NEW YORK -- Before the 2018 season began, Wilson Ramos asked his wife where she wanted to spend the All-Star break.
Yely Ramos looked at the schedule and had a quick answer. The All-Star Game was going to be in Washington, in the ballpark where Ramos had played for 5 1/2 seasons with the Nationals.
"You have to make that team," she told her husband.
"I promised her I would," Ramos said.
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Ramos did just that on Sunday, winning the fan vote to be named as the American League's starting catcher. He was the only Ray to be named to the AL team Sunday, although there's a good chance pitcher Blake Snell could be added once other pitchers become unavailable to pitch in the July 17 game.
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Being named to the team was special for Ramos, who was an All-Star in 2016 with the Nationals. Having the game at Nationals Park was one reason, but it was also validation for the work Ramos did in coming back from ACL surgery on his right knee in September 2016.
"I was waiting for this moment," he said. "It was a long wait, getting back after knee surgery."
Ramos earned the starting job with an outstanding first half of the season with the Rays. In 73 games, he has a .289 batting average with 11 doubles, 12 home runs, 47 RBIs and a .802 OPS. He has also won plaudits for the way he and backup Jesus Sucre have handled Tampa Bay's pitching staff.
"He's very deserving," said Rays manager Kevin Cash, who will be on AL manager AJ Hinch's All-Star coaching staff. "His story is probably as good as any of the All-Stars to make the team."
Cash was happy to be able to congratulate Ramos, but he was disappointed to have to tell Snell that he isn't on the initial AL roster. Snell has a 12-4 record and leads the AL with a 2.09 ERA, but he wasn't voted in by the players.
"Disappointed is probably a good word," Cash said. "I know we feel he's deserving. Hopefully Blake gets recognized. He probably should be an All-Star."
Snell was hurt by the timing of the player vote, which was conducted in mid-June. He was already having a good year, but in four starts since then, he has a 0.63 ERA.
Snell was also hurt by the number of great pitching performances in the AL this season. The players voted for Corey Kluber, Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino and Chris Sale, all of whom have outstanding statistics.
More spots will almost certainly open up this week, once it becomes clear which pitchers will not be available to pitch in the July 17 game. Snell, who is on schedule to make his final start before the break Thursday in Minnesota, would likely be one of the first pitchers added to the team.