Your 2012 MLB All-Star Lineups

I think most of us tend to believe that even the most perfectly constructed batting order isn’t likely to result in a massive offensive upgrade over the most poorly built lineup, but it’s fun to put yourselves in a manager’s shoes and imagine what order you’d send your players to the plate. It’s one of the more accessible points for armchair management and the vicarious experience that is rooting for a baseball team.

So, while lineup construction for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game is likely even more meaningless than a typical game’s, the selections in question are theoretically from a roster of the best players in baseball. Therefore it’s kind of fun to imagine handling such players in a single game.

Earlier today, National League manager Tony La Russa announced that San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain would start the game for his side, and just a short while ago, the former St. Louis Cardinals skipper announced the batting order to tomorrow night’s other starters:

1. Carlos Gonzalez, DH
2. Melky Cabrera, CF
3. Ryan Braun, LF
4. Joey Votto, 1B
5. Carlos Beltran, RF
6. Buster Posey, C
7. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
8. Dan Uggla, 2B
9. Rafael Furcal, SS

As the designated hitter of the National League team batting leadoff, Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez will be the only position player to start the game that wasn’t voted in by the fans. Adding him to the lineup certainly makes it more intimidating, but to be perfectly honest, it pales in comparison to the American League’s, which looks like this:

1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Robinson Cano, 2B
3. Josh Hamilton, LF
4. Jose Bautista, RF
5. Prince Fielder, 1B
6. Adrian Beltre, 3B
7. David Ortiz, DH
8. Mike Napoli, C
9. Curtis Granderson, CF

I know. I know. New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter leading off wouldn’t be my first choice either, but David Ortiz batting in the seventh spot and Curtis Granderson hitting ninth is telling of just how great the best of the AL batters are. We joke a lot about the Texas Rangers bullpen being so good that it’s Ron Washington-proof, and once again, with Josh Hamilton and Jose Bautista available as middle of the lineup options, it would be difficult for the American League manager to really get it wrong.

Earlier today, Washington announced that Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander would get the start for the American League. It will be the first time Verlander receives such an honour.