SMy opinion is increasingly insignificant these days, but here's who I think deserved to be on the All Star teams, and whose place they should have:
1) I have to start in the American League, because the biggest crock is that Manny Ramirez made the team over someone like Kevin Youkilis. The most amazing thing to me is that any manager would select Ramirez to the team in a good year - he doesn't want to be there....and Ramirez is NOT having an All-Star caliber year. Youkilis is. He's outhitting Manny in every category - trailing him only in homers, and that's by two...where Manny should be outhomering Youkilis right now by about 10 or 11. Does the American League really need 8 outfielders? This is absolutely unacceptable - I was out of the loop when the teams were announced...I don't know the reasoning here, but this is a horrendous job by Jim Leyland.
2) Yes, I understand the Mets got a few All Star starters - David Wright, Jose Reyes, and Carlos Beltran (the only one who doesn't deserve the nod). And I know Billy Wagner also got named to the team. But John Maine also deserves a spot on the team. It's hard to pick someone who should be out, so that Maine can be in, but my finger points to Cole Hamels. I like Hamels a lot...more than I should like a member of a rival team. But I don't think he's having a better year than Maine, and it's not like the Phillies are under-represented (they have Chase Utley and Aaron Rowand). Quick comparison - Maine: 9-4, 2.74 ERA, 84 K in 102 IP. Hamels: 9-4, 3.87 ERA, 116 K in 111 IP. Maine has given up 79 hits, 38 walks. Hamels - 107 (!) hits, 29 walks. Seems to me that's the wrong call.
3) I can not believe Erik Bedard is not on this All Star team. It makes me really sad for him. What more can you do as a pitcher? Brian Roberts, deservedly, made the team, as the only Orioles representative. I'm having trouble finding someone who should not have made the team instead of Bedard - but I think I'd put Bedard ahead of Youkilis, and send Ramirez home for Bedard. The most ridiculous thing is that Bedard didn't even get put on the extra five-man ballot for the fans' extra vote. Too bad...I guess his poor start to the season did him in.
Those were the ones that jumped out at me and made me a little mad. I've been off the All Star Game in recent years - but I was kind of into it last year, and I'm going to try to pay attention this year. It will be great to see Jose Reyes and David Wright playing in it this year - remember, last year, on my birthday actually, the Friday night before the game, Reyes slid headfirst into first base against the Marlins, and hurt his hand...and couldn't play in the game. So it will be nice that there are Mets who can make a difference - and maybe force Games 1 & 2 of the World Series to be played at Shea Stadium.
INJURY UPDATE: Jason Vargas started for the Mets in Colorado on Tuesday night, as Oliver Perez was placed on the 15-day DL. He joins Jorge Sosa, who was placed on the DL Sunday. Mike Pelfrey replaced Sosa on the roster. A bit of an injury bug biting the Mets right now, but it's mostly so that the team is healthy in the second half. Willie Randolph says if it wasn't approaching the All Star break, or if the Mets were playing more important games, he would have asked Perez to fight through it. It seems this is working out well for everyone involved.
As for me, I am almost fully recovered from my injuries. The shoulder is still sore, but we'll get there. There was almost an emergency room scare with the leg on Friday, but we avoided that. The interesting thing is that I think I pulled my quad, or at least strained it. That's what has been bothering Moises Alou, who hasn't played since early May. I know I've got about 12 years on him, but I would have been ready to go again after my injury in about a week, maybe a stint on the 15-day DL. Just saying, for comparison's sake.