- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 7, 2009


“One of the things that is important in our premiere season is… to be able to show outstanding players who find themselves in this quagmire the NFL creates. Michael Vick might be that kind of player.” - United Football League commissioner Michael Huyghue


Cristian Guzman, Nationals shortstop - Guzman has been one of the better players on a struggling squad and was the Nationals’ only All-Star selection last year. He also appeared in the 2001 All-Star Game while with the Twins. He has a team-best .318 average.

Matt Kemp, Dodgers center fielder - The 24-year old is one of many reasons why the Dodgers hold a big lead in the NL West. Tied for first on the team with 92 hits, he also has 19 stolen bases. Though the Dodgers have baseball’s best record, the fans awarded them no All-Star starters.

Mark Reynolds, Diamondbacks third baseman - Playing for a team that’s last in its division, Reynolds and Guzman are in similar situations. Tied for second in the NL with 24 home runs, he is always a threat to hit the ball out of the park. He also has 61 RBI.

Pablo Sandoval, Giants third baseman - Last season, the Giants finished 72-90 - last in the NL West. This year’s team leads the wild-card race. Only 22, Sandoval ranks fourth in the NL with a .333 batting average, trailing only Hanley Ramirez, Albert Pujols and Carlos Beltran - three All-Star starters. And he’s in the top 10 in slugging percentage (.566) and on base percentage (.388).

Shane Victorino, Phillies center fielder - Victorino was an integral piece of the Phillies’ World Series run last season. This year, the “Flyin’ Hawaiian” has stolen 13 bases. He had six hits in Philadelphia’s three-game sweep of the Mets this past weekend.

Our take - It should be Sandoval. Since the winning league gets home-field advantage for the World Series, the “last man” should be chosen with that in mind. Based on his numbers, Sandoval gives the NL the best chance to win.

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