Plenty of Reasons For Chicagoans to Pay Attention to All Star Week

Plenty of  Reasons For Chicagoans to Pay Attention to All Star Week
Chris Sale has been a bright spot in an otherwise dismal season for the White Sox.

The Futures Game Both the Cubs and White Sox will have a player in the Futures Game. White Sox Third Base prospect Carlos Sanchez is playing on the World Team Representing the Winston-Salem Dash. He is hitting .320 with 1 HR, 39 RBIs and 15 Stolen Bases.

Cubs Prospect Korean RF Jae-Hoon Ha is playing in the game representing the Tennessee Smokies. He is hitting .259 with 3 HRs and 27 RBIs. Hoon will be the starting Centerfielder for the World Team and hit eighth.

Two of the past MVPs include current Cub Alfonso Soriano and former White Sox Mark Buehrle.

The Game is being televised by ESPN2 and on MLB.Com at 4pm CDT.

Celebrity Softball Game The Celebrity softball game is loaded with participants with Chicago Connections. Former Cubs Andre Dawson, Rick Sutcliffe and Joe Carter are participating as is former Chicago Fire player Carlos Bocanegra. Former Illinois Coach Bill Self and reportedly Mr. Cub Ernie Banks will also participate.

Former White Sox phenom Bo Jackson who began his career in Kansas City is the lone former White Sox player participating.

The Celebrity roster is also dotted with Chicago connections. Wheeling Native and former American Idol Constestant Haley Reinhart lists the White Sox as her favorite team and Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski as her current favorite players.

Second City has a few connections in the game. Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet and Saturday Night Live Alum Horatio Sanz who grew up in Chicago will both participate.

The Celebrity Softball Game will be aired taped on Monday night after the Home Run Derby. According to ESPN’s schedule, it should be on from 9-10 CDT.

Chicago’s All- Stars
Chicago is sending five players to the All-Star Game in Kansas City on Tuesday. The White Sox landed the triumvirate of Paul Konerko, Chris Sale and Adam Dunn. They easily could have had two more. Many feel that A.J. Pierzynski and Jake Peavy were snubbed.

Despite having the Majors second worst record, the Cubs surprisingly landed two players on the All-Star team. Starlin Castro and Brian LaHair were both named to the National League Roster.

Konerko is off to one of the best starts in his career. His .335 batting average would eclipse his career high by 21 points. His power numbers are down slightly with 14 home runs and 42 rbis in 75 games. He is the only backup first baseman listed for the American League. Dunn and four other players are capable of playing first. The amount of at-bats and time that Konerko and Dunn get should be interesting.

Sale is a potential starter in the All-Star Game.He currently ranks in the top three in the American League in Wins, Opponents Batting Average Against and WHIP. He sat out his scheduled start on Sunday, so he should pitch at least one inning.

In just his third season, Starlin Castro has established himself as one of the best shortstops in baseball. He has made the All-Star team in each of his full seasons. Castro and Washington Nationals Shortstop Ian Desmond.

Lehair is the National League’s only backup First Baseman. After short stints with Seattle in 2008 and the Cubs last season, Lehair is in his first full major league season at age 29. He was a surprise selection to the All-Star team. The way the National League Roster is configured, his playing time sets up nicely.

Home Run Derby
The skill contests during All-Star week in the various sports do have the same panache as they used to. In his only other All-Star Appearance, Adam Dunn hit just one HR in the Derby. Somehow he was left off of the American League team for Home Run Derby. He currently ranks third in all of baseball in Home Runs. The two players ahead of him are Toronto’s Jose Bautista and Texas’ Josh Hamilton. Hamilton is not participating either. Yankees Second Baseman Robinson Cano, the 2011 Derby Champion is the American League Captain. He chose Tigers 1B Prince Fielder, Angels RF Mark Trumbo and Bautista to join him on the team.

Dunn currently has 25 home runs. Bautista and Hamilton lead the Majors with 27, Trumbo has 21, while Fielder has just 14.

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