Sunday, July 4, 2010

Three Brewers make the 2010 NL All-Star Team

Baseball history buffs know that the National League still has a leg up in the all-time series 40-38-2. Plus, the all-time runs scored is almost dead even with the American League leading the National League 339 to 336. With that said, the last 13 years have been a completely different story.

The American League is 12-0-1 in the last 13 All-Star Games. The one tie came in Milwaukee in 2002 when Bud Selig called the game a tie after the 11th inning with the score knotted at 7. What makes that streak particularly hard to stomach for the National League is that the American League has four straight 1-run comeback wins.

Starting in 2003, the team that wins the All-Star Game gets home field advantage in the World Series. Home field advantage matters in the World Series, the team with home field advantage for the World Series has won 19 of last 24 World Series. Home field advantage should not have any impact on the Brewers this year because they will already all be on vacation for a month by the time the World Series rolls around.

With all of that mostly useless backdrop out of the way, here is a quick rundown of the three representatives the Milwaukee Brewers are sending to the 2010 MLB All-Star Game:

Ryan Braun (LF):
Braun received 2,972,525 all-star votes and was the leading outfielder in the fan balloting for the 3rd year in a row. That means that Braun will become the first Brewer in franchise history to start 3 consecutive all-star games. Despite being in a prolonged slump, Braun has still put up respectable numbers for the first half of the season: .295, 11 homers, and 51 RBI.

Corey Hart (RF):
After going into the season as public enemy #2 behind former Milwaukee Brewer Jeff Suppan, Hart has done quite a 180. The Milwaukee Brewers thought so little of Hart that they included Jim Edmonds on the All-Star ballot instead of Hart. Hart could have hung his head, instead he dug in and put together a pretty impressive start to the season: .286, 19 homers, and 61 RBI. Hard to believe, but Hart will not only be appearing in his second career MLB All-Star Game (previously appeared in 2008) but also accepted an invitation to compete in the home run derby contest. I hope Brewers general manager Doug Melvin sells high for once and gets some nice young pitching for Hart since his value is never going to be higher.

Yovanni Gallardo (RP):
Gallardo was a very deserving manager's selections. Gallardo put up great numbers in the first half of the season: 8-4, 2.58 ERA, 122 strikeouts, two shutouts, and two complete games. Unfortunately it looks like Gallardo will not be able to participate because he was injured yesterday.

Gallardo and Braun are both locked up long-term at relatively palatable numbers, which makes them the faces of the Milwaukee Brewers franchise. Much like Prince Fielder, Corey Hart is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2011 season. As I said earlier, Hart's value will never he higher so hopefully Doug Melvin will kick the trade tires while attending the All-Star Game.

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