The Major League Baseball All-Star game is the last exhibition of star talents that still holds great weight. The NFL’s Pro Bowl and NHL’s talented contests are little more than skills competitions, while the NBA continues to align all-star rosters to a few teams. While MLB may foolishly decide home field advantage in the World Series based on this game, the games classic matchups continue to provide a mystical quality in the combining of National League rosters versus the American League.
In Colorado the last year has been an up and down roller coaster. From shocking playoff first round exits for the Denver Nuggets and Denver Broncos, to a forgettable shortened Colorado Avalanche season, the narratives have been anything but boring. Even the Colorado Rockies, (forgetting all of the second half of last season because it’s too painful to re-live) are providing compelling story lines. So at the All-Star Break, here is your Colorado sports all-star team.
Ace: Peyton Manning
In one year with the Broncos, Manning has become the face of the city. If Denver had to put someone on the mound to get the job done, it’s Peyton Manning. Word is that his arm strength is improving, which means last year’s MVP runner-up season could have been a stepping stone if he stays healthy.
2nd Starter: Ty Lawson
Lawson took control of the Nuggets in the second half of the season. He may not be a top-tier player in the league, but he still is a driving force on this team. Everything channels through Lawson and if he has one more level he will be an NBA star.
Solid Starters: Jhoulys Chacin, Jorge De La Rosa
Both pitchers have been more than the Rockies expected this year and kept them close in the NL West Race. De La Rosa is 9-5 with a 3.21 ERA, while Chacin is 9-4 with a 3.5 ERA.
Invisible Man: Zane Beadles
A late edition to the Pro Bowl roster, Beadles was a consistent tackle for the Broncos.
Relievers: Corey Brewer, Ryan Clady
Both players were major contributors to their team’s success. Brewer was let go by the Nuggets, while Clady was rewarded a huge contract.
Closer: Von Miller
Miller recorded 18.5 sacks last year, sealing the deal for the Broncos a number of times.
Catcher: Demaryius Thomas
If Peyton Manning is pitching, who would fans like him to throw too? Thomas has the best hands in the Mile High City and can catch anyone (Tim Tebow).
First Base: Matt Duchene
Duchene was one of two bright spots for the Avalanche last year. He had an improved defensive game and swung for power, 43 points and 17 goals.
Second Base: P.A. Parenteau
Duchene’s line mate was always feeding the center. He also scored 43 points and a team high 18 goals.
Third Base: Andre Iguodala
The Nuggets best defensive option was also an important power player on the team. His output for the Nuggets will be missed as he signed with the Golden State Warriors. A lot of people don’t understand what he brought to the team.
Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki
Despite his injury, Tulowitzki was still named a starter for the All-Star Game. He’s hitting a Rockies team high .332 in 64 games.
Left Field: Carlos Gonzalez
While his average is a roller coaster ride (still at .302), Gonzalez is a more patient player this year. He’ll start tonight’s All-Star Game with 25 home runs (best in the National League) and 64 RBI’s.
Right Field: Michael Cuddyer
The Rockies Cuddyer is undoubtedly having the best year of his career. His .330 average is fourth best in baseball for those qualified for the batting title and his 27 game hit streak added a compelling storyline as the team slumped.
Center Field: Champ Bailey
I’m still waiting for the Broncos Bailey to lose a step. He’s the guy you want as your last line of defense when everything’s on the line.
Designated Hitter: Eric Decker
Thomas already stole best catcher, but Decker is equally as important. Therefore, just put two catchers in the game through the dumbest position in sports.
Manager: George Karl
The NBA coach of the year unfortunately was fired before he could defend the title.