The season's now half over, my Giants play game 81 today. My ballot at the 60 game mark is here.
Here are the requirements:
Each league has 34 players.
Each position player has a backup, each league has a DH, each league has at least 3 relief pitchers, every team is represented.
I'll only pick 3 relievers for each league, as that's all the spots relievers warrant, but they'll want up with twice that many spots on the actual teams, all the big save guys will get spots, and that will be the biggest difference between my rosters and the ones actually selected. They only have to pick 3 relievers, however, so that's all they get. Edit - I'm a pitcher short, I gave both sides 13, turns out, I need one more. I'll make it a reliever. That means I'm taking out a position player for both squads; if you wonder, "hey, he just said X made the team, but where is he" I took him out for this purpose.
It's Sunday, the rosters have been announced, I'll edit them in for comparison in bold.
C Avila (Avila) 3B Rodriguez
1B Gonzalez (Gonzalez) CF Ellsbury
2B Zobrist (Cano) RF Bautista
SS Cabrera (The late Derek Jeter) 1B Gonzalez
3B Rodriguez (Rodriguez) DH Ortiz
LF Granderson (Granderson) LF Granderson
CF Ellsbury (Hamilton) C Avila
RF Bautista (Bautista) 2B Zobrist
DH Ortiz (Ortiz) SS Cabrera
C Santana, Martinez (Wieters, Martin)
1B Cabrera, Konerko (Cabrera)
2B Kinsler, Pedroia (Kendrick)
SS Hardy, (Cabrera)
3B Youkilis (Beltre, Young)
OF Gordon, Jones, Joyce (Ellsbury, Quentin, Cuddyer, Joyce)
Beckett, Shields, Verlander, Jackson, Masterson, Gonzalez, Pineda, Hernandez, Baker
(Beckett, Gonzalez, Hernandez, Verlander, Price, Shields, Weaver, Wilson)
RP Papelbon, Robertson, Santos, Perez (Perez, Valverde, Crow, Rivera, League)
I'm screwing the Yankees a little bit, Cano could go over Pedroia; Gardner could go over Span; Sabathia could go over Masterson/Hernandez. It's not done intentionally. I've replaced Span with Jones given the injury. That meant Baker had to get picked, which is fine.
I took Peralta because he could play short or third, Aybar would be an alternative, as would Beltre. Replaced this spot with the 14th pitcher.
Martinez would give the Tigers two catchers on this team, he's really a DH, but has caught enough to be the emergency all-star catcher. Walden has pitched himself out of the game.
C McCann (McCann) SS Reyes
1B Fielder (Fielder) LF Braun
2B Weeks (Weeks) 1B Fielder
SS Reyes (Reyes) CF Kemp
3B Headley (Polanco) DH Votto
LF Braun (Braun) C McCann
CF Kemp (Kemp) RF Upton
RF Upton (Berkman) 3B Headley
DH Votto 2B Weeks
C Montero, Iannetta (Molina)
1B Sanchez (Votto, Sanchez)
2B Phillips, Espinosa (Phillips)
SS Tulowitzki (Castro, Tulowitzki)
3B Roberts (Jones)
OF Holliday, McCutchen, Berkman, Pence, (Upton, Bruce, Pence, Beltran, Holliday,
Jurrjens, Lee, Hamels, Halladay, Zimmerman, Stauffer, Lincecum, Vogelsong, Lohse
(Kershaw, Hamels, Jurrjens, Cain, Halladay, Lincecum, Vogelsong, Lee)
RP Kimbrel, Axford, Marmol, Hanrahan (Venters, Hanrahan, Bell, Wilson, Clippard)
You could replace Iannetta with Hernandez; there's not another SS/3B you'd take over the 8th OF, although it would be better roster construction. Headley's the weakest starter on either team. Too many outfielders for Stubbs to make it; you could swap in Bourn for Pence if inclined. You could also take Pujols over Ethier pretty easily, and absent the injury, I would. Ethier now was replaced by the 14th pitcher.
Pitching is a strength; Niese, Arizona's Hudson, Zambrano, could all make the club if you wanted just to take one Giant; given that Bochy is managing, you're likely to see lots of not really deserving Giants make the club. This does not break my heart. On the merits, if you tell me only one from Vogelsong/Lincecum is really deserving over Hudson, I'd say Vogelsong and leave Timmy off the club. But I'm not doing that. Cain will probably make the real team; I'd listen to an argument that Bumgarner is who deserves that spot. Until this week, I would have taken Venters over Kimbrel.
I don't think I missed anyone.
Final Five AL: Gordon, Jones, Konerko, Martinez, Zobrist
(My vote would be Zobrist)
Final Five NL: Morse, Victorino, Ethier, Helton, Kennedy)
(My Vote Would be McCutcheon. Where the hell is McCutchen? Did I miss him?)
My spring training picks were here.
I had Boston and the Yankees as the best teams in the AL and still do. One wins the division and the other the WC. I had CWS winning the central, today I'd take the Tigers. And Texas to win the west, and they still will.
I had Phils/Braves both going to the playoffs from the east, and still do. I had Milwaukee and the Giants in the other two divisions, and still do.
I suggested a few win total over/unders in those picks. I had Tampa and Baltimore both going over, I still like Tampa, Baltimore a little less. I solidly liked the Phillies to go under, and it's gonna be close, but I still think it comes in the right way. I had the Astros to go under, and that's going to win for me. I had the Dodgers to go over, and that's going to lose.
My Giants need a bat to make any October noise. I expect Belt to get regular playing time and hit by the stretch, but that isn't enough. I would be interested in what the Mets would want for Reyes.
a jim jividen blog
Here's the thing. I'm watching one of these shows on the Cooking Channel featuring food trucks. There's a Scottish expat making fish and chips; in a thick brogue he somewhat wearily explains his irritation with Americans who habitually order a side of tartar sauce: "tartar sauce is basically gherkins." That's this blog. I claim no particular insight, no revelation. If you enjoy the flavor, great, but this blog is basically gherkins.