Perhaps I should have done this sooner than now (voting ended Thursday), so you could rely on my expertise when making your decisions...but consider this an effort in self-advocating.
You don't need to rely on me to make your decisions - and I'm just sharing with you my decisions so you can compare.
So here are my votes for All Star starters.
1B - Miguel Cabrera, Tigers - I dislike him, but he's having an incredible season. Justin Morneau is a close second - I would select him to the team as a backup if I had that authority.
2B - Robinson Cano, Yankees - No contest. Not even close.
SS - Elvis Andrus, Rangers - Rewarding the stolen bases. But the other numbers are decent, too.
3B - Adrian Beltre, Red Sox - Not sure if you know this or not, but he's having a pretty sick offensive season.
C - Joe Mauer, Twins - Of the guys having good seasons (Mike Napoli, Jorge Posada, Victor Martinez), Mauer's the one doing it all mostly catching - the other guys play a lot of DH and first base. For the same reason as Mauer, I almost went Kurt Suzuki of the A's here.
OF - Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners - Having a typical Ichiro All Star year, Josh Hamilton, Rangers - Color me shocked that he's back in this conversation, and I want to give this third spot to a number of guys who deserve it (Brett Gardner, Vernon Wells, David DeJesus...not Jose Bautista because he's hitting .228), but hoping they make it to the squad without being voted in as starters, I'm going with Carl Crawford.
DH - Vladimir Guerrero, Rangers - It'd be nice to see him go back to Anaheim for the All Star Game. Also having a very good season.
1B - Joey Votto, Reds - Knowing Albert Pujols is making the team anyway (hopefully Votto will as well), I'm rewarding an excellent first half here.
2B - Martin Prado, Braves - Easily one of the biggest surprises of the first half.
SS - Hanley Ramirez, Marlins - Kind of scary to think how good his numbers would be if he was going 100% all the time.
3B - David Wright, Mets - He actually deserves my vote this year.
C - Miguel Olivo, Rockies - Have you seen what he's doing in Colorado?
OF - Andre Ethier, Dodgers, Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies, and Matt Holliday, Cardinals - After a very brief analysis, these three outfielders seem to be putting up the best numbers.
I'm sure I missed someone deserving. If you have any comments, protests, or arguments, put them in the comments section.
*After the Diamondbacks firings this week, I heard Kirk Gibson and Jerry DiPoto would be moved up the ranks. I thought to myself, 'Cool, former Met Jerry DiPoto gets a pitching coach position.' But no - he's interim GM. Not bad, considering his playing days only ended in 2000.
*I have this to say to everyone who's getting worked up about a possible All Star selection for Stephen Strasburg - Chill out. First of all, it's not going to happen. Secondly, even if it did - it's a friggin' All Star Game. It's the type of game in which fans enjoy watching players like Strasburg. And even though the game "counts", it's not a huge deal. I'm not saying Strasburg should make the team - I think he'll get his due in the future, and it's a dangerous precedent if he is selected - but I'm not going to cry about it if he does.
*My family and I have followed Chris Simms since his high school days, because he's somewhat local. He's had a tough go of it at the pro level...and now he's facing charges of operating a car while under the influence of marijuana. He says he was just smoking a cigarette. First of all, you're an NFL quarterback - what are you doing smoking a cigarette (at best)? Secondly, with an 8-month pregnant wife there, too, no smoking should be taking place. I think my days of following Chris Simms are done.
*Maybe I should have known this already...maybe you already know this...but I'll pretend you don't: I saw 'Toy Story 3' with the family this week, and one of the previews was for a Secretariat movie. Looks pretty good (though, it was a movie preview...that's their job, to make movies look good). Also looks like an interesting story, if it's true and not Hollywooded up. I might have to look into a Secretariat book.
*I'm trying to think of a cross-sport comparison to this handball by Uruguay that kept Ghana from beating them in the World Cup quarterfinals. On the one hand it's a totally illegal move, but on the other hand, when your back is against the wall like that, you act instinctively and desperately. And it worked. And truth be told, I think I would do the same thing. Is it similar to the David Wright 'nudging' Nyjer Morgan off the bag on a stolen base attempt to tag him out? As long as you don't get caught doing it, it's OK? I can't think of an apt comparison there. Your comments are welcome.
*I can't tell if I think it's ridiculous that in the local paper they have a full written recap of the town men's softball league (teams named after pizzerias and everything), or if I'm just jealous that I'm not on one of those teams.
*Happy 4th of July. I wouldn't expect another post later today - go out and enjoy some sun. I'll be back at it tomorrow.