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José Altuve remains in the lead in All-Star voting

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Major League Baseball has just released the latest voting totals in both leagues with just four days left. Astros second baseman José Altuve remains in the overall lead in voting with 3,405,815 tallies, surpassing Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts at 3,119,106.

If the voting were to end right now, your AL starters would be José Abreu (1B, White Sox), Altuve, José Ramirez (3B, Indians), Manny Machado (SS, Orioles), Betts, Mike Trout (OF, Angels), Aaron Judge (OF, Yankees), Wilson Ramos (C, Rays), and J.D. Martinez (DH, Red Sox). Unfortunately, Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias isn’t in the running, ending the dream of an all-José AL infield.

In the NL, if the voting ended today, would start Freddie Freeman (1B, Braves), Ozzie Albies (2B, Braves), Nolan Arenado (3B, Rockies), Brandon Crawford (SS, Giants), Buster Posey (C, Giants), Nick Markakis (OF, Braves), Matt Kemp (OF, Dodgers), and Bryce Harper (OF, Nationals). Not as much team diversity in the NL; it’s mostly a Braves affair. The club also has Johan Camargo third in voting at third base, Dansby Swanson second at shortstop, Kurt Suzuki third at catcher, and Ronald Acuña and Ender Inciarte fifth and sixth in the outfield, respectively. The Braves are good, it turns out.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.