God, I hate that this goober is at the top of this blog post. But I've got to remind myself that it's here for a reason. Focus, Night Owl, focus. There's a point to displaying this atrocity on cardboard.
I'm about to say something that you should never hear me say. Just remember it's for the greater good and that I'm washing my mouth out with soap after I say it. ... OK, here it goes: I'm glad Mark Teixeira is the starting first baseman for the American League in the 2009 All-Star Game.
Yes, I just said that. Those of you who know me, pick yourself off the floor. And fellow members of the "Anti-Yankee Brotherhood and Sisterhood Of All That Is Good, Right and Just," please, please forgive me.
This is the reason why I said such a terrible thing:
I'm glad Teixeira is the starting first baseman for the All-Star Game because the fans picked him to be the starting first baseman for the All-Star Game. And I'm happy the fans are still picking the starters for the game.
Every year since I was a little kid I've heard people complain that the fans don't know what they're doing. That they either don't know or don't care which players are deserving and which ones aren't. That it's a popularity contest. And I agree with these people 100 percent. They're right. The masses are asses, as a good friend at work always says. The fans don't know what they're doing. They really don't know or don't care who is good and who isn't good. It IS a popularity contest.
But I'm fine with that. I think the fans should continue to vote. The All-Star Game is supposed to be for the fans. It's one of the few things in this game in which fans can actually feel as if they made a difference.
So what if Derek Jeter doesn't deserve to be the starter. He's still a good player isn't he? They pick appropriate reserve players to make sure the best players go to the game don't they? Jeter's not going to play the whole game is he? He'll be lucky to make it past the third inning. Even if fans do something wacky, their choice isn't going to mess up the game. There are too many substitute players. So what is the big issue?
Some folks act like this is a recent development, that the All-Star Game has recently developed into a joke. Well, I'm old enough to know that there has been controversy over who has been starting since at least the mid-1970s when I was a youngster. Remember, Gary "if I ain't startin' I ain't departin'" Templeton? That was quite awhile ago. This is nothing new.
And as for people saying that they need to take the vote away from the fans now that baseball has hooked home field advantage in the World Series to the All-Star Game, I don't think that can be pinned on the fans. Major League Baseball is the one who screwed up by announcing that bit of nonsense. Don't punish the fans for that.
Anytime you open things up to a mass vote, you're not going to get the exact results you want. Everyone is going to be dissatisfied. It's just a fact of life. When have you ever known 100 percent of the people to approve of who the president is? I still think having the fans vote is an excellent idea. And there are enough safety nets in play so that the game remains legitimate.
So, with that in mind, I'm going to find something good to say about each of the All-Star starters. Including greedy frat boy Teixeira up there.
C - Joe Maurer: Awesome hitter. Want him to hit .400 badly.
1B - Mark Teixeira: I would like the AL to lose more than anything. Guess who is going to absorb all my heckling on July 14th? Teixeira is very necessary to this process.
2B - Dustin Pedroia: Pedroia's commercial is still the best one on TV by a baseball player. (Just an aside: I constantly hear Yankees fans rip Pedroia because of his lack of hair. Then I saw Brett Gardner take off his cap. The Red Sox just found their response).
SS - Derek Jeter: Come on, he has to be an All-Star. You don't want teenage girls to cry do you?
3B - Evan Longoria: He got Alex Rodriguez out of there. What a wonderful man that Longoria is.
OF - Jason Bay: He's becoming a U.S. citizen. Got to like that.
OF - Ichiro Suzuki: He always seems to do well in All-Star games. Love watching him play. Hope he gets to air out his arm in the game.
OF - Josh Hamilton: If he plays, I hope he hits a home run for the AL's only run of the game.
C - Yadier Molina: Hope he has another game-winning home run in him.
1B - Albert Pujols: Crazy good. Hope he shows it.
2B - Chase Utley: Still my new favorite non-Dodger.
SS - Hanley Ramirez: Glad he's going. Good call.
3B - David Wright: I'm not mad that Casey Blake isn't going. Not mad at all. Nope. Perfectly fine with it. (*hum a happy tune quietly to myself so I don't derail the whole point of this post*).
OF - Carlos Beltran: Won't be playing. Brad Hawpe will likely replace him. He's having an awesome year. See? Safety net is in place.
OF - Ryan Braun: He deserves it just to make up for all the lousy baseball cards they make of him.
OF - Raul Ibanez: I still laugh about the folks who said the Phillies' acquistion of Ibanez didn't make sense. Had they seen Philadelphia's ballpark?
So, there you are. Something relatively nice about everyone.
Now, I'm not thrilled about all the picks. There are no Dodgers starting AGAIN. And for a team that has one of the best offenses in the National League, only Orlando Hudson is assured of going (which is why you need to VOTE MATT KEMP IN RIGHT NOW).
But I've got everything I need. I get to see some awesome players. I have my villain to root against. And the fans still got their say.
Now, please, let some pitchers last more than one inning this year, SO YOU DON'T RUN OUT OF THEM.