2016 AL All-Snark Team
I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?
Soy un perdedor
-- Beck, Loser
Actually, teams have logged 87-91 games coming into the break. It seems the Midsummer Classic's PR hasn't bought into sabremetrics yet. And they've gotta dump all those damn in-game singers.
While baseball's 80 best players, including injured players and dudes who just couldn't make it -- Stephen Strasburg, I'm talking to you! -- assembled, everyone else got the joy of watching this spectacle on live television.
It's always fascinating to see so much talent together on the same stage and honor the best players from the first half. Taht surely makes Braves and Twins fans long for better days!
Some players didn't quite muster All-Star worthy campaigns, and while their accomplishments don't warrant attention or accolades, they give this writer the opportunity to assemble the antithesis of an All-Star team.
The votes have been cast and the bribes have been taken for the fourth annual All-Snark team. Drug-testing was optional. Proceed with caution.
C - Yan Gomes, Cleveland Indians
The power numbers are there -- 8 HR; 32 RBI -- especially for a catcher, but that .166 batting average is nowhere near the Mendoza Line. Not that Cleveland has a lot of options at catcher; they can be patient with Gomes as long as he plays adequate defense and doesn't spike himself.
Look for the AL Central-leading Indians to make a move at the deadline, unless they think Carlos Santana can return behind the dish.
Nah, dude looks pretty comfortable at DH.
1B - Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees
Don't the Rangers seem to produce quality first basemen year in and year out? Well, current Rangers 1B Mitch Moreland was strongly considered for this team, but Teixeira's .193 batting average and annual DL trips give him the nod as our first sacker.
Fear not Bronx Bombers, Teixeira is a free agent after this season and the odds of him re-signing with the Yankees are around nil.
Remember, zero is a number. Don't mess with it.
2B - Brett Lawrie, Chicago White Sox
Not that Lawrie is having a horrible year, but one eye popping number stood out amongst second basemen: 102 strikeouts at the break is unacceptable.
Lawrie has hit with some pop -- busting out 11 bombs and 35 RBI -- and he does have a positive WAR number, which is a remarkable feat unto itself.
Altuve may not be All-Snark, but he's definitely on the All-Sneak team:
3B - Juan Uribe, Cleveland Indians
Astonishing that the Tribe's in first place despite having two IF's on the All-Snark team. Even more astonishing is that Juan Uribe is still in the league, especially with some of his life choices lately.
Uribe has posted a 0.0 WAR in the first half. Recall what was said about zero being a number; it's one of the most important numbers, but not the loneliest.
At least Francisco Lindor made the real all-star team, proving Cleveland has staying power and young stars with the big club.
SS - Brad Miller, Tampa Bay Rays
In one of the few good trades new Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto has made, Miller is proving quickly that his time in Seattle was very indicative of his career arc and general usefulness as a MLB player.
Moving out of Safeco Field was supposed to be good for him. However, most of the same tendencies came back into play. Dude's home runs are up, but the batting average is down 17 points from last year's tally, and his -0.1 WAR is downright filthy, and not in a good way.
Carlos Gomez, Houston Astros
Look no further as to why Houston started off so slowly and in the AL West cellar for most of the first half. The 'Stros have surged into second place behind a slew of come-from-behind wins and the ineptitude of the A's, Angels, and Mariners. You didn't think I'd get through an entire article without letting the M's off the hook did you?
Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays
Jennings has been a prospect for the better part of the past decade. For a self proclaimed speedster, stealing only two bases at this point in the season is unacceptable. Perhaps a trip back to Durham is in the cards?
Justin Upton, Detroit Tigers
112 strikeouts already could threaten Mark Reynolds' single season strikeout record of 223. Upton is over halfway there and would make a compelling story line heading into September.
DH - Byung Ho Park, Minnesota Twins
Finally, we get to the root of the problem for the American League's worst team (32-56).
Park was the prized free agent signing for the Twinkies, and it went south quickly when Park was optioned to Rochester of the International League. Seems appropriate, since Park came from the Korean league. I'm trying to find some common ground. Work with me here!
Minnesota is going nowhere, so it's possible Park could be dealt before the Mon 1 Aug trade deadline, because what difference would it make?
Manager Paul Molitor's job is on the line, already.
Starting Pitcher - Ubaldo Jiménez, Baltimore Orioles
Hard to believe this guy had his best season at Coors Field in 2010. Not that Camden Yards is that much less of a hitter's park. It's just that Baltimore is basically at sea level and Denver is barely in the same atmosphere.
Thank goodness for Chris Tillman and that stellar Orioles bullpen! Otherwise, this might not be a first-place team. Ubaldo last started an All-Star game six years ago in Anaheim, so consider him the king of southern California.
Or DFA fodder...
Closer - Kevin Jepsen, Minnesota Twins
An early injury to All-Star closer Glen Perkins forced Jepsen to take over the ninth inning for the Twinkies, which was quickly added to the long list of failed experiments in American history.
Thank goodness for youngster Brandon Kintzler and his five saves. Not that the Twins provide many save opportunities or a general need for a closer, but somebody has to fill that role.
Look for a help wanted ad in the off-season, Minneapolis residents.