Adrian Gonzalez overtakes Mark Teixeira in AL All-Star balloting

9 Comments

Adrian Gonzalez, who has driven in a run during each game of Boston’s current nine-game winning streak, has overtaken Mark Teixeira in the AL All-Star balloting in the update announced Tuesday.  He has 2,027,537 votes to 1,774,024 for Teixeira.

If Gonzalez can stay ahead of Teixeira, he might be the only non-Yankee infielder starting in Phoenix.  Robinson Cano has second base all locked up, while Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter are about 300,000 votes ahead of their closest competition (Adrian Beltre and Asdrubal Cabrera, respectively). Russell Martin is set to be the catcher.

The Yankees will also have a starter in the outfield, with Curtis Granderson nearly guaranteed a spot alongside leading vote-getter Jose Bautista.  Josh Hamilton has 350,000 votes on Jacoby Ellsbury for the third spot, with Ichiro Suzuki and Carl Crawford further behind.

The DH appears increasingly likely to be David Ortiz and deservedly so.  He’s opened up a 550,000 ballot lead on Michael Young.

There is, indeed, an MLB-to-Portland group

Associated Press
Leave a comment

On Monday, Baseball America reported that MLB is prepared to expand to Portland and Montreal. We talked about that at length yesterday. One of the most common responses to that piece has been “Portland? Really?”

There’s good reason for that response. Baseball-to-Portland has been talked about for years, but there has never been any real traction. Past initiatives have failed, significant public funding for a stadium seems to be a political impossibility and, heck, Portland wasn’t even interested in keeping its Triple-A team, turning its stadium into a much more successful soccer venue and not missing the Beavers all that much.

It would seem, however, that the reports are not mere speculation and there is a genuine baseball-to-Portland initiative afoot once again. From the Oregonian:

On Tuesday, former Trail Blazers broadcaster Mike Barrett confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive that he is part of the Portland group.

“I am officially involved with a campaign to bring Major League Baseball and a stadium development to Portland,” Barrett said. “There is also a formally organized, sophisticated and seasoned management group running this initiative. We will keep you fully apprised of any/all developments as this project progresses.”

One guy — a broadcaster no less — saying he’s part of a group is not exactly a major needle-mover, of course. But it does contrast with past Portland initiatives that have been well-publicized grassroots affairs. While those may have been more broad-based and while their public nature may have provided some refreshing transparency, the simple fact of professional sports ownership in the 21st century is that well-monied groups who play things close to the vest are more likely to make waves. We’re in an age when technocratic hedge fund-type guys make things happen in this arena, not in an age when flamboyant public personalities do.

None of which is to say that baseball in Portland is a lock or that expansion anywhere is a short term proposition. It’s just to note that, yeah, there is a bit more going on, it seems, than just pointing at a map and saying “yeah, a team would make sense here.”