All-Star Economics, And The NL's FutilityS

This year's All-Stars are the biggest collection of stars in one place, but surprisingly, they're not the most expensive. And for one league, they might not even be good enough to compete with a real team.

You know how every year, someone (usually Jayson Stark) puts together their budget all-star team, consisting of quality players for not much cash? The average salary for this year's all-stars is $7,404,184, a shockingly low number when you remember how much your favorite team paid (or was unable to pay) to keep your superstar. In fact, that's nearly half a million less than the average salary for the Yankees' 25-man roster.

But how would a game between them shake out? To that end, I turned to WhatIfSports, whose ridiculously addictive game simulator let me match up the Yankees against both leagues' best. Of note: since the 2009 stats aren't in the sim engine yet, I had to go with the 2008 versions of all players, so you'll be getting the feelgood version of Josh Hamilton, and the pre-suspicion Raul Ibanez. Also, since A's rookie Andrew Bailey wasn't in the system, I replaced him with the immortal Abraham Lincoln "Sweetbreads" Bailey, he of the 1920s Chicago Cubs(not like I have to tell you).

Here's the box score for the Yankees vs. the American League. As you can see, the AL handled them, er, handily. Sweetbreads Bailey got the win, and is off celebrating with a gin fizz and a long night of flagpole sitting.

But when we match up the NL against the Yanks, Alex Rodriguez' 3-run homer gives New York the win. Ryan Franklin and Francisco Cordero got knocked around, proving the three immutable rules of the all-star game:

1) Letting fans vote for their hometown players is the world's worst idea, save for
2) The awful rule requiring every team to send a rep;
3) The NL is awful. It's quantifiable by computers.