Jose Bautista

The 2014 All-Star rosters have been announced

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Here are your starters for each league in the 2014 All-Star Game, held at Target Field in Minnesota on July 15.

American League Position Players

  • C: Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals (replacing Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles due to injury)
  • 1B: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
  • 2B: Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners
  • 3B: Josh Donaldson, Oakland Athletics
  • SS: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
  • OF: Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays
  • OF: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anahem
  • OF: Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles
  • DH: Nelson Cruz, Baltimore Orioles

Jose Bautista was the leading vote-getter in the AL with 5.85 million. Trout had the second-most with 5.56 million.

[ MORE: Chris Sale, Anthony Rizzo among those on All-Star game Final Vote list ]

Nothing too shocking here. Jose Abreu and Edwin Encarnacion were also worthy candidates at first base. One could argue that Ian Kinsler and Jose Altuve were both better starting options at second base. Donaldson was snubbed last season, so it’s good to see him get some respect this season. Obviously, Jeter got the starting nod in his final season before heading off into retirement. In any other season, Alcides Escobar or Erick Aybar get the starting spot at short. The outfield was quite crowded, but it’s hard to argue with those three. Maybe Michael Brantley over Jones.

National League Position Players

  • C: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
  • 1B: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
  • 2B: Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies
  • 3B: Aramis Ramirez, Milwaukee Brewers
  • SS: Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies
  • OF: Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • OF: Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee Brewers
  • OF: Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers

Troy Tulowitzki got the most votes in the NL, with 5.35 million.

Brewers fans won’t be happy with Molina starting over Jonathan Lucroy, given recent history. Can’t argue with Goldschmidt at first. Utley was by far the best second baseman over the first two months, but has slumped terribly over the last six weeks, so his numbers are comparable to the rest of the top NL second basemen. Todd Frazier has been the best third baseman in the NL, but not by enough where it’s a travesty that Ramirez got the nod over him. Giancarlo Stanton is an obvious omission in the starting outfield, but he was told he’ll be the NL’s starting DH.

The pitchers and reserves:

American League Pitchers

  • Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers
  • Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers
  • Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
  • Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees
  • Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox
  • David Price, Tampa Bay Rays
  • Scott Kazmir, Oakland Athletics
  • Mark Buehrle, Toronto Blue Jays

 

  • Sean Doolittle, Oakland Athletics
  • Greg Holland, Kansas City Royals
  • Glen Perkins, Minnesota Twins
  • Dellin Betances, New York Yankees

Chris Sale is a notable omission, though he has only logged 87 1/3 innings this season due to injury. Garrett Richards, Corey Kluber, Dallas Keuchel, Sonny Gray, Rick Porcello, and Chris Archer are all on the cusp. You’ll see some of them in the Final Vote. Manager John Farrell will have a tough choice deciding who to start.

There are a ton of deserving relievers but only four spots, so it’s tough to hate the selections. Koji Uehara, Fernando Rodney, and David Robertson are three of a bushel of American League relievers who deserve recognition.

National League Pitchers

  • Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds
  • Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
  • Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals
  • Tyson Ross, San Diego Padres
  • Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals
  • Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves
  • Jeff Samardzija, Chicago Cubs (now with the Oakland Athletics; will be inactive for the All-Star Game)

 

  • Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves
  • Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati Reds
  • Tony Watson, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Francisco Rodriguez, Milwaukee Brewers
  • Pat Neshek, St. Louis Cardinals

A few deserving NL starters were left out: Henderson Alvarez, Josh Beckett, Tim Hudson, Cole Hamels, Madison Bumgarner. On the relieving side, Huston Street, Rafael Soriano, and Jonathan Papelbon are on the outside looking in despite fantastic seasons as their respective teams’ closers.

