But after pouring over stats and arguing with myself as to who deserves to be on the team, I have finally finished completing my 36-man teams. I think I can say with confidence that the players who made my "All-Star Teams" were worthy of inclusion, not just because many of them are major superstars, but because the their statistics were high enough above their peers that made them stand out from the rest.
So, without further ado, here are the players who made my 2010 MLB End of Year All-Star Teams (in alphabetical order by position):
(Lots of space here when I added the table. Don't know why...)
Most of the position players were chosen based on statistics comparing the top eight position players in each league (hits, runs, home runs, rbi's, walks, strikeouts, stolen bases, caught stealing, and batting average). In most cases, the players I had chosen earlier due to the one person per team rule made the top three.
In previous years, I tended to show a little more bias to Chicago players (on both sides) in cases where if I thought I could choose them over another person, I would (hey, I'm from Chicago, what can I say). But since I'm now announcing these publicly (compared to doing this privately in my mind), I thought I'd try to be as open minded as I can and pick the proper deserving players. And while there is only one Cub on the team this year (Marmol), there are three White Sox players on the AL side. Other one-person teams this year include the Athletics (Cahill), Indians (Choo), Orioles (Markakis), Royals (Grienke), Astros (Pence), Dodgers (Ethier), Mets (Castillo), Nationals (Zimmerman), Pirates (Laroche), and Reds (Votto). The Yankees send six players to the AL squad, including their entire infield (not a precedent, the 1987 Cardinals did the same thing), the Red Sox send five. On the NL side, the Braves, Brewers, Cardinals, and Giants each send four players to the team.
Are there snubs? You bet. Prince Fielder isn't on the NL side. Neither is Ryan Howard. It would have been easy to pick either guy, but out in San Francisco, Aubrey Huff had a pretty good year (.290, 26 HR, 86 RBI, 100 runs scored, .891 OPS). Should he be penalized because he only played 100 games at first, and the rest of the time in the outfield? I don't think so. And compared to Fielder, Howard, and about six other candidates (excluding Votto and Pujols), Huff ranked higher in my statistical calculations then all of them. Ethier is the only Dodger on this year's team, and it was a toss up between him and teammate Matt Kemp. I actually had Kemp slated for the spot because of his power numbers, but while Ethier had lower numbers in the home runs and rbi's, he had the better averages, so I chose him instead. I was really pushing to get Marlon Byrd on to the All-Star team, but after filling the squad with five players to get teams represented, the remaining four had to be good choices. Cargo, Hart, Holliday, and Werth were the best of the group, so they were added.
On the AL, I mentioned pitching. David Ortiz had a great year and if I allowed three DH's, he'd certainly be listed above. Last year I chose Michael Young over A-Rod. This year, the roles reversed. If Beltre wasn't on here, Young definitely would be. Should I have chosen Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Ty Wigginton (the O's rep at the ASG) or even Luke Scott as the representing Oriole? Markakis had probably the best averages of the four, so he was picked for the second straight year.
So ends the presentation for my 2010 End of Year MLB All-Star Teams. Please feel free to comment, debate, tell me that I did a good job, or that I don't know what I'm talking about and should have put in this person for another.
Later on, I will run the simulations, just like I did last off-season, for these teams to see which one is better. And, as long as I can do better, (and because I've already introduced all the teams), I'll run simulations to see which of my teams over the last 24 seasons is the best of all-time. And it will give me something to do before the 2011 Topps cards come out.
Let the debates continue.