Bright lights, big Citi to be teeming with Stars
The Baltimore Orioles, locked in a tight race in the American League East, placed three starters on the American League All-Star team, while the Reds, Cardinals and Rockies have two starters apiece on the National League squad.
The Cardinals have five representatives overall, and the Pirates have four for the first time since 1981. The results of the fan voting plus the players' ballot and managers' picks were announced Saturday on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell, televised nationally on FOX and in Canada on Sportsnet.
O's first baseman Chris Davis, who leads the Major Leagues in home runs with 33, will be joined by teammates J.J. Hardy, a shortstop, and Adam Jones, an outfielder, for the Midsummer Classic at Citi Field. Rounding out manager Jim Leyland's AL lineup will be Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, the defending Triple Crown winner who led all online voting, plus Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, Twins catcher Joe Mauer, outfielders Mike Trout of the Angels and Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays and designated hitter David Ortiz.
In the NL, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and outfielder Carlos Beltran, Reds first baseman Joey Votto and second baseman Brandon Phillips and Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez earned starting spots. Completing Giants manager Bruce Bochy's starting lineup will be Mets third baseman David Wright and Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.
The Tigers lead all teams with a total of six representatives. The Orioles have four. Davis tallied 8,272,243 votes, the most of any player. Molina led the NL by being named on 6,883,258 ballots. In all, there are 30 first-time All-Stars.
AL reserves elected by the players are Royals catcher Salvador Perez, Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder and shortstop Jhonny Peralta, Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, outfielders Nelson Cruz (Rangers), Alex Gordon (Royals) and Torii Hunter (Tigers) and designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays). Leyland rounded out his bench by selecting Astros catcher Jason Castro, Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis and Rays versatile infielder Ben Zobrist.
The players picked pitchers Max Scherzer (Tigers), Mariano Rivera (Yankees), Yu Darvish (Rangers), Joe Nathan (Rangers) and Felix Hernandez and Hishashi Iwakuma of the Mariners. The manager added Toronto's Brett Cecil, Oakland's Bartolo Colon (replacing the injured Clay Buchholz), Minnesota's Glen Perkins (replacing the injured Jesse Crain), Chris Sale of the White Sox and Detroit's Justin Verlander.
Rivera, who has already announced that he'll retire at the end of the season, will be an All-Star for the 13th time.
"It's wonderful to be named an All-Star again, especially with the Game being here in New York," the 43-year-old Rivera said in a statement released by the Yankees. "New York fans are the best and they deserve it. I know that they will put on a great show and hopefully we'll do a good job."
The NL reserves are Giants catcher Buster Posey, first basemen Paul Goldschmidt (D-backs) and Allen Craig (Cardinals), second basemen Matt Carpenter (Cardinals) and Marco Scutaro (Giants), third baseman Pedro Alvarez (Pirates), shortstops Jean Segura (Brewers) and Everth Cabrera (Padres) and outfielders Michael Cuddyer (Rockies), Domonic Brown (Phillies), Andrew McCutchen (Pirates) and Carlos Gomez (Brewers).
Bochy will choose his starting pitcher from a group including Mets sensation Matt Harvey, Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, Patrick Corbin of the D-backs, Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals, Jordan Zimmermann of the Nationals, Cliff Lee of the Phillies, Jose Fernandez of the Marlins, Travis Wood of the Cubs, Jeff Locke of the Pirates and Madison Bumgarner of the Giants.
Craig, Scutaro, Everth Cabrera, Gomez, Lee, Fernandez, Locke, Wood and Bumgarner were manager picks. Tulowitzki is currently on the disabled list and hopes to return before the All-Star Game, but if he can't, Segura would start, having won the player vote.
The starting pitchers won't be announced until Monday, July 15, but early speculation has focused on Harvey for the NL and Scherzer for the AL.
The NL relievers named on Saturday are Jason Grilli of the Pirates, Craig Kimbrel of the Braves and Aroldis Chapman of the Reds.
Reds manager Dusty Baker is excited that the NL squad will have the starting right side of his infield, plus Chapman.
"I just hope they represent us well and they win, and when we go to the World Series we have home-field advantage," Baker said.
Beltran, who made the All-Star team for the eighth time since 2004, said he's thrilled to be returning and that having so many Cardinals on the roster demonstrates the depth of the team.
"It's always emotional," Beltran said. "It doesn't really get old. I think [having five All-Stars] shows how we're built. It really shows that we're a good team."
The Cardinals are an excellent team, but at the moment, they narrowly trail the first-place Pirates in the NL Central. And the Bucs' strong start is reflected in its a quartet of All-Stars.
"I'm proud of all four," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "They are organizational wins."
There are always going to be disagreements and disappointments when the teams are announced. One team that felt short-changed was Oakland, which has only one player despite being the defending AL West champion and is once again in the thick of the division race.
Manager Bob Melvin thought that Grant Balfour and Josh Donaldson didn't make it along with Colon. "There are always going to be deserving players that don't get to go," he said. "As far as speaking about our players on our team, I felt like we were deserving of having more than one guy there."
Leyland acknowledged that it's impossible to make everybody happy and noted that there are always changes due to injuries.
"You never really know," Leyland added. "I wouldn't jump the gun on anything yet because things do change. Hopefully this does not happen, but there could be two or three injuries in the meantime that [cause players] to be replaced."
Now until Thursday, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com for the final player for each League's All-Star roster.
The NL Final Vote candidates are Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers, Ian Desmond of the Nationals, Freddie Freeman of the Braves and Hunter Pence of the Giants. In the AL, fans can choose between Joaquin Benoit of the Tigers, Steve Delabar of the Blue Jays, David Robertson of the Yankees, Tanner Scheppers of the Rangers and Koji Uehara of the Red Sox.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 84th All-Star Game -- to be played at Citi Field in New York on Tuesday, July 16 -- will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.