The All-Star Break is here!

Time to sit back, relax, and watch Omar Infante battle John Buck for the rights for home field advantage in the World Series. Or just tie, at least this time we’ll be numb to it from the World Cup group stage.

Let’s talk about the hands-down, worst All-Star snub this year: Kevin Youkilis . He lost to the Yankees’ Nick Swisher in the final fan vote, falling short where his campaign partner Joey Votto succeeded. Let’s compare stat lines shall we?

The Youk: 67/18/57/.293/.406/.575

Swisher: 55/15/49/.298/.377/.524

That is borderline embarrassing.

The “Greek God of Walks” has been basically carrying his injury-decimated ball club while Swisher is simply enjoying a good ballpark and a good line up. I don’t even understand the problem here. Even with Yankee fans clicking away for Swisher, fan voting usually goes to guys with the most recognizable names that result from consistently big career numbers. Youkilis has both of.

Ask yourself this: In the bottom of the ninth with two outs and a chance to win, who do you want at the plate? Swisher or the Youkilis?

For anyone who picked Swisher, please invite me to your fantasy league next year, and let’s bump up the buy in about $300.

Thank you, Yankee fans. Instead of watching one of most consistent and humble players in the game, we get to see Nick Swisher’s little smirk of undeserved accomplishment step up to the plate. Real cool, guys.

There won’t be a Week in Review next week, so read up!

Big news: Cliff Lee got traded to the Rangers for Justin Smoak and prospects. Details here .

This is huge for the Rangers as they get a big time ace to anchor an interesting rotation highlighted by Tommy Hunter , C.J. Wilson , Colby Lewis , and the currently injured Rich Harden . I’ve had a lot of love for the Rangers this season. That offense is absolutely filthy from a fantasy and real-life perspective. This is huge for their chances at a playoff run.

From a fantasy perspective, this isn’t good, but also not horrible for Lee’s value. He goes from a major pitcher’s park to a major hitters park, which will hurt him some. However, he will also benefit from a better offense and bullpen (3.26 ERA compared to 4.80).

Obviously, anyone would want a piece of this guy.

With five complete games in his last six starts, it will be tremendously difficult to acquire him. Talking up the ballpark situation will be important, along with his record at Arlington, mostly compiled before he became a Cy Young winner (7.62 ERA and 1.55 WHIP). Maybe offer to take a struggling closer off his hands in exchange for one of your good ones, like Chad Qualls for Heath Bell or something. Lee will not come cheap, but it never hurts to try.

As it many times goes, who this trade helps the most isn’t actually involved. Chris Davis got called up as a result of Smoak being moved. You know the deal here, lots of power, lots of strikeouts. But he’s been raking in the minors (.354 batting average, .403 OBP) so he’s worth a look.


On to the ridiculous trend of perfect game bids by pitchers who have no business throwing perfect games.

Travis Wood made it to the ninth before letting up a double to Carlos Ruiz to end the perfecto threat, but still made it through the complete nine before leaving the game with the most unfair no decision ever as Roy Halladay was being Roy Halladay.

Wood has only made three starts in his career, allowed five earned runs striking out 17 over 20.2 innings of work. Not bad. His minor league numbers are good too (13-5, 1.77 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 7.2 K/9), but I’m not making any major pick ups yet. Despite the performance, he may get sent back to the minors when Aaron Harang and Edison Volquez come back from the DL soon. Temper love affairs with him.


But wait! There’s more .

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