Caught up in all the recent winning, Teix's resurgence, and the Cliff Lee saga, I've neglected to discuss the Yankee All Stars. Of course many people will complain about 8 Yankees being on the team this year, but if you really step back and take a look at it, all 8 Bombers on the team are well-deserving.
- Robinson Cano has established himself as the premiere 2B in the AL, if not all of baseball. He has led the Yankees in hits, average, and OPS since the start of the season and is currently on pace to hit over 30 HRs and drive in over 100 runs. Add in the fact that he's playing Gold Glove-caliber defense and he's the easiest pick of the bunch.
- His numbers are down across the board, and his improved defensive range from last year has taken a step back, but Derek Jeter is still arguably the best offensive shortstop in the game. He has 41 RBIs from the leadoff spot and will most likely finish the year with over 200 hits and 100 runs scored again. And then there's the little thing about him being one of the faces of Major League Baseball. Yeah, no way he's not a deserving All Star.
- I've already touched on The Horse in the past couple weeks, so I'm not going to re-hash what we already know. Yes, his power numbers are down and yes, he's more than likely been playing hurt. But he's got 70 RBIs and is also playing fantastic defense at 3rd. When Ty fucking Wigginton somehow manages to make the team, you can't really say that A-Rod shouldn't be there.
- I didn't get caught up in the "Send Swish" nonsense, because quite frankly it was a little bit lame and a lot bit overdone, but with the career year he was already having and the tear he went on once he became a choice for the final spot vote, there's no denying that Swish should be in the game. He has a +.900 OPS, a +.300 batting average, and has a chance to go 30-100. He's been one of the top 4-6 OFs in the AL any way you slice it. In.
- Mariano Rivera is Mariano Rivera. So there's really nothing more I need to say about that.
- Despite his stumbles and bumbles earlier in the year, CC Sabathia has been possibly the best starter in the AL for the last 4-6 weeks. He's one of 3 Yankee starters with 11 wins, tops in the AL, and leads the team in Ks. He isn't going to pitch and shouldn't because of where he falls in the rotation, but he's definitely worthy.
- Phil Hughes has been the most pleasant surprise on the staff this year, finally showing why the Yanks have held onto him for this long. He also has 11 wins, leads the Yankee starters with an 8.11 K/9, and has been at or near the top of all the major AL pitching categories since the beginning of the year. The fact that he is doing it as still one of the youngest players in the AL just makes what he's already done that much more impressive.
- Last but not least, Andy Pettitte. Old Reliable. I don't know how he's done it, he doesn't know how he's done it, but so far Andy has put together his best season ever. The last member of the Yankee 11-win club, Pettitte has been the best pitcher on the staff since the start of the year. He's consistent, he's smart, and he can use his pitches any way he wants. He has a team-low 2.70 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP and should be starting the game at age 38.
So there you have it, haters. Not a bad pick in the bunch. And we've already established that Brett Gardner could very well be an All Star himself. So bitch and moan all you want, but the fact is the Yankees have a bunch of top performers, and that's why they have the best record in baseball. The best thing you can do is accept these guys' awesomeness, get some beer, and enjoy the show when the All Star Game comes on.
Yankees lineup: Beltran out; Pirela at 2B
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