Ok, I said I wasn't going to post until after Memorial Day, but I didn't want to disappoint my fans, so here goes. You can thank me later, Switsky.
My All-Star Ballot (I know it's not for another month or so, but I just voted, so here's my votes)...
1B - Mark Teixeira, Tex. It's a pretty weak field in the AL this year, as some of the best first basemen in the league have moved to the NL (Thome, Delgado), others have moved to the DL (Frank Thomas), and still others are ravaged by the abuses of steroids (Giambi). Teixeira's at .286-33-10-29 with an .850 OPS to beat out Mike Sweeney and Justin Morneau, who have higher OPS's but haven't been as productive in recent history as Teixeira. Plus, Teixeira was the key ingredient in a Die Yankees Die trade that I have won handily so far (as Dmitri Young has sucked and Octavio Dotel has been hurt since they left my team).
2B - Brian Roberts, Bal. This was my toughest decision. The super hot start vs. the better career. Roberts' main competition in another weak field is Alfonso Soriano, who was the best 2nd baseman in the league coming into the season. But Soriano has an OBP under .300 right now, while Roberts is at .460, to go along with 11 home runs, 13 steals, and a 1.126 OPS. He's probably the league's most valuable player so far, and I just couldn't leave him off the ballot. Plus, Soriano used to be a Yankee, so that hurts him.
SS - Miguel Tejada, Bal. What used to be a strong position of the superstar trinity (A-Rod, Nomar, and Suck-Ass) is now down to one star dominating AL shortstops. "He who will not be named" is having a decent year for the Yankees (and a good one by his standards), but he's not even close to Tejada, sort of like he's never been close to A-Rod (or Nomar in most years). And apparently the ball-hog spiked his teammate Robinson Cano while trying to make a show-off catch for the cameras last night. Poor Cano. Doesn't he realize that the world of the Yankees revolves around Mr. Suck?
3B - A-Wad, NYY. Ugh. I hate voting for a Yankee. But this one's in therapy, probably from having to play for the Yankees. I can sympathize, Alex. If it were me, I would give up the $25 million and play for a team that didn't make a pact with Satan.
OF - Manny Ramirez, Bos. Obviously.
OF - Ichiro, Sea. Of course.
OF - Vladimir Guerrero, LAA. This one was tough, due to Vlady's injury. But it looks like he'll be back in 2 weeks so I've got to give him the spot, just ahead of Johnny Damon's amazing season so far.
C - Jason Varitek, Bos. This was also a tough decision. Javy Lopez's injury knocks him out, and while Posada has been Ok, he hasn't been Varitek. Which leaves I-Rod, who has not played all that well this season, but has a Hall of Fame career in his back pocket, while Varitek will only get there with a paid ticket. I'm going to use the same rule I used with 2nd baseman, though, and give it to the guy with the .383 OBP and .965 OPS over the guy with 3 HR and a .287 OBP this season. Sorry, I-Rod.
Coming tomorrow (or when I can post again)... the National League.