First base

After watching Domonic Brown play three games in the last two weeks, we can say the Phillies' top minor-league prospect deserves to be labeled untouchable. In his first home games at triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday, the 22-year-old rightfielder put on the kind of show that made it easy to believe he will become a big-league star.

In the first of two games the IronPigs played against Rochester, he showed off his arm by gunning down a runner trying to advance from second to third base on a fly-out to right. Brown later singled in the ninth inning of a tie game and came around to score the winning run. In the second game, he hit a towering home run over the right-field wall, and he followed that up with another homer the next night.

Sorry, not even Cliff Lee is worth what Brown is likely to do when he eventually gets to Philadelphia. The Phillies need a young player like Brown in their lineup, and it's conceivable that he could even help them before this season is over.

Second base

This is an old complaint, but it has become more meaningful in recent years, since the All-Star Game now dictates which league will have home-field advantage in the World Series. If the game "counts," as commissioner Bud Selig wants us to believe, then the leagues should not be burdened with having to take at least one player from each team.

Why should the Phillies' Charlie Manuel and the Yankees' Joe Girardi have to field anything less than their best teams if there is so much at stake in these All-Star Games?

Sorry, no matter how long you scour the Baltimore Orioles' roster, you're not going to find someone deserving to be among the American League's best 34 players.

Third base

While we're on the subject of the All-Star Game, here is one man's opinion on the players most deserving of starting nods in the July 13 game to be played at Angel Stadium.

National League: 1B Joey Votto, Cincinnati; 2B Martin Prado, Atlanta; 3B David Wright, New York; SS Hanley Ramirez, Florida; C Miguel Olivo, Colorado; OF Corey Hart, Milwaukee, Jayson Werth, Phillies, and Matt Holliday, St. Louis; DH Albert Pujols, St. Louis; P Ubaldo Jimenez, Colorado.

American League: 1B Justin Morneau, Minnesota; 2B Robinson Cano, New York; 3B Adrian Beltre, Boston; SS Derek Jeter, New York; OF Josh Hamilton, Texas, Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay, Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle; C Joe Mauer, Minnesota; DH Vladimir Guerrero, Texas; P Cliff Lee, Seattle.

Home plate

Apparently there is some debate about whether Washington Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg should be selected as a member of manager Charlie Manuel's National League roster.

The only logical reply in that debate is this: WHAT?

The man will have made six starts when the all-star rosters are finalized Sunday. Yes, he has pitched well in those six starts, but his 2.27 ERA is only equal to that of St. Louis rookie Jaime Garcia, who has started 15 games.

If a rookie pitcher is selected for the National League, it better be Garcia and not Strasburg.