My, oh my, how time flies as it seems like yesterday that the National Leagues were the big bully on the block and the American League was snickered at by baseball insiders. Not these days however, as the AL heads into the Mid-Summer Classic winner of nine straight contests and also having not lost a World Series game in eight straight contests.
If we start at the catcher’s position you will notice a huge disparity in production between the NL’s Paul Lo Duca and the Braves’ Brian McCann. They have combined for 9 homeruns and 59 RBI’s while the AL duo of Pudge Rodriguez and AL batting leader Joe Mauer have 14 and 84.
At first base the NL should have a large advantage as they trot out Albert Pujols (29-76) against a designated hitter who will be forced to play defense in Big Papi David Ortiz (31-87). Ortiz is also coming off a 19 inning marathon on Sunday and the home run derby.
Second base is not exactly filled with marquis names as the AL will have light hitting Mark Loretta .305 (3-37) going up against Phillies’ Chase Utley who has been awesome this year with (16-53).
I think shortstop is a tossup in the AL with Derek Jeter .345 (5-52) while the NL has Edgar Renteria who will replace Mets standout Jose Reyes.
Actually, the left side of the infield is an all Big Apple affair as A. Rod .282 (19-65) opposes hot hitting David Wright .316 (20-74).
Needless to say, it is the fountain of youth in the NL hooking horns with the big game performers of the AL such as Jason Bay, Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Beltran. The AL counters with Magglio Ordonez, Vladamir Guerrero and Ichiro Suzuki, 48 homeruns and 158 RBI’s.
The real winners in this extravaganza are the residents of Pittsburgh who are certainly happy that the NFL season is right around the corner. Their Pirates are the worst team in baseball with a record of 30 win and 60 losses and are well on their way to a 100 + loss season.
The NL has plenty to play for and Tuesday night will be when they temporarily get well as they beat the AL 9-5. Time to Cash!