Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter, A Yankees-Red Sox All-Star  Team

So, what was today’s biggest baseball event? Lastings Milledge hitting his first home run? His personal victory march into right field, giving and taking high fives from the fans?  Chris Young entering the sixth with a no-no, after throwing 7 hitless innings in his last start? The Yankee Captain leaving with a bruised thumb? Ranger Rheinecker throwing two run, eight inning ball against the ChiSox? Pujols goes on the DL? Whoa. Wait a second…did you say Pujols and DL in the same sentence? Yahoo! even ran that headline and I never see sports headlines in Yahoo!’s generic, just plain ol’ news box. This must be big.

I’m crushed. It’s unfathomable. How will we cope with Albert Pujols-less baseball? The absence, however, is not enough to make St. Louis an underdog. I think St. Louis has a good enough roster and a good enough manager in Laser Eye La Russa to maintain their perch on the division peak, but I wanted to see Pujols hit 60-80 home runs and collect 200 RBIs. If he only misses two weeks, I think his chances for 60 home runs and 200 RBIs are still intact. If he’s DL bound for a month or more, a monster season is sure to be had, but the chase for any records will have to wait. Nevertheless, the baseball gift is so sublimely ingrained in his bones that I’m not giving up on him quite yet. Putting up the aforementioned numbers after a DL stint would reaffirm him as a great, great and much loved baseball player.

So, the Yankees lost. I don’t care about the loss or the ever changing 1/2 game advantage, but I am scared now whenever a Yankee is hit and then removed. That’s all we need. Given the Yankees’ current state, a bean ball at A-Rod or Giambi could be the end of us. We aren’t far away from fielding a roster of triple-A call-ups and pinch-players. Lucky for us Lopez just got Jeter’s hand and he probably won’t miss a significant amount of time.

Why is David Ortiz listed on the All-Star ballot as a first baseman? Youkilis is a better first baseman, meaning that Youkilis actually plays defense at an All-Star caliber level and hits All-Star worthy, too. I assume Jim Thome would be listed at first base were it for another All-Star already at that position. Regardless of how good a hitter Ortiz is, he shouldn’t be taking that spot from Youkilis. Ortiz belongs as a write-in. Just like Thome.

I also hope people start voting for other players. I don’t want all the vote leaders to be either Yankees or Red Sox. In fact, the only ones deserving of the most votes at their position are Jeter and Manny. The other Yankees and Red Sox players are good, too, but I don’t think they should be voted as starters.

Fireman Watch
Hoffman saved his 12th game. Weathers blew his 5th in 14 chances. Isringhausen saved his 18th game. Gordon saved his 17th. And Frankie Rodriguez is lucky his Angels had a 14 run lead because he allowed 2 runs in the bottom of the ninth to raise his ERA to 4.07.

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