The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was founded in 2009 with the goal of creating a conglomerate of baseball blogs that would give each of its members the resources and support needed to grow and to promote community among bloggers. Founded by Daniel Shoptaw, founder of C70 at the Bat, a prominent Cardinals blog, we are now fast approaching 200 member blogs.
Each year, the BBA members vote on post-season awards, similar to the BBWAA. Starting in 2010, we will be awarding the Goose Gossage Award for excellence in relief pitching, thanks to a partnership with the Hall of Fame closer. In addition to post-season honors, the BBA last year polled its members for a Hall of Fame vote, and this season we begin our annual All-Star balloting as well.
After the jump you will find the official ballot cast by MCB, along with a brief explanation of our selections. For more information on the BBA, visit the homepage, or if you are a blogger, contact Daniel Shoptaw to apply for membership.
MCB AL All-Star Ballot (…)
Catcher- Joe Mauer (Min) (unanimous selection)- The power numbers are down this year but there still isn’t another catcher that strikes as much fear in opposing pitchers as Joe Mauer. A first class person and player on a first place team is more than deserving of starting at catcher. -Zac Snyder
First Base- Miguel Cabrera (Det)- What can you say about a man leading the league in homer and runs batted in, all while offering a batting average near .340? He is without question the top right handed hitter in the American League and is threatening to make a serious run at a triple crown. Plus, this is a Tigers blog, afterall. -John Parent (other votes: Justin Morneau- Matt Snyder)
Second Base- Robinson Cano (NYY) (unanimous)- When it comes to offensive production out of AL second basemen there is Robinson Cano then there is everybody else. No other AL second baseman can compare to Cano’s .376 average or 46 RBIs and his 12 home runs ranks second to part time 2B Ty Wigginton’s 13. No Yankee favoritism here, this guy is deserves his spot as an All-Star starter. -Zac Snyder
Third base- Evan Longoria (TB) (unanimous)- Longoria is the leader of an outstanding Rays club. His batting totals rival those of any of his contemporaries, while his 10 stolen bases are far and away the best of any AL third baseman. He’s an outstanding young player that only figures to get better. -Zac Snyder and John Parent
Shortstop- Derek Jeter (NYY)- Doesn’t lead in home runs, doesn’t lead in defense, doesn’t lead in batting average, doesn’t lead in stolen bases, but he’s among the leaders in pretty much everything. Jeter’s still the class of American League shortstops. His 1.8 WAR also ties him for the lead at the position. -Matt Snyder (other votes: Alex Gonzalez- John Parent)
Outfield- Vernon Wells (Tor) (unanimous)- The Toronto Blue Jays have been the surprise offensive team of the season and Vernon Wells is certainly the face of that effort. Wells has not committed an error yet this year while finding the power that should give him his first 30 HR season since 2006. -Zac Snyder
Alex Rios (CWS) (unanimous)- Rios shows maybe an ideal mix of power and speed. He leads qualified outfielders in hitting, and plays outstanding defense as well. Plus he already has 19 steals, as he threatens to become the first ever White Sox with a 30/30 season -Matt Snyder and John Parent
Magglio Ordonez (Det)- Maggs leads all AL outfielders in Runs Batted In, which might not mean much to the Sabermetric folks out there, but just watch the past few games (without Ordonez) to see how valuable he is for his club. He is on pace to put up another very fine offensive season and he’s playing pretty well defensively this season as well. 2009 looks like a distant memory for the former batting champ. -John Parent (other votes: Ichiro Suzuki -Zac Snyder, Brennan Boesch -Matt Snyder)
Designated Hitter- Vladimir Guerrero (Tex) (unanimous)- Vlad has always hit well in Texas, this year he is doing it for the home team. Frankly, most full time DH’s haven’t earned the “H” part this year but Guerrero certainly has with a 0.339 average, 13 HR, and 53 RBIs. -Zac Snyder
Starting Pitcher- Francisco Liriano (Min)- He’s boasting a sub-3.00 ERA and he’s only four strikeouts behind the league lead. It’s not a fluke either, his sub-3.00 xFIP is tied for the league’s best. -Matt Snyder (other votes: David Price -Zac Snyder, James Shields -John Parent)
Relief Pitcher- Jose Valverde (Det) (unanimous)- The saves total isn’t where many Tigers fans would like it to be but that hasn’t been Jose Valverde‘s fault as his microscopic ERA shows. Opposing hitters have had a harder time finding hits against Valverde (.115 BA against) than any other AL closer. Some guys have more saves, some guys get more strikeouts, but no one has been more effective than Valverde. -Zac Snyder