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All-Star Bust

By Phil Janowicz

COLUMNIST

After a fantastic first half of the major league baseball season, those who have performed best are rewarded with a trip to the annual summer fashion show. Every year there are people who “should” have made it and people who are just fan favorites who take over the head positions on the student council. This year, several key omissions to the rosters show the generic fans’ baseball ignorance.

My main beef with the jocks’ voting in the AL is with Troy Glaus. No one batting .260 deserves to make the All-star team except for Mark Prior. Hank Blalock put up far better numbers this year (including 60 points higher in average), and the fans should have recognized that. Instead, Glaus takes a spot away from a very deserving Corey Koskie who has similar numbers except that Koskie is batting .300.

My other beef in the AL is with the players’ vote. There is no freaking way that Milton Bradley should have been left off this team. Bradley’s third in batting, second in OBP, can steal bases and hit. What seems to be the problem? Yes, I understand that Garret Anderson, Melvin Mora, and Vernon Wells are having great seasons as well, but make room for Milton. Mike Scioscia was only allowed to take one reserve hitter, and he was forced by the selection rules to take Dmitri Young from the lowly Tigers.

My only problem with Scioscia’s picks are for the 32nd man ballet. Eric Byrnes and Jason Varitek are very worthy players -- Varitek should be on there instead of Ramon Hernandez anyway -- but Bengie Molina?! Milton has far better numbers than Molina and actually plays everyday.

In the NL, the big omission is Dontrelle Willis. Willis has been the best pitcher in baseball this season and gets shafted. Dusty Baker, manager of the NL team, was even at Dontelle’s mother’s baby shower! He still passed up Dontrelle for his own Kerry Wood when Shawn Chacon had to decline the All-star nomination because he’s on the DL. Dusty, I’ve never liked you, and rooted for the Angels last year partly because I just wanted to see you lose. Now, I hate you even more. More than Kevin.

Jano Awards

This month’s Jano Awards are dedicated to the memory of Barry White.

Batting: “Fat” Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals. What can’t this guy do? The past week alone, he had five homers and 11 RBIs and is flirting with .400.

Honourable Mention: Casey “William” Blake of the Cleveland Indians. This guy is on fire. In his last 16 games, Casey is batting .368 with six homers and 19 RBIs and is batting .393 with four homers and 14 RBIs in his last seven. On top of all that, he and his wife are expecting a child any day now. This guy is poetry in motion.

Pitching: Odalis “O-dog” Perez of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Perez pitched a gem to slow the Dodgers’ bleeding. Perez pitched eight solid innings striking out five and allowing just three hits, the first one not given up until the seventh inning to new D-back Shea Hillenbrand. Perez won his first game since May 23rd and allowed the NL’s worst offense to squeak by with another notch in the win column.

Honourable Mention: Jason “The Argonaut” Davis of the Cleveland Indians. With his last start shortened by Torii Hunter’s asinine antics, Davis wasn’t allowed to continue pitching brilliantly for the Indians. Not counting that outing, Davis reached his career high in strikeouts with seven and won his last start with an ERA of 1.17 and a WHIP of 0.97. Davis’s performance bodes well for the Tribe next year, barring an ownership change to Rachel Phelps or Roger Dorn.

Utility: Juan “Sebastian” Pierre of the Florida Marlins. This kid can fly. Part of the reason for the Marlins claiming they’ll make the playoffs this year is Pierre’s quickness and great defense. Pierre is second in the NL in hits and first in stolen bases by leaps and bounds. With Josh Beckett off the DL now, the Marlins have a legitimate shot at the playoffs.

Honourable Mention: David “Not Russ” Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox. What a power display! Knocking four homers in less than 24 hours, Ortiz gave the Yankees a July 4th to remember. Now with Soriano and Jeter banged up, the Red Sox left New York with the upper hand.

Boner of the Week: Dusty “Springfield” Baker. I believe I’ve already made my case about him.

Honourable Mention: “Everyday” Eddie Guardado of the Minnesota Twins. For some reason, Eddie’s in a funk that has caused him to squander leads and surrender losses to the Indians, Royals, and most other teams as of late. Hopefully, you’ll get your form back, because the Twins and their sub-.500 record at home need you.