Cubs All-Stars...Vote Early, Vote Often

It's May 1st. We've played 28 baseball games. Yeah...probably about time to get the All-Star ballots up, wouldn't you say? Well, MLB would say. Taking off from Mav's recent comment on the subject, let's get some Cubs All-Stars discussion going.

The Cubs have 8, count 'em, ocho players on the ballot. Rookies Geo Soto and Kosuke Fukudome and first-timers Ryan TheRiot and Felix Pie (seriously? Felix Pie?) join actual All-Stars Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, and Mark DeRosa (okay, so he's probably not an All-Star).

It's a bit of a stretch to include Pie and DeRosa on the ballot, but having just completed voting, there's a lot of questionable inclusions on there. MLB basically just includes all the people they think are the starters at their respective positions for their respective teams. They must have made this list out in January because it's pretty flawed. Anyway...

In the true Chicago tradition, many of you will likely vote early and vote often for all of the Cubs players. But ole Jumbo doesn't subscribe to the "he's on my favorite team, therefore I must vote for him" theory. This theory is akin to the NCAA tourney pool theory of "I went to X school so, damnit, they're going to the Final Four!" There's also the "Tuffy Rhodes hit 3 bombs on Opening Day, so he has good stats, so he's an All-Star" theory. Jumbo doesn't roll like that either. Nah, I like to put some thought into my All-Star ballot. Some effort. Some energy. Not too much of any of those but, you know, some. I like to take a look at a player's career and a player's recent seasons along with the player's current season to make my vote. This process is going to award some guys who have been hot over the last year or two and who could potentially develop into perennial All-Stars. It's also going to give you some "lifers," like, say, Cal Ripken the Jr. who, no matter what they've done in a current year, just deserve to go to the game. I don't think any of the Cubs players have obtained this status, so they're going to have to work for the Jumbo vote.

Click here to get your vote in. Meanwhile, here are some thoughts as I run through my ballot:

First, the AL:
  • AL 1B, Casey Kotchman: There are basically zero good 1B's in the AL. What is that? There's a bunch in the NL-Pujols, Lee, Berkman, etc.-but all I can come up with on the AL side is Casey Kotchman? Seriously? Kid's off to a good start-you gotta give him that.
  • AL 2B, Brian Roberts: He's off to a decent start, has the track record, I'm okay with this one. I wish he were a Cub, but that's a different story. Dustin Pedroia will probably get a lot of votes here, as will all the BoSox, though they're not really deserved.
  • AL SS, Michael Young: He doesn't have a shot. Derek Jeter will win a "lifetime achievement" selection here. But screw Derek Jeter. I've always hated that guy. So overrated. Don't get me going on Jeter. But Michael Young is a good, underrated SS.
  • AL 3B, Alex Rodriguez: I don't like ARod much either, but he and Albert Pujols are far and away the best players in the game. Gotta slide him in here, even though he's not off to a ARod-ian start and is currently on the DL.
  • AL C, Victor Martinez: Another tough one here. Not much to offer from the AL backstops. I'd personally like to see Varitek play, but we'll go with VMart though.
  • AL OFs, Manny Ramirez, Vlad Guerro, Josh Hamilton: Plenty of good options here, but I'll go with these 3. Manny and Vlad are basically lifers in the All-Star game. They're talented, they've been doing it for a long time, and you'd be hard pressed to find more than a handful of players that are more fun to watch play the game. Josh Hamilton may not quite be All-Star level yet, but the guy is leading the majors in RBIs and is raking right now. Let's give this guy some props here.
  • AL DH, N/A: I protest the existence of the DH. It's an antiquated rule that should be abolished. David Ortiz is a lock anyway.
On to the NL:
  • NL 1B, Derek Lee: As I mentioned, I think Pujols and ARod are head and shoulders the 2 best baseball players on the planet. That said-are you going to tell me that DLee isn't an All-Star? That's what I thought. I'm a Cubs fan. DLee is our best player. He gets my vote from now until he retires (or Mark Grace is playing 1B for the Cubs again)
  • NL 2B, Chase Utley: And it's not even close. This guy has had the best season in the majors so far. And he's not slowing down. Lock this one in.
  • NL SS, Hanley Ramirez: Could have just as easily went with Rafael Furcal, who's off to a tremendous start, here. But Hanley is a stud. Sign him up for my ballot.
  • NL 3B, Aramis Ramirez: Lots of good options here. David Wright, Chipper Jones, Ryan Zimmerman, Edwin Encarnacion. But let's give our boy some love. He absolutely deserves it.
  • NL C, Geo Soto: First rookie selection and I actually think our boy might win this thing. He's off to the best start of any C in the bigs. He was great in limited action last year. He's got some "juice" in the public eye right now. Brian McCann and Russell Martin are also deserving, but Geo it should be.
  • NL OFs, Kosuke Fukudome, Nate McLouth, Ken Griffey Jr.: Wow...rag-tag bunch of ballplayers here. You've got my 2nd rook, some kid who seemingly came out of nowhere, and an old-timer. Fuku is a lock here. The guy is on the cover of SI for hay-zeus sake. McLouth is the most deserving of the NL OFs based on the season performance thus far. I'm just givin' the kid some love. And ya gotta have The Kid in there. Griff will be at 600 HRs by the All-Star game and, as a "lifer," deserves to be there.
So there ya have it. Who you got?

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