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June 22, 2009

Orioles: Who's going to meet you in St. Louis?

SherrrillGetty.jpgGot into an interesting discussion with your favorite Orioles beat reporter, Jeff Zrebiec, last night about who really deserves to be the Orioles representative in this year's All-Star Game in St. Louis.

Maybe a month ago, you could have made a case for several offensive players, and there's no rule against more than one Oriole being on the team, even if it has seemed that way at times over the past 11 years. But the club's lengthy offensive slump dampened the individual numbers to the point where it may come down to one guy.

Who do you think it will be...and who do you think it should be, because those two criteria may not produce the same name?

Jeff was pointing out that in a perfect world, you might have to take a hard look at setup man Jim Johnson, but not many middle relievers get an invitation. In a not-so-perfect world, it's possible -- and who would have believed this a month ago -- that the lone representative might be the same guy as last year. Closer George Sherrill (right) has turned his season around so dramatically that another week or two of throwing the way he is now and he could be hard to pass up.

I'm still partial to Adam Jones, even though he has had his problems over the past couple of weeks. His numbers project out right now to a full season with a .318 average, 110 runs, 28 homers and 101 RBI. Those are All-Star numbers.

I'm sure everybody thought Nick Markakis would be an obvious choice back when he was among the major league leaders in RBI, but he has fallen far off the leaderboard and continues to battle back from a deep run-production slump. Brian Roberts has solid numbers across the board, but probably would be the odd man out in a second base numbers game. Aubrey Huff also is having a productive season, but his numbers don't jump out at you.

Okay, I've rambled long enough. Cast your blog ballot. Who will be the Orioles representative at the All-Star game and who should be? Those are the questions.

Getty Images

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 11:26 AM | | Comments (68)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

Pete, I really don't know to be honest. Everyone's been struggling lately and there hasn't been a standout. Knowing the All-Star game, we'll probably get no representation anyway, but at least this year it might be justified. Jim Johnson has been sharp, but if we're talking reality, the question shouldn't just be who should be representing us, but rather who, if anyone, WILL be representing us?

As much as I would like to see Adam Jones get the invitation, it has to be George Sherrill. He has been lights out. And let's hope we move him this year for a quality SS or 3B prospect.

It has to be Sherrill at this point. He's been lights out lately while all the other candidates have been slipping....Certainly would help his trade value, too.

The all star voting is totally unfair for small market teams. How can MLB let major metros just be able to write in who they want it’s a joke!! It’s a popularity contest and stats don’t matter at all. I hope Manny gets voted in just to show how stupid the whole thing is..

Sherrill is definately a possibility. I'm not sure why everyone is so anxious to unload him. As the team improves with the young talent, they're still going to need a closer. Sherrill has proven he can do the job. My dark horse candidate for all-star: Luke Scott. If he has another homer binge in the next week or so, he's got a chance to make the team.

I don't think llana realizes that every team in MLB has to be represented in the All-Star game. So the Orioles WILL have an All-Star.

Everyone write in Matt Wieters!

I would write in Reimold before Wieters.

JJ SHOULD get the nod..but he won't, just like he SHOULD have goten it last season.

Saves are a stupid stat

Dave Taylor,

0% chance Luke Scott makes the all star team. If anything by votes Adam Jones deserves it the most at 744,750 votes to be the O’s representative. It’s totally unfair that joker NYers voted Johnny Damon over him lol but Jones is beating guys like Ellsbury and JD Drew which is pretty incredible. Jones to me is an All Star and deserves to play this year.

Here is the current vote standings

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090615&content_id=5338368&vkey=allstar2009&fext=.jsp

Jeff V,

I was just playing about writing in Wieters because Joe Mauer has about 2 million votes so far hahaha. That would be amazing to somehow get Judge Nolan Reimold on the team but at this point would probably involve vote tampering and corruption to get it done. Come on Bmore lets make this happen haha

I bet crazy NYers get more votes for george costanza cause the numbers....

I think either Sherrill or Johnson. Both have been really good and a big reason why the team feels confident when were ahead or close behind going into the 8th. You couldn't go wrong with Jones or Roberts either.