American League Reserves

  • C: Derek Norris, Oakland Athletics
  • C: Kurt Suzuki, Minnesota Twins
  • 1B: Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays (injured yesterday, likely to be replaced)
  • 1B: Brandon Moss, Oakland Athletics
  • 1B: Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
  • 2B: Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
  • 3B: Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers
  • SS: Alexei Ramirez, Chicago White Sox
  • OF: Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians
  • OF: Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland Athletics
  • OF: Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals
  • DH: Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers

National League Reserves

  • C: Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers
  • C: Devin Mesoraco, Cincinnati Reds
  • 1B: Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
  • 2B: Dee Gordon, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • 2B: Daniel Murphy, New York Mets
  • 3B: Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
  • 3B: Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds
  • SS: Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs
  • OF: Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
  • OF: Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • OF: Hunter Pence, San Francisco Giants
  • OF: Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies

Yordano Ventura represented the best and worst of baseball’s culture

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
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It was reported this morning that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. Former prospect Andy Marte was also killed in a separate car accident. Along with Jose Fernandez and Oscar Taveras, the baseball world has lost a lot of young, exciting talent in a very short amount of time.

Ventura was, like all of us, a complex human being. At his best, he was an exciting, talented, emotive pitcher who featured an electric fastball which sat in the mid-90’s and occasionally touched 100 MPH. At his worst, he was an immature, impressionable kid trying to fit in by exacting revenge against batters he felt had wronged him by slinging those electric fastballs at vulnerable areas of their bodies.

Baseball needed Ventura when he was at his best. It is players like him and Fernandez, not Mike Trout, that bring in new fans to the sport. To baseball die-hards, Angels outfielder Mike Trout is the pinnacle of entertainment because we know he’s an otherworldly talent. But to the average fan, Trout is just another player who hits a couple of homers and doesn’t do anything particularly interesting otherwise. Trout is milquetoast. Ventura was never an All-Star, but fans knew who he was because he made his presence felt every time he made a start. He was fun, if sometimes vengeful.

Ventura’s baseball rap sheet is rather lengthy for someone who only pitched parts of four seasons in the big leagues. Early in the 2015 season, Ventura found himself in a handful of benches-clearing incidents in quick succession. On April 12, he jawed with Trout, apparently misunderstanding the motivation behind Trout yelling, “Let’s go!” Though catcher Salvador Perez intervened, Trout’s teammate Albert Pujols ran in from second base and the benches cleared shortly thereafter. On the 18th, some drama between the Athletics and Royals continued. Ventura fired a 99 MPH fastball at Brett Lawrie, resulting in his immediate ejection from the game. More beanball wars ensued in the series finale the following day. Finally, on the 23rd, Ventura hit White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu with a 99 MPH fastball in the fourth inning. Ventura was not ejected… until after the completion of the seventh inning. Walking back to the dugout, Ventura barked at White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton and — you guessed it — the benches cleared. All told, Ventura was fined for his behavior with the Athletics and suspended seven games for the White Sox incident.

In August 2015, Ventura called Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista a “nobody” and accused him of stealing signs. He apologized shortly thereafter. Two months later, during his start in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, Ventura got into it with Jays first base coach Tim Leiper. Nothing happened beyond that, but apparently it was part of the Jays’ plan to try to put Ventura “on tilt.”

Most recently, in June this past season, Ventura hit Orioles third baseman Manny Machado with a pitch. Machado charged the mound and got in at least one punch before the players spilled out onto the field in a blob of royal blue and orange. Ventura was suspended for eight games.

Ventura was by no means a model of civility, but he was a product of baseball’s intransigent culture forcing players to assimilate or be ostracized. The old culture taught players to never show emotion. Hit a home run? Put your head down and circle the bases in a timely fashion or risk taking a fastball to the ribs. Players like Fernandez and Bautista — typically players from Latin countries — challenged those old cultural norms and are, as a result, the vanguard of the new culture. Ventura displayed aspects of each, the worst of the old culture and the best of the new. He was not a one-dimensional person; he was strikingly complex. At one moment willing to use a fastball as a weapon, the next stopping by some kids’ lemonade stand and giving out fist bumps. Baseball is made more entertaining and more interesting by its personalities and Ventura’s was a behemoth, for better or worse. His absence from the sport will be felt.

MLB remembers Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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Following the tragic passing of 25-year-old Yordano Ventura and 33-year-old Andy Marte, both of whom were killed in separate car crashes on Sunday morning, players and executives from around Major League Baseball expressed an outpouring of grief and support for the players’ families and former teams.

Fans have gathered at Kauffman Stadium in memory of the former pitcher.