All-Star - Baseball Wiretap
Quade Replaces Riggleman On NL Staff
Cubs manager Mike Quade will replace former Nationals manager Jim Riggleman on Bruce Bochy's National League coaching staff for the All-Star Game on July 12. Riggleman resigned from the Nationals on Thursday, opening up a spot for Quade, who joins Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson and San Francisco's coaches -- Tim Flannery, Mark Gardner, Roberto Kelly, Hensley Meulens, Dave Righetti and Ron Wotus -- on Bochy's All-Star staff.
Ellsbury, Hamilton Battling For Starting All-Star Spot
Boston Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who is seeking his first career All-Star appearance, continues to challenge Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers for the third outfield spot in the final American League balloting update for the 82nd All-Star Game, to be played Tuesday, July 12th at Chase Field. Hamilton, the 2010 A.L. MVP and three-time All-Star has registered 3,173,000 votes, but Ellsbury (3,051,675), who currently leads the A.L. with 25 stolen bases, has continued to narrow the gap and now trails Hamilton by just over 120,000 votes. Hamilton is joined in the outfield by Major League Baseball's leading vote-getter, Jose Bautista (5,263,840) of the Toronto Blue Jays, and 2009 A.L. All-Star Curtis Granderson (4,582,419) of the New York Yankees. Bautista, who has also tallied the most online votes, aims to become the first Blue Jays player to finish as the leading vote-getter in the Major Leagues and the first Jay to be elected to start since Carlos Delgado in 2003. Rounding out the top six are four-time A.L. All-Star Carl Crawford (2,294,337) of the Red Sox and Nelson Cruz (1,912,783) of the Rangers, who narrowly surpassed Ichiro Suzuki (1,912,062) of the Seattle Mariners to overtake the sixth spot. New York Yankees 11-time A.L. All-Star Derek Jeter is bidding for his sixth fan-elected start at shortstop in this year's Midsummer Classic. Jeter (3,392,128), who is currently on the disabled list, continues to maintain a lead over Asdrubal Cabrera (2,885,778) of the Cleveland Indians, who looks to earn his first All-Star selection. Jeter's A.L. East-rival David Ortiz (4,237,014) of the Red Sox has also pulled away from the competition at designated hitter, registering over two million more votes than Michael Young (2,235,504) of the Rangers. Catcher Russell Martin of the Yankees has received 2,779,592 votes as he attempts to secure his first A.L. All-Star nod. The two-time N.L. All-Star, who was elected to start the 2007 Midsummer Classic in San Francisco, holds an advantage over Detroit Tigers backstop Alex Avila (2,345,065). Major League Baseball's leading hitter (.361) Adrian Gonzalez of the Red Sox, remains the leader at first base with 4,014,722 votes. The three-time N.L. All-Star, who also leads the Majors in hits (114), RBI (71) and total bases (193), is currently leading two-time fan-elected All-Star Mark Teixeira (3,077,242) of the Yankees. At second base, Teixeira's Yankee teammate Robinson Cano has collected 4,724,816 votes to rank ahead of Boston's Dustin Pedroia (2,979,181). Cano's vote total places him in second place in the Majors behind Bautista for overall votes, and he also ranks second to Bautista in online totals. Bautista and Cano are followed in online tallies by Granderson, Ortiz and Gonzalez. Rounding out the infield at third base is 13-time A.L. All-Star Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees. Rodriguez (3,735,406), who is one fan-elected start from becoming the seventh player in history to earn at least 12 fan elections, continues to maintain his advantage over Adrian Beltre (2,935,373) of the Rangers.
