As you can see, my ballot can be broken down into two categories.
For the AL side of the ballot, I scrutinize every stat and pick the best overall player at each position. In the case of two equally worthy players my sometimes twisted logic gets to be the tiebreaker. I won't half-ass this though - if I don't have a good argument for voting that player in, I can't check that ballot. Here are my AL picks:
Catcher: Joe Mauer
Joe is a bad, bad man. The only catcher in the league I'll admit is better than McCann.
First Base: Miguel Cabrera
This one was a tough choice between Miggy and Morneau. I chose Cabrera because screw the Twins. That's right, Justin, Kent Hrbek and his goon wrestling moves cost you votes 19 years later. KARMA, BEEYOTCH!
Second Base: Robinson Cano
I remember a couple of years ago when Yankee fans were whining about Cano because he wasn't superstarry enough for them. Now Cano's hitting his prime and the rest of the team is starting to look like geezers.
Shortstop: Elvis Andrus
Dude, I just voted for a Damn Yankee, I ain't gonna vote for two. Elvis has the bat and the leather and his name is ELVIS so shaddap youse.
Third Base: Evan Longoria
Adrian Beltre is probably having just as good a year or better than Evan, making this a tough choice. In the end I used the baseball card test. Would you rather pull a jersey card of Evan or Beltre? Thought so.
Outfield: Josh Hamilton
I think when Mickey Mantle died, his spirit entered Josh. When the dude's not injured or intoxicated, he's FREAKING AMAZING.
Outfield: Ichiro Suzuki
Ichiro has passed beyond the level of superstar into the realm of Legend. Not voting for Ichiro is like not voting for Cobb or Ruth or Aaron or Mays. He's still hitting too.
Outfield: Carl Crawford
Nelson Cruz has a gripe here - his stat totals are almost the same as Crawford's with a whole lot fewer at bats. But Cruz has been injured and Crawford is just an all around good player. Lord, I hope he's not in pinstripes next year.
Designated Hitter: Vlad Guerrero
I hate voting for the DH because every year I check the stats of everyone on the ballot and over half of them are pure, unmitigated failures. Just AWFUL stats. Vlad is the exception this year. He's raking in Texas and is actually worthy of a vote.
I'm a homer ballot box stuffer, I admit. In fact, I'm proud of it. If you don't like it go back to your sabermetrics and twiddle with your numbers. I have standards when stuffing and my ballot will usually not consist of all Braves.
Catcher: Brian McCann
He's having an off year and he's still got one of the best stat lines for an NL catcher this season. Plus, someone's got to combat the Cardinal ballot box stuffers.
First Base: Troy Glaus
Pujols has this running away so I'm giving Troy a little love. Once he got hot in May the Braves have been dominant and I need to reward him for that. I do feel bad about not voting for Joey Votto though. Joey needs to be on the team over Howard but I don't think it will happen.
Second Base: Martin Prado
No homer pick here, Prado is leading the league in hits and average. He'll probably be the starter if Utley can't come back from the DL fast enough.
Shortstop: Hanley Ramirez
No way I'm voting for Yunel after the stinkeroo of a season he's put up so far. At least the guy can field. This is also a thank you to Hanley for getting Fredi Gonzalez fired so the Braves can hire him to replace Bobby.
Third Base: Chipper Jones
Come on, this might be the last time I can vote for him! Gotta vote for Chipper!
Outfield: Jason Heyward
I know he's on the DL and has slumped since he hurt his thumb. Honestly, the only reason I took the time to vote at all is because I wanted to vote for J-Hey. I plan to vote for him every single year he's on the ballot for the rest of my life, so get used to it. Once he retires in about 2035 I'll likely write him in after that.
Ok. Now you all have my permission to start yelling at me.
Outfield: Manny Ramirez
Outfield: Justin Upton
Here's where the Homerism reaches full bloom. The best outfielders in the NL are Braun and Ethier, hands down. Can't vote for them because I want Heyward voted in as a starter. Hell, I want Heyward to have the most votes among outfielders. So no votes for Ryan or Andre. Also, any player within a million votes of J-Hey isn't getting a vote either. I'm not taking a chance that my vote will cause someone to pass Heyward in the standings. So, I need to vote for two guys who are not even close to Heyward's numbers but I can still look at myself in the mirror after doing so. I mean, sure I could just vote for Nate McLouth, but I'd need to take a shower after to wash off the fail. So I ended up voting for Manny the pain in the ass future Hall of Famer and Upton who is a damn fine player in his own right. Is it fair? Is it right? Do I care? NO!
VOTE FOR J-HEY!!!