Lineups out for Summer Classic

By Gus Bode

With the exception of the few final bench players to be named, the lineup for the 2011 baseball Summer Classic has been listed.

The July 12 MLB All-Star game in Phoenix will be played without Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols and Twins catcher Joe Mauer, who were the top voting leaders from a year before. With the two of them out, it is interesting to see how different a lineup can be from one year to the next.

Of the 17 starters who have been announced thus far, only four were in the starting lineup for the 2010 episode.


Leading the way with almost seven and a half million votes is Toronto Blue Jay’s slugger Jose Bautista. His vote total set a new record for an individual player as he passed the previous record-holder Ken Griffey Jr., who had a little more than six million votes in his 1994 campaign.

While Bautista set a new record for an individual player, the MLB also saw a record-setting 32.5 million total votes.

Bautista, who many thought had a fluke year in 2010 with his 54 homeruns, leads the MLB with 26 homeruns after he hit the ball out of the park in three consecutive games as the team headed into the series against the Red Sox this week.

To complete the American League lineup, it goes like this: Tigers catcher Alex Avila, Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano, Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez, Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter, Blue Jay outfielder Jose Bautista, Rangers outfielder Josh

Hamilton, Yankee outfielder Curtis Granderson and Red Sox slugger David Ortiz as the designated hitter.

Heading into the final night of voting, Hamilton and Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury had the closest ballot gap. However, Hamilton was able to hold on to a 32,000-vote lead at the voting deadline.

While the American League had the closest race for a starting position, the National League had perhaps the strangest.


Edging into the final three days of voting, Rockies shortstop had a 233,000-vote lead over the Mets’ Jose Reyes, but Reyes finished with more than an 800,000-vote lead to close out the balloting.

Entering the holiday weekend, Reyes led the Majors with a .345 batting average, 124 hits and 15 triples. He was ranked second with 30 stolen bases. Despite being amongst league leaders, it is uncertain if he will play due to a hamstring injury.

To add to the possibility of a lineup without Reyes, Pujols is also unlikely to play. Even though he is ahead of schedule for his return back to baseball, he is still out with a fractured forearm.

With Pujols out, the NL lineup, lead by Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder, goes as follows: Braves catcher Brian McCann, Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks, Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco, Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman and Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp.

While the game seems to be the Brewers against the Yankees, and injuries in both leagues have kept former All-Stars out, it’s amazing to see just how much the lineups can change in a single season.

The NL put a cap on the 14-game losing streak when they beat the AL in 2010. However, they might be out-matched and out-muscled this time as they head into Phoenix.