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

Twins pitcher barfs before almost every appearance

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 18:  Ryan O'Rourke #61 of the Minnesota Twins reacts after loading up the bases in the seventh inning against the New York Yankees on August 18, 2015 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Twins righty Ryan O'Rourke has pitched in 54 big league games. He has barfed before almost every one of them.

No, really:

Through his first 54 big-league outings over the last past two years, O’Rourke estimates he emptied the contents of his stomach close to every time.

“I don’t do it in the public’s eye,” O’Rourke said Tuesday. “I go in the bathroom, or sometimes it’s just on the back of the mound. But, yeah, it happens.”

I wonder if I’ve barfed 54 times in my entire life. I doubt I have. Then again, I’m not doing anything in front of tens of thousands of people with potentially millions of dollars at stake.

Yet he who is without sin hurl the first, um. Well, never mind.

The new intentional walk rule isn’t a big deal but it’s still dumb

PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 06:  Anthony Recker #20 of the New York Mets calls for an intentional walk as Paul Goldschmidt #44 of the Arizona Diamondbacks looks on during the eighth inning at Chase Field on June 6, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
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Let us preface this by stipulating that the new rule in which pitchers will no longer have to throw four balls to issue an intentional walk is not a big deal, objectively speaking. Teams don’t issue many IBBs to begin with. A couple a week, maybe? Fewer? Moreover, the times when a pitcher tosses one to the backstop or a batter reaches out and smacks a would-be intentional ball may be a lot of fun, but they’re extraordinarily rare. You can go years without seeing it happen.

So, yes, the intentional walk rule announced yesterday is of negligible consequence. We’ll get used to it quickly and it will have little if any impact on actual baseball. It won’t do what it’s supposed to do — speeding up games — but it won’t harm anything that is important either.

But let us also stipulate that the new rule is dumb.

It’s dumb because it’s a solution in search of a problem. Pace of play is a concern, but to listen to Rob Manfred and his surrogates in the media tell it, it’s The Most Pressing Issue of Our Time. Actually, it’s not. No one is abandoning baseball because of 5-15 minutes here or there and no one who may be interested in it is ceasing their exploration of the game because of it. And even if they were, IBBs are rare and they’re not time-consuming to begin with, so it’s not something that will make a big difference. It’s change for change’s sake and so Rob Manfred can get some good press for looking like a Man of Action.

It’s also dumb because it’s taking something away, however small it is. One of my NBC coworkers explained it well this morning:

I agree. Shamelessness is a pretty big problem these days, so let’s not eliminate shame when it is truly due.

Picture it: it’s a steamy Tuesday evening in late July. The teams are both way below .500 and are probably selling off half of their lineup next week. There are, charitably, 8,000 people in the stands. The game is already dragging because of ineptitude and an understandable lack of urgency on the part of players who did not imagine nights like this when they were working their way to the bigs.

Just then, one of the managers — an inexperienced young man who refuses to deviate from baseball orthodoxy because, gosh, he might get a hard question from a sleepy middle aged reporter after the game — holds up four fingers for the IBB. The night may be dreary, but dammit, he’s going to La Russa the living hell out of this game.

That man should be booed. Boo this man. The drunks and college kids who paid, like, $11 to a season ticket holder on StubHub to get into this godforsaken game have earned the right to take their frustrations out on Hunter McRetiredBackupCatcher for being a wuss and calling for the IBB. It may be the only good thing that happens to them that night, and now Rob Manfred would take that away from them. FOR SHAME.

And don’t forget about us saps at home, watching this garbage fire of a game because it beats reading. We’re now going to have to listen to this exchange, as we have listened to it EVERY SINGLE NIGHT since the 2017 season began:

Play-by-Play Guy: “Ah, here we go. They’re calling for the intentional walk. Now, in case you missed it, this is the way we’re doing it now. The new rule is that the manager — yep, right there, he’s doing it — can hold up four fingers to the home plate umpire and — there it goes — he points to first base and the batter takes his base.”

Color Commentator, Who played from 1975-87, often wearing a mustache: “Don’t like it. I don’t like it at all. There was always a chance the pitcher throws a wild pitch. It happened to us against the Mariners in 1979 [Ron Howard from “Arrested Development” voice: it didn’t] and it has taken away something special from the game. I suppose some number-cruncher with a spreadsheet decided that this will help speed up the game, but you know what that’s worth.

No matter what good or bad the rule brings, this exchange, which will occur from April through September, will be absolutely brutal. Then, in October, we get to hear Joe Buck describe it as if we never heard it before because Fox likes to pretend that the season begins in October.

Folks, it’s not worth it. And that — as opposed to any actual pro/con of the new rule — is why it is dumb. Now get off my lawn.