SAN FRANCISCO -- The voters had their say picking the starters, and then players, managers and coaches weighed in to complete the rosters for the 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game to be played on Tuesday, July 10, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
Tony La Russa, who managed the Cardinals to their thrilling seven-game comeback win over the Rangers in last year's World Series, is coming out of retirement to manage in the big game. Without having daily duties, he said he's been able to spend a lot of time evaluating the National League.
"I've been so excited about the opportunity that literally -- if it was one of the other five, you kind of wait until about the first of June so things start to sort out a little bit -- but I was watching by the first week in April, I was already starting to see who was hot and who was not."
Named to the American League bench by the players are Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, Angels outfielders Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo and designated hitter Adam Dunn of the White Sox.
"It's awesome getting picked," said Trout, who wasn't recalled from the Minor Leagues by the Angels until April 28. "I'm getting chills thinking about it right now, getting to represent the Angels, having Trumbo make it. It's great."
The AL pitching staff as selected by the players consists of Rays starter David Price, Yankees starter CC Sabathia, White Sox starter Chris Sale, Tigers starter Justin Verlander and Angels starter Jered Weaver. The relievers are Jim Johnson of the Orioles, Chris Perez of the Indians and Fernando Rodney of the Rays.
Sabathia, who is currently on the disabled list with a strained left groin, will be recognized as an All-Star and has been invited to Kansas City with full All-Star honors, but he will be replaced by C.J. Wilson of the Angels, per the request of Texas and AL manager Rob Washington.
"Right now, the plan is to go," Sabathia said. "It's the third year in a row that I haven't been able to pitch. It is what it is, but I'm definitely excited to be able to make the team."
Washington's seven selections included Twins catcher Joe Mauer, Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus and designated hitter Billy Butler of the Royals. Washington's pitching selections are A's reliever Ryan Cook, Rangers starter Matt Harrison, Mariners starter Felix Hernandez and Rangers reliever Joe Nathan.
"Well I think just having a full squad with the best that the American League has to offer will probably make a difference," said the Texas skipper, who managed the AL last year when it lost, 5-1, at Chase Field in Phoenix. "We just had some injuries last year and a few guys pitched on Sunday and couldn't play. When you look at that National League squad, they were strong, and I'm hoping to be as strong this year and hopefully we can do better."
Over in the NL, the players picked Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, Cubs first baseman Bryan LaHair, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, Mets third baseman David Wright and outfielders Ryan Braun of the Brewers, Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies and Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates.
Wright, who lost by 1.6 million votes in the fan balloting to the Giants' Pablo Sandoval, was still happy to make the team.
"That's the way that the system is," Wright said. "Pablo's having a very good year, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed that I don't get a chance to start. But to be voted in by the players, that's special, because they're your peers. You have the respect of your peers and you have the confidence of your peers. That's a tremendous honor."
NL pitchers selected by their peers included Giants starter Matt Cain, Mets starter R.A. Dickey, Cardinals starter Lance Lynn and Nationals teammates Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg. The relievers are the Reds' Aroldis Chapman, the Pirates' Joel Hanrahan and Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel.
Dickey, the knuckleballer, who has been the surprise of the league this season, has a 12-1 record with a 2.15 ERA and could very well be the NL starter.
"Obviously it's an honor. And more than that, for me, it's something to be shared," Dickey said. "It's not an honor just for me. It's an honor for every person who's helped me along the way, every fan who believed that special things could happen if you apply yourself. So it's neat to be able to celebrate that with a network of people."
La Russa made nine selections in conjunction with MLB to fill out the remainder of the NL roster. The position players chosen by the manager and coaches are catcher Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies, shortstop Ian Desmond of the Nationals and outfielders Jay Bruce of the Reds and Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins. The five pitchers chosen are Phillies teammates Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon, Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, D-backs starter Wade Miley and Huston Street of the Padres.
"It's obviously a huge honor for me," Bruce said. "Being a coaches' selection is something I am very proud of. I'm excited to go back. It's going to be a lot of fun. Being an All-Star is a huge deal for me. It's a fun part of the year for sure."
The final reserve on each team will be decided by the fans in the All-Star Game Final Vote
sponsored by Firestone.
Braves center fielder Michael Bourn, Cardinals third baseman David Freese, Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper, D-backs second baseman Aaron Hill and Braves third baseman Chipper Jones are on the NL ballot. Royals closer Jonathan Broxton, Rangers starter Yu Darvish, Angels closer Ernesto Frieri, Orioles starter Jason Hammel and White Sox starter Jake Peavy are facing off in the AL.
The 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game 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. Pregame ceremonies begin at 7:30 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
Fans will also have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the 2012 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on MLB.com.