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Baseball Sun Jul 05 2009

All Stars Few And Far Between For Chicago

Two. That is the grand total of All-Stars representing Chi Town in Major League Baseball's 80th Midsummer Classic. Mark Buehrle will make his fourth All-Star team after starting the year off 6-0 for the Southsiders. He is 8-2 with a 3.09 ERA. He was the starter for American League in the 2005 All-Star game in Detroit. He would be the winning pitcher in that one as well.

One could make the argument that Scott Podsednik is deserving of a trip to St. Louis. Since rejoining the Southsiders on April 14 he has hit .312, .368, and .407. Not too shabby considering most of the experts in baseball believed his better days were behind him. This is no doubt a snub of Podsednik especially since he is not one of five candidates vying for the final American League roster spot.

For the Cubs left-hander Ted Lilly is the lone representative. Lilly is 7-6 and is sporting a 3.35 ERA for the Cubbies. For Lilly this is his second time as an All-Star the other coming when he was with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2004. Lilly has been one of the more consistent pitchers for the Northsiders this season.

Like the Sox not too many guys on the Cubs are having All-Star caliber years. It is a stark contrast to last year when the Cubs sent a franchise record eight guys to the Midsummer Classic in New York last year.

A case could be made for Derek Lee who has been white hot since the middle of June. The only thing keeping him from being an All-Star is a guy named Albert Pujols, who just happens to be the first baseman for St. Louis Cardinals, which is hosting the game. There is an outside chance that Alfonso Soriano could take the place of injured New York Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran, who beat out Soriano for the final outfield spot.

In all honesty Soriano and All-Star shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence. At least this season anyhow. He is in one of the worst slumps of his career and it would probably benefit the team if he didn't go to St. Louis.

Both teams are right in the thick of things in their respective divisions and both teams will be getting some key offensive pieces back in the next few days. Aramis Ramirez is due back on Monday and Carlos Quentin is expected to begin rehab shortly and could make his return after the break.

The All-Star game will take place on July 14 at 7 p.m. in St. Louis and you can catch it on Fox.

 
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