Adam Jones SHOULD be our guy. George Sherrill WILL be our guy. And there's no way the O's will have more than one representative. That doesn't happen for last place teams.

Hello Mr. Schmuck,

Robert Andino, If he keeps it up.( Maybe Next year)

Actually Brain Roberts or Adam Jones are my pick. Don't Want Sherrill to go, look what happen after the game last year.

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Pete's reply: Good point. But the All-Star appearance might juice his trade value.

It should be Adam Jones hands down. I thought a month ago it would be Markakis because the baseball world had finally seen him enough to know who he was. Then the whole team went into that slump and he had no one on base and his run production fell off. Adam dropped off but still has managed to get his hits here and there ( a sign of a maturing offensive player). When it comes down to it, Adam has made huge strides over last season at the plate and has become a force to be reckoned with. He has become better at pitch recognition and has shown the ability to lay off the breaking ball down and away with 2 strikes. If you vote based on performance Adam is the man with George Sherrill a distant second. I love what Sherrill has done but face it, Adam has been in almost every inning of all but about 7-8 games(Hamstring) and George pitches 1 inning in the close games we win. It is kind of like the argument a few years ago between who should win MVP, Ortiz or A-Rod. Hard to pass up the guy who plays the field for a guy who only helps the club part of the time. Adam is going to make the team and I bet it is the first of several All Star appearances for him. Thanks Seattle.

I think Sherrill based on performance to this point. The next closest would be Jones (Who should make it as well). The third and long shot is Luke Scott. If he can gain some consistency or get on another hot streak it's a serious possibility. Wouldn't it be great to see an Oriole in the Home Run Derby? I can dream can't I, even though it's not that far fetched if he can have around 20 home runs by the All Star Break.

On another note, stop talking about trading people. On the current roster there is not one player I would like to see them trade this year. No one is over-priced or doing that bad a job. I would love to see them sign Scott and Huff for the next few years and leave Sherrill where he is. His decline last year was based on injury and fatigue not a lack of ability.

Pete,

Sorry I need to vent a little bit more about this all star game balloting. Alex Rodriguez a known drug user, part time baseball player and all around dirtbag has over 100k votes over Adam Jones… Manny and Rick Ankiel have over a million votes so far!!!! OHHHHH MYYYY GODDDDD!!! Fans have proven year after year they are not capable of doing this. I think this thing needs to be done by checks and balances like fans get 50% of the say and the managers do the rest or something like other sports do. Is it just me or does baseball love to hold down the little guys in every aspect including the all star game?

Get Fat Breezy in the Midsummer Classic and up his trade value and deal him and his size 50 pants.

I vote Sherrill for the simple reason it may make a team give us more than they should for him. However if I just needed to pick a player no strings attached it would be JJ or Jones. Jones has plenty ahead of him so I won't stress on that.

It should be Adam Jones. He's a five tool outfielder having an all-star caliber season. He probably won't start, but that will give Joe Madden lots of flexibility offensively and defensively later in the game. And fyi Ilana from DC, the O's will have at least one representative in the game because league rules require that every MLB team does.

I would vote Adam Jones to be our All-Star representative. Sherrill is my next choice.

I vote Jim Johnson

I vote Jim Johnson

I'd like to see Jones there. If it comes down to JJ or Sherrill, I'd prefer they don't make an appearance.

can we write in MacPhail?

George Sherrill deserves to be an all star this season. His #s have been amazing, but the one thing that doesn't get much ink, he is finishing games that go in the non-save category with ease. I have no idea why, but so many closer when the game is not on the line, get lit up. George doesn't.

Adam Jones should be an all star, but I can't see him jumping over the so called big name players. It's a popularity contest which isn't fair and that's one reason that I don't really care for all star games in any sport. I want to see guys playing in the game that are having amazing years, but usually if they are a rookie or a 2nd year player, they haven't earned the right so it goes to guys who in the past deserved a spot.

clearly it's Adam Jones but add Johnson and maybe Roberts.

