Posted at 12:45 AM on July 13, 2005
by Josh Lee
One of the things I like about the All-Star Game is looking at the box score afterwards. It just goes on, and on, and on, as the managers empty their benches in an effort to give as many players as possible their time in the midseason limelight, even in a game that -- as everyone at Fox Sports would like to remind you -- really, really counts.
Unfortunately, not every All-Star gets to have his moment in the sun, or in this year's case, his moment in the occasional cloudbursts. Instead, these players cool their heels in the dugout, high-fiving the Tejadas and Teixeiras and Andruw Joneses as they return from their homer-hitting exploits. They watch the game, chew a few sunflower seeds, chat with their temporary teammates, and work on soundbites for their hometown papers on how it's an honor just to go to the game and to have a nice line on your curriculum vitae, even if you don't get to have a line on the very, very long box score.
By my calculations, these are the All-Stars who didn't play in this year's All-Star Game:
So while you're watching the highlight reels on SportsCenter, enjoying replays of the fat dingers and hot stops from this year's show, spare a thought for the guys who never got a chance to show what they've got. (Outside of the 162 other chances they get during regular play, that is.)
Posted at 2:47 PM on July 13, 2005
by David Zingler
C: Joe Mauer .305/.373/.427, 6 HR, 32 RBI, 66 games
Nicknamed “baby Jesus” by KFAN’s Dan Barreiro, Mauer has hardly been the franchise’s savior. He has however, been the Twins most consistent and patient hitter. More importantly, he’s remained healthy.
Prediction: .300ish BA, .360ish OBP, 15 HRs, 70 RBI
1B: Justin Morneau .267/.331/.477, 11 HR, 44 RBI, 10 2B
Like Mauer, Morneau was a victim of unrealistic expectations. That being said, he has to do more.
Prediction: .275ish BA, 26 HR, 93 RBI
2B: Nick Punto .274/.341/.408, 2HR, 9 RBI, 5/7 SB
Luis Rivas .250/.293/.287, 8 RBI, 3 XBH
Punto has been solid, but has to be more durable. Rivas didn’t get an extra base hit until last weekend.
Grade: Punto B, Rivas D
Prediction: Newly acquired Bret Boone will get a bulk of the action at this position in the second half.
3B: Michael Cuddyer .259/.336/.384, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 14 2B
Luis Rodriguez .293/.347/.424, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 92 AB
Cuddyer, the poster child for the Twins first half struggles, was in over his head. Rodriguez has been a surprise contributor, but you have to wonder how long it will last.
Grade: Cuddyer D, Rodriguez B
Prediction: The hot corner will remain a problem spot for the remainder of the season, barring a trade.
SS: Juan Castro .240/.262/.358, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 12 2B
After taking over when Jason Bartlett was sent to the minors, Castro has performed about as well as could be expected (I didn’t expect much).
Prediction: With the acquisition of Boone, I would like to see more of Punto at this position.
LF: Shannon Stewart .290/.339/.422, 10 HR, 38 RBI, 5/7 SB
The Twins need more from Stewart. The fact that his OBP is lower than Hunter and Jones’ says it all. Despite a slow start, I would think about using him as the number three hitter.
Prediction: .305ish BA/.355ish OBP, 17 HR
CF: Torii Hunter .271/.342/.481, 14 HR, 54 RBI, 19/26 SB
Hunter, the team leader, has performed well, particularly since June. In my opinion, he’s the team MVP thus far.
Prediction: .270ish BA, .335ish OBP, 27 HR, 91 RBI & another Gold Glove
RF: Jacque Jones .262/.350/.424, 10 HR, 41 RBI, 9/13 SB
Jones has been his maddeningly frustrating, inconsistent self at the plate. Although it should be noted that he is drawing more walks – 37 thus far, 40 is his career high. The streaky hitter is a good barometer for the team's offense – the team goes as Jacque goes.
Prediction: .275ish BA, 330ish OBP, 18 HR, 83 RBI – enjoy his last few months as a Twin
DH: Lew Ford .271/.353/.396, 4 HR, 34 RBI, 19 2B
Despite his propensity for the clutch hit, Lew hasn’t gotten it done. His power numbers are pathetic for a DH.
Prediction: .280ish BA, 10 HR, 65 RBI
Stay tuned tomorrow for the pitchers.