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Infusion of Youth Will Make All-Star Game Exciting


     The National League has fallen behind the American League over the past decade or so in young talent, but perhaps this is the year the Senior Circuit can snap the 12 game unbeaten streak by the A-L.

    Both rosters are loaded with exciting young talent this year.  The National League finally appears to have the power arms and the depth of the American League.

    What is most exciting about the game this summer is the 23 first-time All-Star selections.   We will truly get a look at the game’s future.

   Among the players destined to become household names in the next few years:  Outfielder Justin Upton, 21, of Arizona.   Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, 24, of Washington.  Third baseman Evan Longoria, 23, of Tampa.  

    And then there are the pitchers.   2008 Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum of the Giants heads a National League staff that also includes 24-year old Matt Cain of the Giants, 24-year old Chad Billingsley of the Dodgers and 25 year old Josh Johnson of Florida. 

     There certainly has been a dramatic turnover of talent in both leagues over the past year.    Consider the players who will not be suiting up in St. Louis:  Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Vladimir Guerrero, Chipper Jones, David Ortiz, Jim Thome, Gary Sheffield, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Todd Helton, Pudge Rodriguez and Billy Wagner, just to name a few.

—-I usually defend the fans right to be allowed to vote the starters to the team, but a big mistake was made this year in voting Josh Hamilton in as a starter.   Hamilton has been injured most of the year and he is batting just .240.    Hamilton, who was one of the biggest stories of All-Star week last year when he hit 28 balls out of Yankee Stadium in the first round of the home run hitting contest, will not participate in that event this year due to recent abdominal surgery. 

—-Tim Wakfield’s selection is a nice story.  At 42, he is the second oldest first time All-Star.   But Wakefield’s ERA is 4.30 and he was the sixth member of the Red Sox to make the team.   His place could have been taken by yet another great young player in Jered Weaver of the Angels.  

—It will be the first All-Game in St. Louis since 1966 and the first one in my lifetime.   Time for the National League to break the streak!





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