Weeks Overtakes Phillips In NL All-Star Voting
Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks has surpassed Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds in the National League's final balloting update for the 82nd All-Star Game. The final American League All-Star balloting update will be released tomorrow, Tuesday, June 28th. Weeks, who has produced multi-hit contests in seven of his last 12 games, has collected 2,869,583 votes as he vies for his first career All-Star selection. Weeks ranks third in the N.L. with 56 runs scored and his 14 home runs are tied for the most among Major League second basemen. In addition, the Florida native paces all N.L. second basemen in hits (92), doubles (20), walks (31), on-base percentage (.360) and slugging percentage (.498). Phillips, who had been the leader at second base in each of the previous four balloting updates, has received 2,791,186 votes to set up a race to the finish as online balloting concludes at 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on Thursday, June 30th. The 2010 All-Star, who has a six-game hitting streak and an RBI in four consecutive contests, ranks second behind Weeks among N.L. second basemen in runs (48), hits (89), doubles (17) and on-base percentage (.345). Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, who has earned the starting job in each of the last five Midsummer Classics, remains a close third with 2,406,965 total votes. Weeks is joined in the infield by first baseman Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals, who has drawn 3,358,432 votes in his attempt for a 10th career All-Star selection and sixth fan-election. Weeks’ Milwaukee teammate Prince Fielder, who has totaled 2,903,584 votes, has surpassed Cincinnati’s Joey Votto for second place at first base as he inches closer to Pujols, who is currently on the disabled list. Fielder, who leads the N.L. with 68 RBI, is batting .363 (33-for-91) with 10 home runs and 31 RBI over his last 30 games, including a current nine-game hitting streak in which he is hitting .379 (11-for-29). Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki continues to hold off three-time N.L. All-Star Jose Reyes of the New York Mets for the starting job at shortstop. Tulowitzki, who has tallied 2,955,609 votes, leads all Major League shortstops with 14 home runs and 50 RBI while Reyes, who has received 2,710,777 votes, paces the N.L. with a .341 batting average. Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco (3,261,718) continues to hold a comfortable lead over sixtime N.L. All-Star Chipper Jones (2,040,594) of the Atlanta Braves to round out the infield at the hot corner. The N.L. outfield leaders remain unchanged for the final update as Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun maintains his overall N.L. lead with 3,923,100 total votes. Cardinals teammates Lance Berkman (3,208,183) and Matt Holliday (2,935,965) rank second and third, while Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers continues his push forward with 2,743,927 votes. Braun, who is currently riding a career-high 17 game hitting streak, ranks second in the N.L. with 57 runs scored and fourth with 59 RBI. Berkman, who ranks third in the N.L. with 18 home runs, is seeking his sixth All-Star selection and first since 2008 while Holliday looks to make his fifth All-Star appearance and first fan-elected start. Kemp is followed by his teammate Andre Ethier (2,264,640) and Jay Bruce (2,119,267) of the Reds. Atlanta's Brian McCann remains atop the list of N.L. backstops with 3,062,884 votes. The five-time N.L. All-Star, who earned MVP honors in Anaheim in 2010, is seeking his first starting nod behind the dish. McCann leads all Major League catchers with 13 home runs and he leads N.L. catchers with 75 hits, 43 RBI and a .512 slugging percentage. Two-time N.L. All-Star Yadier Molina of the Cardinals remains second behind McCann with 1,836,490 votes.
Maddon: Shields Should Be An All-Star
Following another stellar outing, Rays manager Joe Maddon discussed the All-Star candidacy of starter James Shields. Shields has a major-league leading five complete games. "If that does not put him in the All-Star game, I don't know what does," Maddon said. "Five complete games prior to the All-Star game, that does not happen every year. And it's the way he's done it, too. He's just been dominating." Shields also pitched a three-hit shutout, with 13 strikeouts on May 22. "The last couple years I haven't had CGs and this year I told Joe, 'Hey, I'm ready to finish the ballgames," Shields said. "It was one of those pieces of the puzzle that was missing for me, and to have this many CGs at this point is great. It shows how hard I've been working."