Hey Pete,
I gotta agree with you and think it will be Jones and maybe Sherrill, there are too many other players having better seasons than Nick or Brob at this point.

P.S. say Hi to Tom Totushek for me... its been a while i've seen him.


............................................................................................
Pete's reply: I'll do that. Saw him on Saturday.

The fact that we can't decide on who should represent the O's this year makes sense, since they still have one of the worst records in the AL. I think Sherrill should go, and Sherrill will go. Jones is close, but next year (and many years after) should be his time, along with Markakis.
Once the O's start winning again (and I think 2010 will be the year), we'll be talking about who might be left OFF the list.

I'm gonna say Jones for 'should' AND 'will.' (llana -- did you really not see that those WERE the 2 questions??)

Jones has a certain star quality and seems like a nice kid. Those may be factors that Maddon pays attention to in the tarnished sports world of today.

(BTW, did anyone notice him blowing his bubble as he casually strolled into first on the single yesterday drawing a throw from Werth that was a little too close for comfort??)

Pete,

What is the exact criteria for the 1 man representative for small market teams that can’t get a guy voted in? I was under the impression last season the all star team manager makes the decision that’s why terry francona picked George Sherrill because of the great season he was having. This season though I would think joe maddon would go for Adam Jones if that’s the case.

...........................................................................................
Pete's reply: Yes, the reserves are picked by the manager with input from others and MLB execs.

If AJ can keep it up and pull out of his mini-slump, he needs to be there. Looking at Sherriill's #'s the only closer that has a better whip is Nathan. He's been dominant. In the years to come i can picture Nick and AJ at mult. AS games.

The O's will only get one representative. It should be one of the following: Sherrill, Johnson, or Jones. It will not he Johnson because no one knows who he is outside of Baltimore. All of the baseball world seems pretty enamored with Jones so it could be him. But I think it will be just Sherrill because he's been there before and has been lights out recently.

Given that the top two choices among fans appear to be George Sherrill and Adam Jones, it's just further proof that the Bedard trade was the best thing that has happened to the Orioles since the '97 playoffs.

It has become our own positive version of the Glen Davis deal.

Absolutely Adam Jones and people should keep in mind that your production early in the season means as much as your production closer to the all-star break. If not Jones then Brian Roberts or Luke Scott would both be excellent choices as hitters. If any O's pitcher makes it Koji Uehara should be the choice. He won't get many votes though, since voters usually look at stats like wins and losses and era instead of better more advanced and descriptive stats to measure a pitchers value. I'd cite a few examples but Pete might jump on me for using acronyms again. By the way Pete I took that to be in jest, I'm sure you're at least mildly familiar with advanced stats. BTW I really think the O's deserve more than one guy, I hope they get it.

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Pete's reply: Yes, it was meant in jest, though I have said here before that I'm not a huge stat guy. I've gone back and forth on them for decades. I know all the people who put the stuff together and they're brilliant people. I respect what they do, but tend to view the game more from a narrative standpoint. I think there's room for every point of view. That's what's great about the game.

JD,
Fans do not vote for pitchers just position players.

Vote for O's!! if you vote the max you get a free ticket after the All star break


here is a link to the vote:
http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2009/ballot_reg.html

Wow, can't believe I forgot that, thanks John! Oh well what I wrote applies even if the AL manager is doing the choosing. In fact maybe even more.

Tom Shopay......just because

Fan voting is ridiculous. The manager's picks are the closest thing to reality that there is. Forget Sherrill. Just because he's pitched well over the last dozen appearances does not an all star make. Jones or Markakis. You can't go wrong with either. No other Orioles are worthy of consideration.

I can't believe I read each comment. How many times can you read the same thing over and over? I need to get out more.
I'm voting for Feix Pie and Greg Zaun. Also Mark Hendrickson if I could. They are my favorite Orioles.

.............................................................................................
Pete's reply: You do need to get out more. And while you're out, could you pick me up a couple of cheeseburgers.

