The All-Star Game is only 83 days away! The ballot is up. What in the name of Abner Doubleday are you waiting for? With well over 50 plate appearances on which to base sound judgment, The Church hereby recommends the following:
1B – Daric Barton Oakland’s iron man leads all comers with a .492 OBP.
2B – Joaquin Arias He’ll have to make it as a write-in, but isn’t that what democracy is all about?
SS – Yuniesky Betancourt Ironclad leather, scorching-hot lumber… looks like Dayton Moore is a genius after all.
3B – Adrian Beltre It’s not like the Sox are hurting for runs. Theo signed him for his defense, and he’s been absolutely adequate.
C – Jason Kendall This grizzled backstop has evidently discovered the fountain of youth. He’s hitting .352, and could very well become just the second AL catcher to win a batting title.
DH – Jose Guillen A legitimate MVP candidate in spite of his near-fatal affliction. And on top of all that a worthy role model, a great ambassador for the game.
OF – Franklin Gutierrez Now hitting .421, he’s officially a beast. No other outfielders necessary, but you can vote for up to three if you want to.
OF – Vernon Wells Clearly the best all-around player in the game this season. Fortunately for Blue Jay fans, he’s locked up for another four years at only $86 million.
OF – Scott Podsednik 29 GM’s are kicking themselves for not signing this guy. He’s hitting .449, on pace for 76 steals.
1B – Albert Pujols Wow, even in small sample sizes this guy trounces the competition. His numbers would be even better if only LaRussa could quit flashing him the hit-and-run.
2B – Martin Prado He’s hitting .431, which is 25 points better than Ted Williams ever did.
SS – Ronny Cedeno This guy’s a big reason why Pittsburgh is right in the thick of the NL Central race.
3B – Jorge Cantu In case you spent the past three weeks on an asteroid, Cantu made baseball history!
C – Ivan Rodriguez If he keeps raking like this, he’ll get his 3,000th hit next weekend at Florida.
OF – Jason Heyward The Heymaker served dinner to all of Atlanta last night using just five loaves of bread and two fish.
OF – Alfonso Soriano Plays every game with a fiery intensity that should be reserved only for the Midsummer Classic.
OF - Jim Edmonds Because every All-Star team needs a purely sentimental pick.
I hear next year Lord Bud’s going to release the ballot in January, just to give fans something to do. I say, why not December?