The final NL All-Star balloting update before the teams are set

15 Comments

There’s still time to vote, but if it ended now, the NL All-Star team would look like so.

Changes to possible starters: Ryan Braun pulled ahead of Melky Cabrera for the third outfield slot, reversing last week’s reversal. Otherwise, the same old same old, with the changes only affecting downballot stuff:

CATCHER
Buster Posey, Giants: 3,335,982
Yadier Molina, Cardinals: 3,119,530
Carlos Ruiz, Phillies: 2,448,942

FIRST BASE
Joey Votto, Reds: 4,475,180
Lance Berkman, Cardinals: 1,516,737
Freddie Freeman, Braves: 1,462,586

SECOND BASE
Dan Uggla, Braves: 2,641,361
Brandon Phillips, Reds: 1,870,966
Jose Altuve, Astros: 1,479,652

THIRD BASE
David Wright, Mets: 2,687,818
Pablo Sandoval, Giants: 2,223,269
David Freese, Cardinals: 2,064,351

SHORTSTOP
Rafael Furcal, Cardinals: 2,323,486
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies: 2,064,021
Starlin Castro, Cubs: 1,395,820

OUTFIELD
Matt Kemp, Dodgers: 4,118,524
Carlos Beltran, Cardinals: 3,717,483
Ryan Braun, Brewers: 3,168,617
Melky Cabrera, Giants: 3,045,884
Andre Ethier, Dodgers: 1,948,973
Matt Holliday, Cardinals: 1,880,342
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates: 1,685,543

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

Getty Images
1 Comment

When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.

Manny Machado teaches us to never give up

Getty Images
1 Comment

The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.

Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.

Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:

Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.