I'm not so sure about the idea of trading Sherrill. If he goes, then Johnson closes and the bullpen takes a major hit. Do the O's need more pitching prospects and would they really get a player that could play third or short in the next couple seasons? Closers are hard to find and Sherrill is a lefty closer, which are even more rare.

Why the urgency to trade Sherrill? We will NEED a closer. And we won't need a SS after Izturis's contract runs out; not if we keep Andino. We will need a 3B, starting next year, but we can add one via free agency, and keep both Huff and Scott.
If we have to trade someone, Scott.
As for the All-Star game, Jones and Sherrill.

What happened with Jake tonight?? 1ip then pulled?

Pete,

I would like to see Jones but knowing how much of this is reputation, I think Sherrill will be our lone candidate!

Keith

Who on the Orioles is the best (or among the best) at their position in the filed and at the plate or on the mound?

The All Star Game is a sham anyway. Letting fans pick the starters is a joke. Letting the biased managers fill out the roster with their guys is BS. If the MLB wants to keep it the way it is, they need to change the game to the "MLB Most Popular Game." If they want an All Star Game, they need to institute a panel of HOF'ers (3 from each position) to determine the team. Keep the numbers of players selected to max allowed for a regular game. And once and for all, get rid of the one player per team rule. If you suck, no All Star Game.

Simply put....Adam Jones deserves to go.

He has the best overall numbers of any AL outfielder, except maybe Torii Hunter. All-star voting doesn't look at stats, but Jones is one of the best outfielders in the league, and SHOULD go. No excuses.

gonna throw it out there because i can, i like the kid and he is quitely making a name for himself. Bergesen.

I think that the fans need to get on line and vote. I know we will not get the votes if we depend on attendance at games. So VOTE!!!! Markakis, Jones and Roberts have done excellent this year. Really do you want to see alll Redsox and Yankees?

Pete- Since All Star game involves fans voting for players , I wouldnt hold my breath waiting for nationally fans ( not local O's fans ) to vote our O's in . If AL Manager wants my recommendation , I would give him three names ( in that order ) Jones , BRob , Markakis . I WILL NOT give him our pitchers . Why ? Did anyone remembered what happened to Sherrill in All Star last year ? He started to slump after that game . And what about Guthrie in WBC ? Look what happened to him after that series .
Pete , let the other clubs take risk of sending their pitchers to All Stars and WBC , our pitchers are too precious commodity . And your trade value point ? Nice point except couldnt they look at player's stats and tapes for their evaluations ?

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Pete's reply: They look at plenty of other stuff, but being an All-Star two years in a row certainly doesn't hurt.

Austin-I like your suggestions for improving the All Star game . The only question I have is if they abolished the 'one player per team ' rule , how would you feel if they used that rule change to block all of O's players from the All Star game?

O's fan in the Bronx. I agree with you-let's keep guys like Scott, Sherrill and Huff who can continue ot be key parts of the team for at least thte next 2-3 years while we FINALLY position ourselves to contend.
Post after post advocates trading Sherrill for the always 'iffy' prospects. We already have enough of them, especially pitchers so it's time to fill other holes with MLB ready players for the bench and likely 3B. Why create other holes?
The only players that should be set loose after this year are fading vets lilke Mora/Hendrickson and Zahn(although I can live with him fr one more year).

Jehosie Heard or Joe Van Durham. If unavailable, Willie Tasby. If they wear 42.

Let's hope Sherrill doesn't make it. Let's not forget how much he sucked last year after pitching all those innings in the All Star game.

Allan - If the O's don't have a player who is a top positional player or a top pitcher (starter or reliever), I wouldn't feel slighted at all. Honestly, I am just tired of seeing the AL All Star team feature 8 Red Sox and 8 Yankees when they are simply the most popular players...not the best. All Star games are used to build cases for the HOF...the HOF is not for the most popular players.

I still maintain that Brian Roberts is the most valuable player on this team, so he should be out All-Star representative.

I'm not sure why people in this town hate him, but they despised Eddie Murray when he was a player here.

If you ask baseball people outside Baltimore about Roberts, I think you'll find he's very highly regarded.

You don't have to be high-fiving someone every five minutes to have a passion for the game.

