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