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Ramos named AL All-Star starting catcher

MLB.com

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.

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.

On Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, fans can submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.

For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

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."

Video: TB@MIA: Ramos clubs a 2-run homer in the 1st

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.

Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York.

Tampa Bay Rays, Wilson Ramos