The Sporting News has announced the American League All Stars as selected by a panel of 31 major league general managers and GMs. Joe Mauer received votes from all 17 AL executives who participated.
C Joe Mauer appeared in 138 games for the Twins, 109 behind the plate, leading the league with a .365 batting average (he also topped the league in average the year before with a .328 mark), while getting beat up at catcher. Joe hit 28 homers, 30 doubles, and drove in 96, leading Minnesota to the postseason as Central Division champs.
1B Mark Teixeira powered the Yankees offense leading the league in homers (39) & RBIs 122, while batting .292, with 43 doubles, scoring 103 times, he also topped the Junior Circuit in total bases with 344.
2B Aaron Hill came back after suffering a concussion, which allowed him to only play 55 games the previous season, to have his best year ever. Aaron batted .286 with 36 home runs & 37 doubles, driving in 108 & scoring 103 times.
3B Evan Longoria was the Rookie of the Year who was one of the leaders of the Rays who made it to the World Series last year, now he’s the best player at the hot corner. He batted .281, with 33 longballs, 44 two base hits, drove in 113 & scored 100 times.
SS Derek Jeter is the captain & leader of the New York Yankees. Jeter batted .334 with an OBP of .406, it was his job to get on for the big bats, steling 30 bases at the ripe old age of 35, he ripped 18 homers to go along with 27 doubles.
OF Ichiro Suzuki is known simply as Ichiro. Since coming to the States all he’s done is hit, a lifetime batting average of .333, over 200 hits every season (9 years), and leading the league in hits the last four years. This year Ichiro batted .352 with 225 hits, 31 doubles, 11 homers, and 26 steals.
OF Torii Hunter just missed batting .300, finishing the season with a .299 batting average, 22 homers, 90 RBIs, despite missing significant time due to injury.
OF Jason Bay has quickly found his Fenway Park stroke since coming over to the Red Sox, socking 36 homers, driving in 119, while scoring 103 runs.
DH Hideki Matsui joins three other Yankees on this year’s all star squad. Due to injuries Matsui took over the team’s fulltime DH duties to keep him healthy and to keep his potent bat in the lineup. It worked as Hideki hit 28 home runs & drove in 90 for the Bronx Bombers.
SP Zack Greinke seems to have it altogether for the Royals, being named Pitcher of the Year. 16-8 with a league best 2.16 ERA and 242 strikeouts in 229′ innings, doesn’t begin to tell the story of this youngster’s dominance, with any kind of run support at all he certainly would’ve been a twenty game winner.
RP Mariano Rivera There are closers, then there is Mariano Rivera. He is that good, he is a step above every other closer in the game, and like a fine wine, he just keeps getting better with age. He has this cutter, a gift from God, the hitters know it’s coming, but can’t do anything to hit it. He has taught his famous cutter to a few pitchers throughout the league, to the chagrin of many hitters. This year Mo, at the age of 39, had 44 saves to go along with a 1.76 ERA, ho-hum.