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All Star Breakdown

With only four days left to vote for the 2009 All-Star Game, the Red Sox will have to fight for positions in the starting lineups, as the fans will soon decide their fate. Although the Red Sox will be represented in St. Louis, many players are in jeopardy of losing a spot on the team, while one former Red Sox player may surprise every one by making the 2009 All-Star Team.

Not so newcomer, and Manny Ramirez replacement, Jason Bay is leading AL outfielders in voting, and rightfully so with his impressive stats this season, leading the American League in RBI's with 69 and tied for 3rd with 19 home runs. Bay's ability to come through in the clutch for the Sox will serve as a vital asset on the American League team.

Kevin Youkilis, a staple in Boston is currently fighting with Yankees rival, Mark Teixeira for a starting position. Youkilis leads the league in on base percentage and is 8th in the league in batting average (.313), but Teixeira has recently produced well for the Yankees and voters are supporting his all-star bid, and [unfortunately] the game (and voting) is decided based on who is hotter at what time. Both will probably make it to St. Louis, but the first base starter is still painfully close. 

As AL MVP, Dustin Pedroia was almost a shoe in at second base, however, is currently behind the Rangers Ian Kinsler for the starting spot. Boston fans know that Pedroia deserves to go, however, recent struggles are making voters question his preparedness. However, Dustin has been hitting more consistently as of late, and if he can pick up his game he has a good chance of beating out Kinsler for the start in the starting nine.

Unfortunately, because the game is in a National League park this season, 1st baseman David Ortiz is out of the picture for now, especially because of his strange struggles at the plate. Because the DH rule does not apply in St. Louis, Ortiz may be watching the game from the stands, despite his recent power surge at the plate. However, his ex-partner in crime, Manny Ramirez is still in the running for the game, despite his 50 game ban from baseball. The Dodgers outfielder ranks 6th among NL outfielders and could quite possible return to the All-Star game. However, many have expressed disappointment in the system if Ramirez is allowed to play in the summer classic, specifically, Dodgers Manager Joe Torre, who previous said that the All Star game was meant to reward players for a good first half, and needless to say, Ramirez was not deserving. However, it is the voters that decide, as this years outfield is still up in the air.

There is no question about it that the Red Sox will be represented at the All-Star game next month, though in what capacity no one is quite sure. However, the Sox have had a thrilling first half and look to continue on to make it back to the post season after the All-Star break, no matter who makes it to St. Louis.

Rani Smith

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