Braun, Pujols Vying For Top Spot In NL All-Star Voting
Three-time National League All-Star Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers continues to lead the N.L. in voting in the third balloting update for the 82nd All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 12th at Chase Field. Braun, who has totaled 2,230,505 votes, is tied for the N.L. lead with 48 runs scored and tied for fourth with 48 RBI. The 27-year-old slugger has appeared in all 66 games this season and is trying to become the first N.L. outfielder to gain a fan-elected start in four straight All-Star Games since San Francisco's Barry Bonds was elected to five consecutive from 2000-2004. Braun holds a slight advantage over first baseman and N.L.-Central rival Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals for the most votes in the N.L. The nine-time N.L. All-Star, who passed Lou Brock for second place on the Cardinals all-time doubles list on Thursday, has garnered 2,081,590 votes, ranking ahead of Joey Votto (1,773,348) of the Cincinnati Reds. Cardinals teammates Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday, who are aiming to become just the third pair of N.L. outfield teammates to gain fan-elected Midsummer Classic starts since 1984 (Bonds/Andy Van Slyke â€“ PIT, 1992; Alfonso Soriano/Kosuke Fukudome â€“ CHI, 2008), make up the remainder of the outfield leaders. Berkman, a five-time N.L. All-Star who is tied for fourth in the N.L. with 16 home runs after homering four times in his last six games, has collected 1,878,314 votes while Holliday, a four-time N.L. All-Star, has received 1,855,416 votes. They are followed by Los Angeles Dodgers teammates Andre Ethier (1,468,537) and Matt Kemp (1,372,804), and Cincinnatiâ€™s Jay Bruce (1,201,224). MLB All-Star FanFest official spokesperson Justin Upton of the Arizona Diamondbacks has received 719,937 total votes, good for 10th among N.L. outfielders. Behind the plate, Brian McCann (1,646,822) of the Atlanta Braves continues to lead in a bid for his first Midsummer Classic starting assignment. The five-time N.L. All-Star, who was named the Most Valuable Player at last yearâ€™s All-Star Game in Anaheim, collected his 500th career RBI on Saturday night in his 811th career game. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, the N.L.â€™s starting backstop in each of the last two years, has risen to second behind McCann with 1,345,260 votes. Pujols is joined in the infield by Brandon Phillips of the Reds, Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies and Placido Polanco of the Philadelphia Phillies, all of whom maintained leads at their respective positions. Phillips, who ranks second among N.L. second baseman in hits (72), RBI (36) and on-base percentage (.343), has earned 1,754,872 votes in his attempt for a second N.L. All-Star nod (also 2010). Milwaukeeâ€™s Rickie Weeks, who leads N.L. second basemen in hits (74), runs (47) and slugging percentage (.490), and is tied for first with 12 home runs and 15 doubles, remains close behind Phillips with 1,461,383 votes. Tulowitzki (1,828,509), who has five straight multi-hit games and four multi-RBI games in his last five games, ranks ahead of New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes (1,241,553), who leads the Major Leagues in hitting with a .346 batting average. Polanco, who hit his third career grand slam on Friday night against the Chicago Cubs, has obtained 1,822,129 votes and continues to be trailed by Atlantaâ€™s Chipper Jones (1,197,332). Tulowitzki, an N.L. reserve in 2010, and Polanco, the American Leagueâ€™s starting second baseman in 2007, are both trying for their second career All-Star selections.
Hamilton Rules Out Home Run Derby
Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is on pace to make the American League All-Star team, but he has ruled out taking part in the Home Run Derby. For the third straight year, the reigning AL MVP said he isn't planning on trying to match his historic performance from 2008 at the Derby. "I already said to them, I'm not doing it," Hamilton said. "Let [Jose] Bautista hit 29, and maybe I'll come back and do it."
Six Yankees Among Top AL All-Star Vote-Getters
In the first update of voting for the 2011 AL All-Star team, the Yankees have six players who are the top vote-getters at their positions, including the entire starting infield. The six players are catcher Russell Martin, first baseman Mark Teixeira, second baseman Robinson Cano, third baseman Alex Rodriguez, shortstop Derek Jeter and center fielder Curtis Granderson. The All-Star Game is July 12 in Phoenix.