Sunday, July 5, 2009

Youkilis ekes onto All-Star team

All the hoopla will be about Tim Wakefield -- and rightfully so -- but one fascinating aspect about the All-Star voting was the way Kevin Youkilis landed on the team. Fan voting determined the eight starting position players, and the vote of players and managers selected eight more position players and eight pitchers.

(In case you're wondering, players and managers were allowed to vote for players on their own team -- and even, if they so desired, themselves. "I wouldn't want anyone looking over my shoulder to see me vote for myself," Jason Bay said, "so I didn't vote for myself.")

The game's managers then selected the final eight players, keeping in mind the requirement that every team had to have at least one representative.

The fans selected Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira over Youkilis by a margin of 300,000 votes. The players then selected Twins first baseman Justin Morneau. It wasn't until Maddon got to have his say that Youkilis landed on the team.

If Maddon hadn't felt particularly generous toward his American League rival, he certainly could have chosen his own guy in Carlos Pena and left Youkilis out in the cold. (That's what Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel did in selecting Ryan Howard over Lance Berkman and Adam Dunn.)

Here's how the numbers break down:

Teixeira: .279/.385/.559 (.944 OPS); 20 HR, 61 RBI
Morneau: .320/.398/.592 (.991 OPS); 20 HR, 67 RBI
Youkilis: .306/.429/.579 (1.007 OPS); 14 HR, 57 RBI
Pena: .233/.365/.540 (.905 OPS); 23 HR, 55 RBI
Miguel Cabrera: .324/.387/.544 (.930 OPS); 16 HR, 47 RBI


Here's how the entire American League roster breaks down, sorted by fan vote, player vote and manager selection:

Catcher: Joe Mauer (fans), Victor Martinez (players)
First base: Mark Teixeira (fans), Justin Morneau (players), Kevin Youkilis (manager)
Second base: Dustin Pedroia (fans), Aaron Hill (players), Ben Zobrist (manager)
Shortstop: Derek Jeter (fans), Jason Bartlett (players)
Third base: Evan Longoria (fans), Michael Young (players)
Outfield: Jason Bay, Ichiro Suzuki, Josh Hamilton (fans); Carl Crawford, Curtis Granderson, Torii Hunter (players); Adam Jones (manager)
Starting pitchers: Josh Beckett, Zack Grienke, Roy Halladay, Edwin Jackson, Justin Verlander (players); Mark Buehrle, Felix Hernandez, Tim Wakefield (manager)
Relief pitchers: Joe Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon, Mariano Rivera (players); Andrew Bailey, Brian Fuentes (manager).

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