Sports Now

Sports news from Los Angeles and beyond

« Previous Post | Sports Now Home | Next Post »

Question of the day: Who will win the All-Star game, and who will be the star? [Updated]

July 12, 2010 |  8:27 am

Reporters from around Tribune Co. weigh in on the topic. Check back throughout the day for more responses and feel free to leave a comment of your own.

Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune

Konerko_300 There are a couple things we know before the first pitch on Tuesday night -- with 34 players on each roster, there’s not going to be a tie, and if the National League wins, it will be an upset.

Few players remain in the NL who were around when it last won an All-Star game (1996, in Philadelphia). It has had chance after chance in recent years and couldn’t seal the deal, the most painful example of which came in the 15-inning game at Yankee Stadium two years ago. The last three have been one-run games, and the guess is the NL will come close again but lose.

Paul Konerko played a big role in rallying the AL to a victory at PNC Park in 2006 and is my pick to return to a starring role Tuesday.

Peter Schmuck, Baltimore Sun

Cabrera_200 Well, the first part of the question is a no-brainer. The American League always wins the All-Star game, for a variety of logical reasons. The league's DH-fueled power bias and the concentration of star power in the AL East are enough to give the AL a big edge every year, and this year that will dovetail nicely with the home-field advantage in Anaheim.

Picking the star of the game is a little more of a crap shoot, but let's try to inject some logic here too. The MVP is generally an offensive player and the game probably will be decided in the late innings, so I'm guessing it will come down to the most dynamic All-Star reserve. Ladies and gentlemen, your All-Star MVP for 2010 will be ... drum roll please ... Miguel Cabrera.

[Updated at 10:20 a.m.:

Andrew J. Roth, The Morning Call

Votto_200 In the Year of the Pitcher, the National League arms will be too much for the American League to handle -- and its 13-game winless drought will end.

Of the four no-hitters hurled this year, two are by members of the NL pitching staff: Roy Halladay of the Phillies and Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rockies. Throw in 40-year-old set-up maestro Arthur Rhodes of the Reds and shutdown closer Heath Bell of the Padres, and the AL will have a difficult time getting its bats heated up.

Meanwhile, the NL’s Joey Votto will show why he initially should have been named to the roster instead of being relegated to the second-chance fan vote. Look for the Reds’ slugger to play an important role late in the game and win the MVP.]

Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times

I think the American League has the better lineup, but I think the National League will finally end its 13-year winless streak in the All-Star Game for two reasons. One, they're due. No streak lasts forever in baseball, and the NL is bound to break through against the AL at some point. Two, I like the NL pitching staff a little more than the AL staff, and with the game starting in twilight conditions, at 5 p.m. PDT in Anaheim, great power pitchers with good movement will have an advantage over great hitters. With that in mind, I will go with NL starter Ubaldo Jimenez as the star of the game, because the Colorado ace will set the tone for what figures to be a low-scoring game that is dominated by pitching.

Photos: (top) White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko bats against the Angels at U.S. Cellular Field. Credit: Jerry Lai / US Presswire

(middle) Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers shows off his American League All-Star batting practice jersey on Sunday. Credit: Leon Halip / Getty Images

(bottom) Joey Votto hits a double against the Mets on July 5. Credit: Ray Stubblebine / Reuters