistent Youk has been that his .299 batting average, .416 OBP, and 17 home runs haven't stood out more.
[In contrast, Swisher has a .293 BA, .373 OBP, and 13 home runs. It's ironic that both Youkilis and Swisher were once highly coveted by the GM of the Oakland A's, Billy Beane. Beane's obsession with the two is well-documented in the best-selling book, Moneyball.]
Kevin Youkilis deserves to go to Anaheim. He's overlooked entirely too often, even in a place as baseball-crazy as Boston. There's no limit to how many times you can vote, so vote often, and VOTE YOUK!