I like this story a lot. Not because it has any new information, really, but because it involves a mayor of a large U.S. city basically saying “I have a secret and I can’t tell you so nyah, nyah nyah.”
Short version: the Rays want out of St. Pete because its not economically viable to play in the Trop. While the city has a pretty iron-clad lease requiring that the Rays stay, there are allegedly conversations being had about a plan that would either keep the Rays in St. Pete in a manner more to the team’s liking or that would allow them to look elsewhere without penalty or … something.
And that’s where the silliness comes in, with the mayor making oblique allusions to secret plans — he actually uses the term “secret plan” — that no one besides him apparently knows about.
Politics has become so polished and detached from the human experience. I love it when once in a while the polish comes off and you see public officials acting like little kids or something.
I would hope by now that I no longer have to preface All-Star talk with my usual “none of this matters” disclaimers, but please keep all of that in mind when I mention that Nick Markakis is leading all National League outfielders in All-Star voting.
Markakis, with 1,173,653 votes, has surpassed the slumping Bryce Harper in that category. Harper has 1,002,696 votes. The third place outfielder is Matt Kemp of the Dodgers with 925,697. Fourth place — Charlie Blackmon of the Dodgers — is like 300,000 votes back of Kemp.Yes, Markakis, Harper and Kemp may be the starting NL outfield. Brandon Nimmo — not on the ballot — should be grumpy, but he’ll get his chance I’m sure.
The thing about it: Markakis, for as unexpected as his appearance may be on this list, deserves to at least be in the top three. He’s second in WAR among National League outfielders behind Lorenzo Cain. He’s slowed down a good bit in June and he’s coming off of a 2017 season in which he had a 96 OPS+ and 0.7 WAR, but he’s having quite an outstanding season. I write that mostly so that there is a record of it come October and we’ve all forgotten it.
Seriously, though, good for Markakis, who has never made an All-Star Game. Good for Kemp too for that matter, who most people assumed was a walking — well, limping — corpse heading into this season. Good for Harper because anything that can keep up the guise of him having a good year when, in reality, he’s really not, will help his confidence as he heads into free agency.
Finally, good for the American League, who will likely get to face a far, far inferior National League team next month in Washington.
The rest of the voting: