Not much new in the American League All-Star voting, the tallies for which were just released by Major League Baseball. Jose Bautista is the first player to surpass the four-million mark with 4,156,940 votes. Bautista continues to be joined in the outfield by Curtis Granderson and Josh Hamilton, though Jacoby Ellsbury is only a couple hundred thousand votes behind Hamilton.
On the infield, Robinson Cano leads all vote-getters, and is second in overall voting to Bautista. Derek Jeter inexplicably remains the leader at short, around 400,000 votes in front of Asdrubal Cabrera. A-Rod leads at third. While the race at first was once close, Adrian Gonzalez has taken a comfortable lead over Mark Teixeira. David Ortiz is the DH. Russell Martin remains roughly a half million votes ahead of Alex Avila behind the plate.
Voting in ballparks ends this Friday. Voting online at MLB.com goes until June 30th. Though to be honest, this looks like it’s going to be the starting slate given the margins at play.
Yesterday it was reported that someone stole Jose Fernandez’s high school jersey, which had been hanging in the Alsonso High School dugout in Tampa for a vigil. That was pretty vile stuff indeed.
Thankfully, however, someone’s conscience got the best of them: the jersey has been returned. School officials say that a family found a large envelope outside of the high school with the words “Jose’s jersey” written on it. They took the envelope into to the school this morning and the jersey was found inside.
Bad form taking it, whoever you are, but in most cases it’s never too late to make a better decision and fix your mistakes.
In late August, when everyone started looking at the schedule in an effort to see who had the easiest road ahead of them to the playoffs, the Tigers stood out as particularly blessed. The end of their season featured several games against the lonely Twins and, if things were tight heading into the final weekend, a three-game series against the lowly Braves.
Problem: the Braves have not been very lowly lately, and that could cause the Tigers all kinds of grief.
Atlanta has won 10 of 11 games. They’ve scored 66 runs in those games and their pitching staff has an ERA of 3.28 over that span. Oh, and remember how, earlier in the season, the Braves were hitting like a deadball era team, being outhomered by multiple individual players? Well, they’ve hit ten during this neat little run. Really, though, the run isn’t that little. They’ve won 19 of 30 and have been a solid team, offensively speaking, since late July. They’re hot as heck now and haven’t been pushovers for some time.
So enter the Tigers, who have been seesawing through August and September and who have to play in Atlanta this weekend without their DH, Victor Martinez. Oh, and who stand a halfway decent chance of having to fly out of Atlanta Sunday evening for a makeup game in Detroit that could then cause them to play a tiebreaker game in Toronto or Baltimore which could then have them travel to the other city for a Wild Card game. And that’s if things break decently.
If they break poorly? It’ll be a long, season-closing flight home from Atlanta. A city that was supposed to provide respite for them when it first appeared on the schedule.