I love that the Texas Rangers are tied for the most wins in the majors at the All-Star break. I love that they are one loss away from having the best record in the majors at the All-Star break. I love having a team like this to root for after so many years of mediocrity. I love that Ron Washington is managing the A.L. for the second straight All-Star Game because that means the Rangers went to the last two World Series.
I'm not so sure I love having 8 players on the All-Star team. A team that is limping into the break with a pretty good roster of pitchers on the D.L. needs the time off. A team that finished the first half of the season "only" winning two of three from the Twins, never mind that both wins were of the extra inning variety, needs the time time off.
Well, there won't be much of that for these guys.
Mike Napoli, starting catcher, 4,317,718 votes. Don't get me wrong, I've grown to like Napoli as a Ranger, but an All-Star? Maybe last year, but not this year. He beat Joe Mauer by 1.4 million votes. That says a lot about the Rangers fans punching ballots, but not the truth about the season he's having. I hope he shakes off the slump and tears it up during the 2nd half.
Adrian Beltre, starting 3rd baseman, 4,613,180 votes. Beltre beat Miguel Cabrera by about 420,000 votes. Cabrera has a few more homers, a few more doubles and 17 more RBIs. Beltre plays for a team with the highest attendance in the A.L. You can argue which guy should start, but at least they both made it.
Josh Hamilton, outfield, 11,073,744 votes. That's an 11 people. He beat Curtis Granderson by almost 5.5 million votes. Of course he deserved it, but I'm glad he's not doing the Home Run Derby.
Elvis Andrus, reserve shortstop, 4,065,719 votes. Derek Jeter beat Andrus by 2.6 million votes. That's not a shock as I see Jeter starting at that position until he retires. Stats wise, the other best option would have been Asdrubal Cabrera, but again, it comes down to fan attendance.
Ian Kinsler, reserve 2nd baseman, 4,967,247 votes. Kinsler led the voting for quite a while, but Robinson Cano took the lead and won by almost 900,000 votes. You can't argue with Cano one single bit. That guy, as much as I hate to admit it, is MVP quality. The only category Kinsler leads Cano in is stolen bases.
Other notable position playing Rangers were Mitch Moreland who was 4th in 1st base voting, but did beat Albert Pujols by 6,000 votes. Realistic? No. Funny? Oh yea. Nelson Cruz and David Murphy were 5th and 6th in outfield voting and Michael Young, who is having a slow year, was 2nd at the DH spot.
Yu Darvish garnered over 7.3 million votes in the Final Vote campaign, beating out Jake Peavy. Peavy got on the roster anyway as a replacement for C.J. Wilson who has a blister on his hand. I was sort of hoping Ron Washington would make Wilson pitch all 9 innings of the All-Star Game. Hey, he's on the rival Angels.
Matt Harrison is tied for the league lead in wins with 11. He is deserving of his spot.
Joe Nathan has 18 saves, 7th in the A.L. Of the relievers that didn't get selected above him, Rafael Soriano has the best argument that he should have been picked instead. Nathan has him beat in WHIP and strikeouts to walks so it wouldn't be much of an argument.
Good luck at the All-Star Game Ron Washington. Don't work our boys too hard, but win home field advantage for our third consecutive World Series!