And the Go to the Polls for Placido voting campaign worked. The Major League Baseball All Star teams were announced today and the Detroit Tigers, after years of struggling to get just one representative, now are the most represented team in the American League (well, tied with Boston) with five:
Reserve (voted in by the players): Carlos Guillen
Pitcher (voted in by the players): Justin Verlander
And all well deserved too (well, maybe not Pudge, but I'm not going to complain). I'm glad the Placido Polanco campaign worked, as Placido was rewarded with not only his first All Star start, but his first All Star appearance. And Magglio Ordonez, making up ground to get himself into the starting lineup, in an MVP season, was also great to see. And it's neat that all five representatives were voted in by either the fans or the players. Despite Tigers' manager Jim Leyland managing the team, he did not select a single Tiger.
Now, it is disappointing that both Gary Sheffield and Curtis Granderson were left off the team. Sheffield really deserved it based on how well he has played since his slow start, and his numbers are certainly All Star worthy (.290, 18 home runs, 52 RBI, and 11 steals) and Granderson was pretty close too. But, after picking players who play for teams who had no selections otherwise, Leyland was left with two selections, and he chose Victor Martinez and Johan Santana, both of whom deserve the honor.
So, what could Leyland have done to free up a roster space? Dropped Santana, changing the Tampa Bay Devil Rays sole representative from Carl Crawford to Jamie Shields (6-3, 3.81 ERA, 100 strikeouts to Santana's 9-6, 2.76 ERA, 120 strikeouts, so obviously, Santana does have the edge), opening up outfield spot. But, Santana deserves the nod over Shields, and his a lefthander, giving Leyland a second starting lefty, where Shields is a righthander, so even from a baseball perspective, picking Santana makes sense. Just one of those things. Knowing Manny Ramirez' history, though, he may skip out on the All Star Game, opening up a roster spot after all.
Jeremy Bonderman also would have been a worthy selection, but there is still a chance he can make it. That's because manager Jim Leyland placed Bonderman on his list for the "Last Man" voting competition, so if Tigers fans get to the polls in the next week, Bonderman will be joining his five teammates in San Fransico. So, just as we did with Placido, you know what you have to do. Go to MLB.com and VOTE for Bonderman. Let's get another Tiger to the All Star Game.
Other notable AL omissions? Boston's Kevin Youkilis (9 HR, 43 RBI, .326 average), Los Angeles/Anaheim's Orlando Cabrera (hitting .342 with 48 RBI and 9 SB) and B.J. Upton (9 HR, 31 RBI, 13 SB, .320 average) but it was tough finding room.
Okay, with all of that said, let's get Bondo to San Francisco. Remember to go and Vote. And with Placido Polanco making it to the All Star Game, I want to thank again all of the websites which plugged and helped get the word out on the "Go to the Polls for Placido!" campaign. Let's hope we can do the same with Bonderman.
Empty The Bench
Dave of Gorilla Crouch
Billfer of The Detroit Tigers Weblog
Detroit Sports Unleashed
Leelanau Sports Guy's World
Christy of Behind The Jersey
Lee of Tiger Tales
Big Al of The Wayne Fontes Experience
Pete of Yzerman Is God
From The CoPa
Gregg Henson of GreggHenson.com
Greg Eno of Out of Bounds and Where Have You Gone, Johnny Grubb?
Kurt of Mack Avenue Tigers
Samara of Roar of the Tigers
Ian of Bless You Boys and Sweaty Men Endeavors
GreenPotatoes Live Journal
Rick of Rick's Writing Again