Monday, July 07, 2003

Games With All-Stars

"Europeans in the NBA is wrong." - A search that someone did on Google, and wound up on my site! Think they liked it?!

I didn't intend this to be a blog about Race and Sports in America, but I try to look at the world from a multicultural point of view, and there are things that just seem to stick out to me that other well-meaning people brush off as inconsequential. Take the All-Star game. Innocent enough topic, right? But in a week where Sports Illustrated and ESPN's Outside The Lines do major stories on the reduced numbers of African-American ballplayers, MLB manages to pick two all-star squads without including Frank Thomas, Milton Bradley, and Dontrelle Willis. I don't think their absence from these squads was racially motivated, but someone, somewhere within the power structure of MLB should have come forward and said:

"Hey! Seen the news this week? Maybe if we're going to screw players out of an all-star birth, we should do it to someone other than African-Americans. Everybody says that there are not enough black faces in baseball, and here we are with three deserving candidates. Let's put them in. They all belong there, anyway."

But nobody did. MLB's lack of interest in what's going on in the rest of the world is at the root of so many of their problems, yet they continue on their own isolated, inbred path.

You can find a hundred sites that will give you an all-star team, so I have refrained from doing it. But such a mess has been made of the actual squad that I feel I need to try. How hard can it be?

This is just the American League. I stuck with the rule of one player for each team, and threw everything else out the window. In cases where it was close between two players, I leaned toward the nhistorically better player. The guys who are not on the official roster are in bold.

1B - Delgado, Sweeney, Thomas, and Giambi. Four of the best offensive players in baseball. I'm taking all of them.

2B - Boone and Soriano.

3B - Glaus and Blaylock.

SS - Arod and Nomar

LF - Manny, Mora, and Young

CF - Bradley and Wells. Leaving Milton off the team is just a travesty.

RF - Huff and Ichiro

DH - Edgar

C- Posada, Varitek, and Pierzynski. Three catchers is mandatory with a 32 man squad.

SP - Loaiza, Pedro, Hudson, Mulder, Moyer, and Mussina. If you're really trying to win the game, how can you not have Pedro? Couldn't decide between Zito and Sabathia, so I wound up taking another reliever instead.

RP - Donnelly, Hasegawa, Shields, Foulke, and Rivera.. Foulke makes it over Hawkins because I need a lefty.

I think you can make strong arguments for several other pitchers, but I feel strongly that I have the right group of regulars.

Tomorrow, the National League.

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