Three more days remain until the next Orioles game, but at least you can pass tonight with some baseball players doing baseball-like things in the All-Star Game. If you want to get mad about MLB’s ongoing effort to stick it to the O’s for fighting so hard about MASN rights fees, you can probably spend some of the time thinking about how this game, or one of the last couple, “should” have been in Baltimore.
For the third consecutive year, the Orioles will have just one representative on the American League roster. It is hard to get excited about the game when John Means might pitch one inning, if we are lucky. Maybe I’m just a provincial loser, though, for not appreciating the opportunity to see some great, or good early in 2019, players all on the same field for a while.
There’s definitely some star power in the starting lineups:
- George Springer - RF
- DJ LeMahieu - 2B
- Mike Trout - CF
- Carlos Santana - 1B
- J.D. Martinez - DH
- Alex Bregman - 3B
- Gary Sanchez - C
- Michael Brantley - LF
- Jorge Polanco - SS
Justin Verlander is the starting pitcher for the AL.
If you had asked me, “Is Jorge Polanco on a MLB roster right now?” I would have had a 50/50 shot of guessing that the correct answer is yes, let alone that he’s an All-Star. The Twins shortstop is batting .312/.368/.514 so far this season and is worth 4.2 bWAR to date, which is impressive for anyone at roughly the season’s midpoint.
- Christian Yelich - LF
- Javier Baez - SS
- Freddie Freeman - 1B
- Cody Bellinger - RF
- Nolan Arenado - 3B
- Josh Bell - DH
- Willson Contreras - C
- Ketel Marte - 2B
- Ronald Acuna Jr. - CF
Hyun-Jin Ryu is the NL’s starting pitcher.
The last time that the All-Star game was held in Cleveland, the lineups looked like this:
If justice is eventually served and Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez are in the Hall of Fame, that will make 13 of 18 players from this starting lineup in the Hall. Larry Walker has his supporters as well.
There is always the tendency to lionize a past that probably wasn’t as great as you remember it. As far as an All-Star Game starting lineup goes, though, it’s tough to say that tonight’s 18 in the starting lineups will eventually lead to there being at least 11 Hall of Famers from the group. Of course, not all of the 11-14 were certain future Hall of Famers back in 1997.
I like Mike Trout’s and Justin Verlander’s chances. I’m not so sure about anyone else’s. Who knows, though. Maybe in 22 years, somebody will come back and drop an “old takes exposed” on 2019 me about all of the future Hall of Famers I wasn’t recognizing right now.