Good ole Josh Hamilton is still on his 160+ RBI pace after his walk-off homer last night and his 21st tonight. He certainly deserved being voted All-Star starter. I also liked the Evan Longoria fans choice, he was the right guy there. However, as much as I like Corey Hart, and I really do, Pat Burrell deserved the final spot for the NL. Howard started off slow and now is hot - Utley started hot and now is cold, but Burrell has been consistent (for once) all year and should have been the last guy on the NL team. It would have been his first ASG appearance...
An interesting stat that I have been looking at some the past week or two is At Bats per strike out. The career leader is Joe Sewell and his ridiculous number of 62.56 at bats per strike out. A more modern day example of excellence in this category is Tony Gywnn's career number of 21.40. If you look at just active players, the leader is Juan Pierre with 16.7. But this only includes players with 3000 career at bats. There is a player who doesn't yet qualify that has an eye-popping 18.72 - UGA and Parkview High's own Jeff Keppinger. Kepp's number for 2008 is an even more impressive 25.12. Just an example of a guy that stuck with it after getting drafted in 2001 and jumping from team to team in the minor leagues that finally made it. And, with Kepp now approaching 200 career games played and a .303 career average, I think he will be in the bigs for a while.
Another guy I played with growing up that has stuck around really paid his dues - Robby Hammock. Robby was a 66th round pick out of South Cobb HS and then a 89th round pick 2 years later out of GA Perimeter. After deciding to play at UGA, Robby finally made it up to the 23rd round and signed with the D-Backs in 1998. He finally made it to the big leagues in 2003 and has been up and down ever since, never appearing in more than 65 games. But, he has been around long enough to earn right around a million bucks in his 10 years in pro ball, which is pretty impressive.
What about the Brandon Jennings saga. Worried all the top high school hoops stars are now gonna bolt to Israel? Don't. The only reason Jennings listed Europe as an option was because he couldn't make standardized test scores. Most high school kids know they get much more exposure playing in college on ESPN's Big Monday, Super Tuesday, Wipeout Wednesday, T-Bone Thursday, etc.
That 19 year old age limit in the NBA isn't going away soon. In fact, rumors are David Stern wants to raise it to 20. Look for him to get his way on this one because the players representative Billy Hunter isn't employed by these high school and college kids trying to get to the pros. More than likely Hunter will allow Stern to raise the age to 20 in return for benefits for current players.
Jennings could play in the D-League because he graduated from high school, but what fun is that. No NBA team could sign him, he would barely make any money, and no fans attend or watch any games. Might as well go to Belgium and team up with Andre Emmett to win some bootleg Euro title and eat free Waffles every time you visit Brussels.