Joey Votto, Nick Swisher win final All-Star roster spots.... Swisher? Really?
Some cynics, perhaps particularly in Boston, might say there was good news and bad news today on the All-Star front.
The good news: Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto was chosen by fans for the final National League roster spot for Tuesday's game.
The bad news: New York Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher was chosen by fans for the final American League roster spot for Tuesday's game.
Votto beat out Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and Atlanta Braves closer Billy Wagner. The Padres' terrific reliever Heath Bell had been in the mix before being named the replacement for the injured Yovani Gallardo of the Brewers.
Votto's numbers this season: 21 home runs, 59 runs batted in, a .588 slugging percentage and a .313 batting average. Yes, Votto got my votes.
Then there is Swisher. Well, for a career .250 hitter, he is having a fine season. But an All-Star? Let's look at his numbers: 14 home runs, 48 RBIs, a .518 slugging percentage and hitting .298. Hmmmm.
Swisher, with 9.8 million votes, edged out Boston first baseman Kevin Youkilis in the tightest race in the nine-year history of baseball's so-called Final Vote. Swisher also beat out White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, Rangers third baseman Michael Young and Minnesota outfielder Delmon Young.
Konerko got my votes based on the season he is having: 20 home runs, 61 RBIs, a .556 slugging percentage and batting .296 (all these numbers are from 6 p.m. Pacific time).
But Youkilis' numbers are better than Swisher's too: 17 home runs, 55 RBIs, .574 slugging percentage and hitting .292.
Let's face it, Yankees fans simply beat out Boston's fans in online voting.
All for a guy who flopped in the postseason last year. Oooh, yes, let's not forget Swisher's postseason numbers from 2009: 1 home run, 2 RBIs and a .128 batting average.
-- Debbie Goffa