The White Sox will send at least six players to the All-Star game.
Pitchers Mark Buehrle, Jose Contreras and Bobby Jenks, right fielder Jermaine Dye, designated hitter Jim Thome and first baseman Paul Konerko will join Ozzie Guillen in Pittsburgh next week.
All six deserve to go. Buehrle has been the Rock of Gibraltar in the Sox rotation since 2001. Contreras has not lost a game since last August. I consider Jenks - the "tall, wide guy," as the most fearsome closer in the game today with his 101 mph fastball and wicked 12-6 curveball. Dye had the most homers of any regular right fielder in the AL last year and this year he's already got 20 and leads the league in slugging percentage and average with runners in scoring position. Thome leads the AL in homers and should set a club record for homers if he maintains his current pace. Konerko is putting together the best season of his career. With Thome in front of him and Dye protecting him, Konerko has been hitting over .300 for most of the season while still hitting plenty of homers.
Two more Sox deserve to go: Tadahito Iguchi and Joe Crede. Iguchi has been among the best all-around players, doing nothing spectacularly but everything very, very well, from rock-solid defense, to clutch hitting (seven RBI in two innings to send what was a blowout into extra innings against the Astros), to doing the dirty work of sacrificing himself to put runners in scoring position.
But Crede deserves the honor even more. For several seasons he has played Gold Glove-caliber defense, drawing comparisons to Robin Ventura and even Brooks Robinson (from Robinson himself!). But after showing tremendous clutch hitting last September and October (in which he deserved the World Series MVP just as much as Jermaine Dye), Crede has continued to produce at a high level, hitting over .300 while clobbering more clutch home runs. Inexplicably, fellow AL players chose Toronto's Troy Glaus to back up fan favorite Alex Rodriguez. Glaus has more homers but a worse average and does not flash the leather nearly as well as Crede.
A.J. Pierzynski also has an opportunity to get into the game, as fans can vote for him as the "32nd man" in online-only balloting. Pierzynski himself ought to merit serious consideration, as in any other year in which Joe Mauer wasn't chasing George Brett's postwar batting average record, Pierzynski's .320+ average would be leading all MLB catchers. Although he's not great defensively, he is the unquestioned emotional leader of the World Champs and works very well with the Sox pitchers.
Overall, the All-Star selection process makes a mockery of the game. Fans have been indoctrinated through years of ESPN (East Coast Propaganda Network) exposure to recognize and vote for members of the Red Sox and Yankees. Only Ozzie Guillen's presence gave the Sox six players on the team this year. For example, Robinson Cano certainly does not deserve to have been voted onto the team as he's nowhere near as good as several other AL second basemen, including Iguchi. Cano's only "redeeming" quality is the logo on his cap.