Here's some very early predictions at who will be on the All-Star teams, after a look at this season's ballot.
National LeagueCatcher - Tony Pena, Cardinals. Gary Carter was last year's winner, but he's on the disabled list and he's terrible. Pena and L.A.'s Mike Scioscia are the strongest candidates in a weak field, and Cards' fans gave Pena a 200,000-vote margin over Scioscia last year.
First base - Will Clark, Giants. He won last year, and incumbents are hard to unseat. And he's earned it.
Second base - Ryne Sandberg, Chicago. The incumbent, and his numbers are good, but we have a terrifying feeling that all the junior baseball-card collector types are going to vote for the Mets' Gregg Jefferies, just because they possess tons of his high-priced cards and they want them to remain valuable. So what if he's batting .193?
Third base - Bobby Bonilla, Pirates. But watch out for Mike Schmidt. He started out hot this year and then slumped, but if he regains his swing he'll get a lot of sympathy votes in what he claims will be his last season.
Shortstop - Ozzie Smith, Cardinals. Beat nearest competitor last year by 1.5 million votes.
Outfield - Darryl Strawberry, Mets; Vince Coleman, Cardinals; Andre Dawson, Cubs/Tony Gwynn, Padres. The first three guys were last year's winners, and were all doing well enough to repeat until Dawson's injury. If he returns soon enough, he'll win it. Kirk Gibson might have made a run, based on his postseason heroics last year, and Andy Van Slyke deserves it, but injuries will hurt their chances.
Catcher - Terry Steinbach, Athletics. He's hitting .336, he plays for the popular A's, and he was last year's All-Star game MVP.
First base - Mark McGwire, Athletics. A sure thing. Nine HR, 26 RBI in only 98 at-bats due to brief injury. Incumbent.
Second base - Steve Sax, Yankees. If Julio Franco keeps hitting like he has been, he will deserve it, but Yankee fans are bigger ballot-box stuffers than Ranger fans.
Third base - Wade Boggs, Boston. But this could be close. Last year's second-place finisher, Oakland's Carney Lansford, is hitting .347, and Paul Molitor was the top vote-getter at second base last season. Kevin Seitzer and Gary Gaetti should also get strong support, which means the vote will be spread out enough for someone to possibly upset a Margo-burdened Boggs.
Shortstop - Cal Ripken, Orioles. Alan Trammell, last year's winner, has been injured. Brewers' rookie Gary Sheffield will get votes from the baseball-card set. But Ripken is hitting .313 with 21 RBI.
Outfield - Kirby Puckett, Twins; Mike Greenwell, Red Sox; Bo Jackson, Royals. The starters in '88 were Canseco, Dave Winfield and Rickey Henderson. Canseco and Winfield are hurt bad and Henderson is dogging it, so they should miss out (although it will come as no surprise if Canseco is elected anyway). There will be outfielders more deserving than Jackson, but he gets the press.
BIGFOOT: Pirates pitcher Jim Gott, a Provo resident, wears one of the biggest shoes in all of baseball - size 14. "I had size 14 feet in the eighth grade," says Gott. "You should have seen me, 5-8 with size 14 feet." He put those platforms to good use, though. He was the punter on his high school football team.