C - Jorge Posada (.341 avg., 9 HR, 44 RBI) - I could make an argument that some of his other All Star appearances were not deserved...this year he REALLY deserves it. Current leader: Ivan Rodriguez (in a very close race over Posada, Joe Mauer, and Jason Varitek)
1B - David Ortiz (.319, 13, 47) - I'm kind of sorry I gave Ortiz my vote. I was tempted to use my write-in vote here for Kevin Youkilis, because I think he deserves it the most, and I think this position should go to someone who plays first, and since it's in an NL ballpark, the DH's are just out of luck...but I voted for Ortiz. Current leader: Ortiz
2B - Brian Roberts (.324, 4, 22, 24 SB) - Roberts is getting no love from the voters, but he's having a very good season, and I've always personally liked the way he plays. In real-life, this is a 2-way race between Placido Palanco and Robinson Cano. Current leader: Polanco
3B - Alex Rodriguez (.333, 28, 77) - Yes, he hasn't been as great over the past two months as he was in the first month (or maybe he has - what do I know), but he still leads the majors in homers and RBI. Current leader: Rodriguez
SS - Derek Jeter (.342, 5, 36) - He already has 100 hits on the season, one of only five in the majors so far...just barely beating out Orlando Cabrera, who actually has 102. Current leader: Jeter
OF - Ichiro Suzuki (.359, 5, 37, 22 SB), Magglio Ordonez (.379, 13, 68), Reggie Willits (.337, 0, 23, 18 SB) - Ichiro is having another great year while no one notices the Mariners, Ordonez has been the Detroit offense, more or less, and I really like the underdog, so I threw my write-in vote Willits' way, over teammate Vladimir Guerrero. I always notice his numbers in the box score, and it always seems as though Willits is getting a hit. I figured my vote's not going to make a whole lot of difference here, anyway. So Willits it is. (My only problem with Willits was that when I went to pick him up in the non-East-Coast-Only fantasy league, the Southern Bureau already had him.) Current leaders: Ordonez, Suzuki, Guerrero
C - Russell Martin (.293, 8, 49, 13 SB) - Note the 13 steals. Martin has the best numbers of any National League catcher...despite what the Mets may be selling. Truth be told, Johnny Estrada might have an edge on Lo Duca too. Current leader: Martin
1B - Prince Fielder (.283, 27, 62) - If he keeps this up, he'll have a lock on this position, over some good competition, for years. Current leader: Fielder
2B - Chase Utley (.320, 12, 58) - Just a good ballplayer, having an All-Star year. He deserves to start. Current leader: Utley
3B - David Wright (.286, 12, 40) - I know, not the greatest numbers...but actually the best of the NL third basemen. And really turned it around after a rocky start. Current leader: Wright
SS - Jose Reyes (.319, 3, 33, 38 SB) - Best player in the game right now...and I'm not exaggerating. A true game-changer. Current leader: Reyes
OF - Matt Holliday (.354, 13, 60), Aaron Rowand (.315, 10, 39), Eric Byrnes (.313, 12, 42) - I like giving my outfield spots to the folks who might go unrecognized. These three guys are, unlike Willits, having the best seasons among ALL the outfielders in the NL - and in the case of Holliday - the majors. Holliday is second in the majors in hits, to Ichiro. These are the three who deserve the spots - none will probably get the starting nod. Current leaders: Carlos Beltran, Ken Griffey, Jr., Alfonso Soriano
I'm having a bit of a hard time making a decision here. I'm down to Danny Haren and Josh Beckett in the American League, and Brad Penny and Jake Peavy for the National League. I'll say this right now - I would be OK with any combination of those four as the starters. Here are the numbers:
Haren: 9-2, 1.78 ERA, 89 K, 111 IP
Beckett: 11-1, 3.07 ERA, 79 K, 91 IP
Penny: 10-1, 2.04 ERA, 70 K, 105.2 IP
Peavy: 9-2, 2.14 ERA, 113 K, 105 IP
I think after looking at the numbers I'll say it should be Penny and Haren...but again, it's close. I'll also say that I had no idea Brad Penny was doing so well this year. He did the same thing last year, I think, starting the All Star Game, then did not have as good a second half, if I'm not mistaken. Haren has gotten a few no decisions. Too bad for him. Erik Bedard, incidentally, is king of the no decision right now - he should make the All Star Game, and maybe I'll write a little more about his plight soon.
So there's my two cents as far as starters. I'll play Tony LaRussa for a second, and give nods to deserving Mets for reserve spots. Consider I don't know the scenarios that play out, whether the roster will allow these Mets to make the team, because who knows if the one Washington National that makes the team takes a position away from a Met...but I say:
Oliver Perez, John Maine, and Billy Wagner all deserve to make the team, and hopefully LaRussa acknowledges that when he makes his final selections.
And hopefully the Mets involved are playing for their home field advantage in the World Series. Remember last year, in Pittsburgh, David Wright and Carlos Beltran did their best to get that home field advantage...and then Trevor Hoffman blew the save.