The All Star team is a source of controversy for no apparent reason. Yes, it'd be stupid if Jose Reyes, in one of the greatest seasons ever at his position, doesn't start the game. But the All Star game is in itself stupid, so that would make perfect sense. Personally, I'd get rid of the whole thing altogether were it up to me. Or do something cool like U.S. Vs. The World (cause who wouldn't want to stoke some xenophobia?) So over the next week, I'm going to be unveiling -- to tittering anticipation, I'm sure -- different sorts of All Star teams. You may see an all-overrated team, an all-underrated, perhaps even an all-fat guy team! You'll just have to wait to find out. For now, I'm starting with the WTF All Stars, guys who are having seasons that we'll look back on in twenty years and say "What the F*ck?" Think Richard Hidalgo's 2005 (44 homers, 1.028 OPS), the Luis Hernandez 57 homer season, that time Jeff Franceour was a good every day player, or when Jose Valentine arrived in New York, hit a bunch of homers then quickly vanished off the face of the earth to tend his injuries like a mustachioed mythical hero. Without further ado, the 2011 WTF All Stars:
C - The Molinas Incidentally, this is what I'd name a band, if I had one. I could go with Yadier Molina, for being caught stealing four times already. Yadier Molina, like all Molinas, is slow, but seriously WTF, Yadier Molina? Why would you even leave a base you are standing on if you are Yadier Molina? But I digress. Since the WTF All Stars are here for their crazy positive contributions, I'm going to have to honor another Molina: Jose. Jose is hitting .311 with a .392 OBP. His career numbers? .240/.286. This award could also go to Bengie Molina for sparing some stupid team from paying $5m for his .275 OBP. Really, this is a banner year for Molinas.
1B - Adrian Gonzalez Adrian Gonzalez, like a few other guys, makes this team not because he isn't crazy good to begin with, but simply because there's no way he's as good as he's playing, because Adrian Gonzalez is not Lou Gerigh. He's Adrian Gonzalez, who, based on prevailing sentiment during his lifetime, Lou Gehrig probably would've viewed as a dangerous foreigner and possible communist (and yes, I know Gonzalez was born in the U.S.).
2B - Macier Izturus Someday we'll all look back at Macier's .295 BA with the same kind of disbelief I feel when old people tell me nobody had any idea Freddie Mercury was gay. Well, that is if anyone will actually remember who Macier Izturus is twenty years from now.
3B - A-Rod Mostly because Fangraphs has him listed with a 21.2 UZR/150, meaning statistically, A-Rod is in the midst of his finest defensive season. Now, even the nerdiest of stat nerds would concede you shouldn't read anything into 75 games of defensive stats, but still. Honestly, Evan Longoria, David Wright and Ryan Zimmerman better all get healthy and get their shit together. I'm not prepared to live in a world where A-Rod is the best 3B in baseball for another five years.
SS - Jose Reyes Like Gonzalez, Jose Reyes is always awesome, and I probably like Jose Reyes as much as anyone who does not actually know Jose Reyes can without it being unhealthy, but if Jose plays like this on a regular basis for the next few years, he's going to end up as one of the greatest players of all time. I love Jose, but I'm not prepared to predict he'll be one of the greatest players of all time.
RF - Matt Joyce Who's Matt Joyce? Well unless you are one of the lucky few who picked him for your fantasy team, or an avid Tampa Bay fan (possibly mythical creatures akin to the Yeti), you probably have no idea. The crazy thing about Joyce is he's been terrible for a solid month now (.530 OPS in June), and yet his overall slash line is still .309/.371/.541.
CF - Curtis Granderson "See, look at how many home runs he's hitting! Is he using steroids?! God!" - Brady Anderson, as he throws a bat at his television during a Baseball Tonight clip showing another Curtis Granderson bomb.
LF - Laynce Nix Laynce isn't an every day player, and his name is Laynce, which is stupid. But he's also hit 12 home runs in 200 plate appearances. Yes, with a full season of playing time, Laynce is on pace for a 40 home run season. Unfortunately, he's not done a single other thing well, striking out in 27.5% of his trips to plate, walking in 4.5% and hitting a mediocre .286. But still, those home runs. He must be taking whatever Granderson is taking.
P - Roy Halladay He falls into the Reyes and Gonzalez category, but I just can't get past the fact that Halladay is having his best season at age 34. This does not make sense. Halladay's entire stretch from 2008 through 2011 is truly remarkable. Look at the four years prior, '04-'07: Halladay made only 103 starts, with a 3.39 ERA, a 1.163 WHIP, 1.7 BB/9 and 5.9 K/9. He was very good, but not great. At the end of 2007, the 30 year-old Roy Halladay looked like he was on the downside of his career. But since then, he's posted a 2.63 ERA, made at least 32 starts in every season, and has a 1.066 WHIP, 1.3 BB/9 and 7.9 K/9. That's ridiculous. And this year he's been ever better! How is this possible? At age 30 Halladay was an excellent pitcher with an impressive career. Then, by age 34, he'd managed to compile a resume that puts him behind only Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and Greg Maddux of pitchers in my living memory. You know if the Mets had somehow traded for him, Halladay would be collecting $25m to recover from his second straight Tommy John surgery.