The year 2007 saw the Red Sox totally bust out of that curse (wish I could say the same for some Chicago ball club) as they won another WS, the Rockies finish on an incredible team just to get to the World Series, and the Cubs actually won the division for the first time since 2003. Okay, so they didn't win the first round, but it was a start. The Topps cards were all in black for the first time since 1971, meaning chipped borders made a comeback to boot. Add the fun of photoshopping, and the eventual sale of Topps to Mike Eisner's Tornante Company and Madison Dearborn Partners (in hindsight, did UD really have the money to buy Topps?) and it made for an interesting year to say the least.
Twenty baseball seasons ago, I began the tradition for naming All-Star teams at the end of the year. What began as the thoughts of an unaware (at the time) 12 year old has now become a tradition that I am proud to continue now. With the help of the internet, and years of actually reading about the game and its players, I have been able to pick players to these teams that had good seasons, and not feel embarrassed about the choices years later. And thanks to SBS (the baseball simulation program I've used), my teams have now literally come to life. I've had fun bringing back my childhood during the offseason, and although it's taken me longer than I would have liked, I'm happy to now introduce the last All-Star team that had yet to be announced here, my 2007 All-Star Teams (the 2008 and 2009 teams, which will be featured soon, were already introduced on the blog...I'll still do the simulations and am looking forward to what hopefully is a fun side project).
As stated when I introduced my 2006 teams, there are now 36 spots on each of the rosters. Both teams get: 3 first basemen, 3 second basemen, 3 third basemen, 3 shortstops, 9 outfielders (regardless of position), 3 catchers, 1 designated hitter, 6 starting pitchers, 1 middle relief pitcher, and 4 closers. The rule that every team gets a representative remains after all these years. And regardless of what league hosts the ASG, there will be a DH chosen. In cases where an AL team is hosting (the 2008 game was played at Yankee Stadium), the DH will be part of the lineup. In cases where the NL is hosting (as was the case with the previous series), the DH will be used as a pinch hitter when needed.
Without further ado, for the first time online, I am proud to introduce my 2007 End of Year MLB All-Star Teams (in alphabetical order by position):
(space space space space)
Including the 72 players listed above, 535 individual players have been named onto these teams. Ivan Rodriguez holds the record for most All-Star appearances with 14 (Barry Larkin, Cal Ripken, and Tony Gwynn each made 13 appearances).
Twenty-four players are first-time all-stars (11 for the American League, 13 for the Nationals). One-person teams on my 2007 rosters include the Athletics (Stewart), Blue Jays (Rios), Orioles (Markakis), Rangers (MYoung), Royals (Grudzielanek), Astros (Lee), Cardinals (Pujols), Marlins (HRamirez), Nationals (DYoung) and Pirates (Sanchez). The Indians, Red Sox, and Yankees each send five representatives to the AL roster, leading both leagues. The Angels and Phillies each send four players to the squads. Lesser Chicago bias here as there are 5 players on both rosters.
As always, seven regular games (10,000 simulations each, six with the same starting pitchers, one where lineups and starting pitchers change), and one All-Star Game will be simulated during the course of the week. I hope to have the results of all the games by the end of the week.
Now it's time for me to create the .DAT files before getting the games set. Game results coming next week. Here's hoping that I don't take too long with this...