By Jose M. Romero / @RomeroJoseM
For FOX Deportes
The National League. The Senior Circuit. The league in which pitchers get to hit, and where double-switches are common.
I live in a National League city and I see pretty much every team come through Phoenix at least once. It’s a good thing.
Thursday was the last day to cast fan ballots for the MLB All-Star Game starters. Mine is in, and I share it with you just as I did Wednesday with the American League – the guys I voted for and the ones most deserving to be in Kansas City rolling through Country Club Plaza throwing coins in one of KC’s many fountains.
Jose’s vote: Yonder Alonso, Padres. A .253 average as of June 26. It’s hard to excel with a team that has a long way to go. I made this vote based on the potential of this guy, and the fact that he strikes me as a good guy who has a sweet swing.
Deserving player: Joey “Orale” Votto, Reds. Stolen nickname from a colleague, I confess. .353, 14 HRs, 47 RBI. He’s very good.
Jose’s vote: Darwin Barney, Cubs. He’s part of the future core of a Cubs team that won’t be anything this year, maybe next. Also good defensively, and even though he went to Oregon State, he grew up very close to where I did in Oregon. So I roll with the hometown guy.
Deserving player: Aaron Hill, Diamondbacks. I have seen him a lot this season, and without him Arizona might not be alive in their division. A clutch hitter, solid on defense. Ten bombs from your second baseman not named Robinson Cano? Bonus.
Jose’s vote: Rafael Furcal, Cardinals. Still getting it done, loved him as a Dodger. This was kind of hard to do, given that I cannot stand the Cardinals. Has 84 hits, second among NL shortstops, and he’s staying healthy. And he will probably make it, since he’s the leading vote-getter at the position.
Deserving player: Starlin Castro, Cubs. Plays for a bad team but has really good numbers. Cubs will get one All-Star, and Castro should be it.
Jose’s vote: Hanley Ramirez, Marlins. Doesn’t have the batting average of others but 11 home runs, 41 RBI, .260 isn’t so bad. Plus he can run, with 10 stolen bases.
Deserving player: David Wright, Mets. Wow, 92 hits and a .354 average.
Jose’s vote: Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks. A great leader who has been an All-Star, he has good numbers but he isn’t even in the top five of vote-getters at his position. Still, no way could I ever vote for a Giants player, sorry Buster Posey.
Deserving player: “Chooooooch!!!!” Carlos Ruiz, Phillies. This is simply based on the fact that Ruiz and I had a good interview earlier this season; Yadier Molina of the Cardinals, a team I don’t like anyway, seemed so annoyed by me. Whatever. Also Ruiz has a better batting average, .361, and it’s high time he got selected. Hard to believe he never has.
Jose’s vote: Andre Ethier, Dodgers; Matt Kemp, Dodgers, Andrew McCutchen, Pirates. I picked Kemp thinking he would be able to play in the Midsummer Classic. Not happening, injured hamstring. I picked Ethier because he was hitting around .300 with 10 HRs and 55 RBI, and he’s part Mexican (Viva la raza!). Then he got hurt Wednesday, so he’s probably out. If McCutchen doesn’t make it, it will be a crime. This guy does it all.
Deserving players: McCutchen; Melky Cabrera, Giants; Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies. And I’ll throw Carlos Beltran of the Cardinals in there, too, since the NL gets a designated hitter. Cabrera has 105 hits as of June 26. He’s on fire. CarGo – 17 HRs, 54 RBI, .331 average. The Rockies get one, and he’s it. Beltran – 20 HRs, 58 RBI, .312. Impressive, even if he is a Cardinal.