Dan's Dugout: What All-Star lineups should look like • Latino Sports

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Dan’s Dugout: What All-Star lineups should look like

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With the San Diego All-Star Game just 10 days away, fan voting is about to end.

Mercifully.

The biggest fiasco since the Butterfly Ballot is a blemish on the integrity of Major League Baseball.

ASG2016SDFans have no business picking All-Star lineups and certainly should not be asked to vote early and vote often. This is not Honduras.

That being said, two teams actually care about the outcome of the game: the pending pennant winners of both leagues.

Since home-field advantage in the World Series is foolishly awarded to the winning league in the All-Star Game, there’s still some pride involved. A modicum, anyway.

That being said, here’s what the starting lineups should look like:

American League

C. Sal Perez, Royals
1B. Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays
2B. Robinson Cano, Mariners
SS. Xavier Bogaerts, Red Sox
3B. Manny Machado, Orioles
OF. Mookie Betts, Red Sox
OF. Jackie Bradley, Red Sox
OF. Mike Trout, Angels
DH. David Ortiz, Red Sox
SP. Chris Sale, White Sox

National League

C. Wilson Ramos, Nationals
1B. Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
2B. Daniel Murphy, Nationals
SS. Corey Seager, Dodgers
3B. Nolan Arenado, Rockies
OF. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
OF. Bryce Harper, Nationals
OF. Yoenis Cespedes, Mets
SP. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers

Too many Red Sox and Nationals? Maybe so but those teams are strong contenders powered by big bats.

Not enough Yankees? Maybe that’s because the Yankees didn’t do enough during the first half to warrant a single selection.

If any team should feel slighted, it’s Cleveland. The Tribe is on a rampage, making a shambles of the American League Central, but that’s primarily because of potent pitching.

Daniel Murphy is better with his bat than his glove

Daniel Murphy is better with his bat than his glove

It’s virtually certain that all the players listed here will win an invitation to the game but that’s because the managers, Ned Yost (Royals) and Terry Collins (Mets) have the luxury of filling out their rosters. Except, of course, for the final spot, which gives yet another opportunity to vote early and vote often.

Since Bowie Kuhn returned the vote to the fans in 1970, the lineups have been loaded with fading favorites rather than the most deserving players. In fact, fans have even elected Davey Lopes when he was hitting .169 and Reggie Jackson when his average also drifted below the Mendoza Line. Luis Aparicio and Mike Schmidt were picked after they retired.

Maybe Harold Stassen will even show up one of these years.

The problem is that the All-Star Game has just become too commercial. Once a battle of superstars who never faced each other, it is has been diluted by interleague play plus the brotherhood of the players union. Gone are the days when players got fined for fraternizing with the other side.

Also gone – unfortunately – are the days when managers came out to argue instead of waiting to watch umpires on headsets decide controversial calls.

There won’t be any arguments in the All-Star Game. Let’s just hope there will be some spectacular play to keep the fans awake on the East Coast.

Yes, Virginia, this should be a day game.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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