Why does everyone want to trade Sherrill? We'll need a closer next year, so why not try and keep him? A solid player, in my mind, is worth more than some unknown prospects. And trading him will just create another hole to fill. If Johnson and Sherrill are lights out where they are, why not just keep them where they are?

Adam Jones should and (I predict) will be the lone Orioles representative at the All-Star Game. He's in the top five in the AL for outfielders in many key offensive categories - R, RBI, BA, OPS to name a few. And I think Maddon will select him. Earlier in the year I thought it would be Markakis, but he's tailed off a good bit since then. Though there is still plenty of time for someone to get hot or cold and change that around.

I think that in the end, it will wind up being either Jones or Sherrill (possibly both). Sherrill's projected to get around 30-40 saves this year. That's all-star quality.

Oh and Paul, I think Sherrill could be trade bait. Here's why: I think that Chris Tillman might be better off as a closer. He has trouble getting through five innings, but he has freaking NASTY stuff. He'd be one hell of a closer. Unless Tillman can prove that he can go at least 5 or 6 innings every time out, I think it would be best for him to be in the bullpen. Plus we do have Bergesen, Hernandez, Matusz, and Arrieta. We can afford to put Tillman in the pen.

It should be and will be Sherrill. Markakis has fallen off the face of the earth since his hot start and Jones is rapidly becoming just as ineffective.
Of course, none of this would matter if our fans actually supported the team. WE like to complain a lot about only getting one representative and how much of a raw deal we get. Here's a news flash: if we want our O's in the game we need to get off our lazy, fat asses and vote. It'd also be nice if some fans actually went to the games too, instead of complaining about a decade of losing. What's done is done. Go to the games, support your team, give them something and someone to play for.

I think whoever it is, will only come in as a pinch hitter. With that in mind, I am going with Aubrey Huff or Luke Scott.

How can it not be the newly adorned hall of famer Matt Wieters???

But seriously, I think Noland Reimold and Luke Scott can each represent the Orioles for half the game. (ok, that wasn't serious)

Adam Jones

I would like to see Jones go - and I would not like to see George S. go for the simple fact he could use the time off. He is either going to be an effective second half closer for us, or some serious trade bait...but he was not the same last year after Francona (inappropriately) used him too long in the AS game last year.

30-man roster. You have to look at need (one backup at each position) and compare players to the rest of the league. Also, keep in mind Maddon will (rightfully) reward his own players.

Definitely going to make it:
Boston - Bay, Youkilis, Pedroia, Papelbon
NYY - Teix, Jeter, Rivera
Toronto - Halladay, Hill
Tampa - Longoria, Crawford, Pena and either Bartlett or Zobrist

Detroit - Inge, Verlander
Minn - Mauer
Texas - Hamilton, Kinsler, Francisco
Angels - Hunter, Fuentes
Sea - Suzuki

Other likelies:
Minn - Slowey SP
Sea - FHernandez SP

One from each:
Oakland - Bailey RP
Cleve - VMartinez C
KC - Grienke SP
CWS - Buehrle SP

That's 28.

That leaves Baltimore to fill whatever he's looking for at RP, OF or DH (BRob out of luck with Kinsler/Hill/Pedroia) plus one more.

Pick two (at least one Oriole) from Sherrill, AJones, Markakis, Huff, DeRosa, Lind, Nelson Cruz, and Miguel Cabrera

Give him a bat and sign him up with the Orioles!

Austin - maybe you wont be insulted if they dont select any O's for All Star game , but I am sure there gonna be some fans upset about being subbed .
And yes , I am also weary seeing Red Sox and Yankees players compete against NL All Star team . Like you said , nothing more than popularity show . WBC and All Star games are only games I dont watch or follow .
Speaking of Sherrill , I wont trade him , he is not free agent yet . They have to make me an offer I cant refuse before I trade him .


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Pete's reply: There has to be at least one Oriole.

Yes you are right , being an All Star is no guarantee getting into HOF . Members of HOF commitee have higher standards and criterias than fans voting for their beloved All Stars .

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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