Third Wheel: Short list of Red Sox players that deserve All-Star nod

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In the grand scheme of things, baseball writers are fans just like our readers. But when it comes to the All-Star game, you have more power than us.

And it shouldn’t be any other way.

So, since I don’t have any real power over who makes the National League or American League roster, I went and filled out my ballot online at mlb.com.

After looking it over, I didn’t see many Red Sox names deserving of a spot on the 32-man squad. Weird for a team that has spent nearly $200 million on its product.

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Don’t hate, just read.

Here is my starting American League squad: Victor Martinez, C, Indians; Kevin Youkilis, 1B, Red Sox; Brian Roberts, 2B, Orioles; Alex Rodriguez, 3B, Yankees; Carlos Guillen, SS, Tigers; Vladimir Guerrero, OF, Angels; Ichiro Suzuki, OF, Mariners and Magglio Ordonez, OF, Tigers.

American League reserves: Jorge Posada, C, Yankees; Justin Morneau, 1B, Twins; Derek Jeter, SS, Yankees; Orlando Cabrera, SS, Angels; Grady Sizemore, OF, Indians; Carl Crawford, OF, Devil Rays; Torii Hunter, OF, Twins; Gary Sheffield, OF, Tigers; Michael Young, SS, Rangers.

American League pitchers: Dan Haren, SP, A’s; CC Sabathia, SP, Indians; Josh Beckett, SP, Red Sox; Johan Santana, SP, Twins; Justin Verlander, SP, Tigers; John Lackey, SP, Angels; James Shields, SP, Devil Rays; Mark Buehrle, SP, White Sox; Gil Meche, SP, Royals; J.J. Putz, RP, Mariners; Jonathan Papelbon, RP, Red Sox; Francisco Rodriguez, RP, Angels and Pat Neshek, RP, Twins.

Yep, folks, only three Red Sox players make my squad. Thankfully, I don’t make the decisions on reserves, and, surprisingly, Daisuke Matsuzaka wasn’t chosen, for media purposes if for nothing else. MLB wanted Matsuzaka and Ichiro to be on the field at the same time. This could have also led to Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima being selected. Japan would have gone nuts, ratings would have skyrocketed, and all would have been well in baseball land. Matsuzaka didn’t deserve it.

Beckett and Youkilis should be there, with Papelbon being a borderline choice. Beckett shouldn’t start the game (that should go to the A’s ace Haren), but he has had a great first half. Youkilis, meanwhile, deserves to start, but he wasn’t even on the ballot because David Ortiz was listed, instead. Ortiz doesn’t play much defense and the game is in San Francisco. Hence, a designated hitter should get a few days off.

As for that “other” league, here is a look at who should be making the trip to the City by the Bay:

National League starters: Russell Martin, C, Dodgers; Prince Fielder, 1B, Brewers; Chase Utley, 2B, Phillies; Miguel Cabrera, 3B, Marlins; Jose Reyes, SS, Mets; Carlos Beltran, OF, Mets; Barry Bonds, OF, Giants and Ken Griffey Jr., OF, Reds.

National League reserves: Bengie Molina, C, Giants; Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Padres; Brandon Phillips, 2B, Reds; David Wright, 3B, Mets; Hanley Ramirez, SS, Marlins; J.J. Hardy, SS, Brewers; Eric Byrnes, OF, D’backs; Matt Holliday, OF, Rockies; Alfonso Soriano, OF, Cubs; Carlos Lee, OF, Astros; Dmitri Young, 1B, Nationals.

National League pitchers: Jake Peavy, SP, Padres; Chris Young, SP, Padres; Brad Penny, SP, Dodgers; Derek Lowe, SP, Dodgers; John Smoltz, SP, Braves; Cole Hamels, SP, Phillies; Carlos Zambrano, SP, Cubs; Tom Gorzelanny, SP, Pirates; Heath Bell, RP, Padres; Takashi Saito, RP, Dodgers; Francisco Cordero, RP, Brewers and Trevor Hoffman, RP, Padres.

Yes, Barry Bonds starts. He deserves it. San Francisco deserves it. Don’t even argue it.

But, did I leave anyone off these teams? Can you make a case for another Red Sox player to make the team? Visit this story online and blog about it.

Unless, of course, I am 100 percent right, for the first time in my life.

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