American League All-Star voting update: Mike Trout and eight (yes, eight!) Kansas City Royals

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Kansas City having the top vote-getter at seven of the nine American League positions in last week’s All-Star game voting update was a big story, but get this: Now they have eight of the nine spots.

Eight.

Omar Infante, who’s hitting .204 with an AL-worst .496 OPS this season, has jumped ahead of Jose Altuve to become the leading vote-getter at second base.

Which means the only non-Royals player currently in line to start the All-Star game for the AL is reigning MVP Mike Trout of the Angels, who’d be surrounded by catcher Salvador Perez, first baseman Eric Hosmer, second baseman Omar Infante, shortstop Alcides Escobar, third baseman Mike Moustakas, outfielders Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain, and designated hitter Kendrys Morales.

Alex Rios is the only Royals player on the AL ballot not currently in line to start and even he’s fourth among outfielders despite playing just 18 games and hitting .197 this season.

Here are the position-by-position totals:

source:

Anthems, first pitches and other ceremonial stuff

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The World Series is not just about the baseball. It’s about the bigger-than-usual stars singing the National Anthem, the more-famous-than-usual people throwing out the first pitch and all of the assorted to-do which surrounds the ballgames. Here is that sort of stuff for Game 1 and Game 2 in Boston.

First pitches:

  • Carl Yastrzemski will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 1. Yastrzemski also threw out the first pitch of Game 1 in 2004, 2007 and 2013. The Red Sox won each of those games and each of those World Series so, yeah, go with what works, right?
  • Members of the 2004 World Series Champions will throw the ceremonial first pitch of Game 2. It doesn’t say which members, so maybe my dream of Manny Ramirez doing it will work out after all. Hey, he played for the Dodgers too, so let’s make this happen, OK?

National Anthems:

  • Singer-songwriter James Taylor will perform the National Anthem prior to the start of Game 1. This morning Peter Gammons tweeted that Taylor’s family helped build Fenway Park. Let’s file that under “interesting, but not so interesting that it’s really worth tracking down to confirm, so why not believe it?” Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground.
  • For Game 2 the National Anthem will be performed by the Boston Pops, with the Tanglewood Chorus and the Boston Symphony Children’s Chorus doing the singing. The Boston Pops are conducted by Keith Lockhart, who was a career .287/.354/.425 hitter in 37 postseason games with the Atlanta Braves. I mean, at least I’m pretty sure it’s the same Keith Lockhart. Again: not interesting enough to check so, like Gammons’ thing about James Taylor, let’s assume I’m right about this.

Play ball.