Actually, go ahead and look. The Pirates have been on the up-and-up for a few years now, but now they are starting to see some real success from the Indianapolis Indians, too. The Indians are sitting at 42-29 at the moments, which gives them an eight and a half game lead in their division. That's also good for second in the whole International League. Pawtucket is sitting at 45-27, so certainly within reach.
If it's at all possible, you really ought to find your way down to Victory Field sometime this season. The Indians haven't won their division since 2006, and haven't taken a league title since 2000. Both seem very well within reach this year. With any luck, maybe Indianapolis will be your AAA champion this season. They would be hoisting the trophy in Durham this year if that happened.
In other news, the All-Star Game is coming up in just a couple weeks. I finally submitted my ballot. Here's how it broke down.
I wasn't really aiming to be so Reds-heavy, but I guess that's just how things shake out. I also could have easily voted for Derek Jeter, but I've not voted for him in my life yet, I don't see any reason to start doing it now. Besides, the Orioles are still only two and a half back of the Yankees and pretty overlooked, so I thought it was deserved enough. For the curious, here are your current leaders.
For the most part, I can definitely buy the leaders. I do think it's a damned shame that Pierzynski is way back in fourth. He has more homers and more RBI than everybody in front of him, and a higher average than all but Mauer. But, he's never been the most beloved player outside of Chicago (or whoever he's playing for at the moment), so he gets the shaft.
I also think it's sad that Billy Butler can't even crack the top five when the game is in Kansas City. Ortiz does have better numbers across the board, but I still get the feeling he's running on popularity power. Ortiz is hitting .314 with 17 homers and 45 RBI. Butler is hitting .303 with 13 homers and 41 RBI. Pretty comparable, no? And as far as Rios is concerned, I just watched him have a monster game against the Dodgers, which I'll admit to swinging my vote. That was probably a bad pick.
Over on the NL side, I really don't have a problem with any of the picks. Obviously I'm a sucker for Andrew McCutchen, he was the guy when I was going to at least one Indians game a week. And Jay Bruce harkens back to that era, too. Also, I obviously made Chipper my pick mostly for sentimental reasons, though I will say that, while Sandoval is having a better season than I realized, Chipper has just as many homers and more RBI, and he plays a bigger role on his team. The real travesty here seems to be Ryan Zimmerman. I don't think he should be leading, but I don't think top five is asking too much. But, I guess that's what you get for playing for the Washington Nationals. They aren't quite in the public conscious yet, even though they're probably the class of that division.
All things considered, though, I think the fans are doing a great job this year. I don't see anybody that is totally there because of their name instead of their talent.