Siberian Baseball

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Cute league you've got there

It's no secret that the storyline for the two leagues as far as Major League Baseball is concerned is as follows: The American League is a tough, big-time league and the National League is the scrappy younger brother.

See the recap of last year's Home Run Derby where because of the NL's "dominance" the announcers were all over the NL and caught a lucky break with the Cardinals winning the World Series to help support their bullshit reasoning.

Add in a multitude of factors from the existence of the DH providing a cushy job for aging or injury-prone NL sluggers to big-market, big-budget teams from the AL in the Yankees and Red Sox and there isn't a single baseball fan alive who would make a serious argument for the NL being the superior league.

If they didn't, they are playing devil's advocate or a Grade A moron.

It's really no big surprise, then that of the two starting lineups - AL roster is here; NL roster is here - there's a huge gap in All-Star experience.

As far as first-time All-Stars on the AL's starting squad, the list starts and ends with Detroit's Placido Polanco. The next "greenest" player is Boston's David Ortiz, making his fourth appearance. In all, 18 of the 20 named players for the AL have been All Stars in the past.

Compare that to the NL, where two players are All-Star rookies, with Russell Martin of the Dodgers and the Brewers' Prince Fielder making the cut.

Philadelphia's Chase Utley and New York's David Wright Jose Reyes will all make their second appearance.

This means that over half of the starting lineup for the NL will be making their first appearance this week, while the AL will fill their roster with the usual suspects. I have no idea what accounts for this - considering that the fans account for the voting here, it's not like this is a league conspiracy or anything - but thought the numbers looked interesting at first blush.

I'll be sure to post pictures when Twins fans start small, easily managed fires in protest tonight when word spreads that Joe Mauer is not on the squad.

MLB.com has posted the Final Vote nominees, with pitchers only representing both leagues. According to their press release:

Roy Oswalt is back on this NL ballot and bidding to be the first two-time Final Vote winner, joined by Tom Gorzelanny of the Pirates, Brandon Webb of the Diamondbacks, Chris Young of the Padres and Carlos Zambrano of the Cubs.

The AL nominees include Jeremy Bonderman of the Tigers, Kelvim Escobar of the Angels, Roy Halladay of the Blue Jays, Pat Neshek of the Twins and Hideki Okajima of the Red Sox.

(Image from: SportsEcyclopedia.com)

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2 Comments:

  • I think Mauer would have made it if he wouldn't missed a month. I'm not going to complain though because now he'll have three days to rest his leg.

    I'm also not going to say I don't want him there though.

    Nice post.

    By Blogger Twins Territory, At Sunday, July 01, 2007 9:55:00 PM  

  • I'm letting things sink in for a post later this week on this - I'm actually sort of relieved that the traditional "fan favorite" style of voting isn't as prevalent this year.

    Kind of sucks it's at Mauer's expense.

    By Blogger Minneapolis Red Sox, At Monday, July 02, 2007 10:22:00 PM  

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