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Cruz passes Ortiz in All-Star voting among American League DH’s

Posted on 02 June 2014 by WNST Staff

Cano overtakes Kinsler, Cruz passes Ortiz in second American League balloting update for 85th All-Star Game

Bautista Gains on Trout for Overall League Lead; Melky Cabrera Surpasses Ellsbury, Beltran to Join Outfield Leaders

Seattle Mariners five-time All-Star Robinson Cano, who has been voted the American League starting second baseman in the Midsummer Classic in each of the last four seasons, and Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Nelson Cruz, a two-time All-Star, have joined the A.L. leaders in the second balloting figures for the 85th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 15th at Target Field in Minnesota, it was announced today. The second National League balloting results will be announced tomorrow.

In the closest battle for a starting assignment, Cano, who has drawn 726,158 votes has pulled in front of Detroit Tigers second baseman and three-time All-Star Ian Kinsler, who has accumulated 649,926 votes. Cano, in his first season with the Mariners, is aiming to become the third second baseman in A.L. history to earn five consecutive fan-elected starts, joining Hall of Famers Rod Carew (six straight, 1970-75) and Roberto Alomar (five straight, 1996-2000). In addition, Cano would join Bret Boone (2001) as the only fan-elected starting second basemen in Mariners history, and could become just the fourth Seattle infielder to receive an election from the fans, joining Boone, John Olerud (1B, 2001) and Alex Rodriguez (SS, 1997-98; 2000). Cano currently ranks third in the A.L. with a .327 batting average, is tied for third with 22 multi-hit games and is tied for seventh with 67 hits.

Cruz, who leads the Majors with 20 home runs and 52 RBI, has received a total of 888,855 votes to surpass nine-time All-Star David Ortiz (766,631) of the Boston Red Sox at designated hitter. Cruz, who is attempting to end Ortiz’s run of three consecutive fan-elected starts at designated hitter, would become only the fifth different fan-elected starter at the position, joining Edgar Martinez (1997, 2001, 2003), Jose Canseco (1999), Ortiz (2005, 2008, 2011-13) and Vladimir Guerrero (2010). Cruz, who set an Orioles record for RBI before the end of May (52), has hit safely in 17 of his last 19 games since May 13th, batting .403 (27-for-67) during the stretch with 10 walks, seven doubles, 10 homers, 22 RBI and 16 runs scored.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim two-time All-Star Mike Trout remains the overall leader in the A.L. with 1,361,649 total votes, but Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays has closed the gap and narrowly trails for the top spot with 1,351,896. Trout, who last year at 21 years old became the youngest A.L. position player to start the All-Star Game since Ivan Rodriguez in 1993, is currently riding a season-best 11-game hitting streak in which he is batting .417 (15-for-36). The 2012 A.L. Rookie of the Year, who is bidding to join Carew (1979-84), Fred Lynn (1982-83), Reggie Jackson (1982-84) and Guerrero (2004-07) as the only Angels in history to earn consecutive fan-elected All-Star starts, has reached base safely in each of his last 23 games. Bautista, a four-time All-Star and a three-time fan-elected starter (2011-13), is seeking to become the second player in Blue Jays history to receive four fan-elected starting nods, joining Alomar (2B, 1991-94). The 2011 MLB leading vote-getter, who is tied for fifth in the A.L. with 14 home runs, has hit the most homers in the Majors since 2010 (166) and his 116 home runs prior to the break in that span are 19 better than the next closest player. Bautista has reached base safely in 56 of his 58 games played this season and he leads the A.L. with a .442 on-base percentage. Bautista’s Blue Jays teammate Melky Cabrera (743,208), a 2012 N.L. All-Star, has joined the outfield leaders after surpassing New York Yankees teammates Jacoby Ellsbury (625,206), a 2011 All-Star, and Carlos Beltran (565,554), an eight-time All-Star. Cabrera, who ranks second in the Majors with 74 hits, would become the fourth different Blue Jays outfielder in history to receive a fan election, joining Bautista, Joe Carter (1993-94) and George Bell (1987). Bautista and Cabrera are trying to become the first pair of teammates to start in the A.L. outfield since Boston’s Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez in 2005, and it would mark the 17th Midsummer Classic in history to feature starting teammates in the A.L. outfield.

Thirteen-time All-Star and eight-time fan-elected starter Derek Jeter of the Yankees leads all A.L. shortstops in balloting and ranks third in the league overall with 1,007,968 total votes as he looks to join his former teammate Cano up the middle at the Midsummer Classic in his final season. Jeter, who ranks eighth on the all-time hit list with 3,367 hits, would become the seventh A.L. player in history to earn at least nine fan-elected starts with one team. The others include Hall of Famers Cal Ripken, Jr. (17 with Baltimore), George Brett (11 with Kansas City) and Carew (nine with Minnesota); Ken Griffey, Jr. (10 with Seattle); Ichiro Suzuki (nine with Seattle); and Ivan Rodriguez (nine with Texas). Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez, bidding for his first career All-Star selection, trails Jeter with 867,156 votes.

Rounding out the A.L. infield at the corners is Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera and Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson. Cabrera, an eight-time All-Star, has garnered 962,138 votes as he vies for his second consecutive fan-elected start following his start across the diamond at third base last year. The reigning two-time A.L. MVP (also 2012), who is currently third in the A.L. with 49 RBI and ranks fourth with a .325 batting average, would become just the fifth player in Tigers history to earn multiple fan-elected starting assignments at the Midsummer Classic, joining catchers Bill Freehan (1970, 1972), Lance Parrish (1984-86), Ivan Rodriguez (2004, 2006-07) and second baseman Lou Whitaker (1984-86). In addition, the 2012 Triple Crown winner would join former teammate Prince Fielder as the only fan-elected starting first basemen in Tigers history. Cabrera, who leads the A.L. with a .418 batting average with runners in scoring position, is followed at first base by Chicago White Sox rookie Jose Abreu (602,628) and nine-time All-Star Albert Pujols (569,211) of the Angels. Donaldson (956,811), who is bidding for his first All-Star nod, continues to lead three-time All-Star and two-time fan-elected starter Evan Longoria (589,621) of the Tampa Bay Rays. Donaldson, who is batting .325 with 23 runs scored, eight home runs and 24 RBI over his last 21 games, would become the first A’s third baseman to earn a fan-elected start, and the first Oakland player overall to receive a fan-election since first baseman Jason Giambi in 2000. Donaldson leads the Majors with 48 runs scored, is tied for third in the A.L. with 15 home runs and ranks fourth in the league with 48 RBI. With four different teams currently represented in the A.L. infield, the 85th All-Star Game could mark the first time since 2003, and the 19th time overall since fan balloting began in 1970, that the four A.L. fan-elected starting infielders come from four different teams.

Behind the plate, Orioles backstop Matt Wieters (842,775), maintained his lead over Yankees catcher Brian McCann (605,941). Wieters, who is bidding for his third All-Star selection and first starting assignment, would join Terry Kennedy (1987) as the only catchers in Orioles history to earn a fan election. Wieters, who is currently on the disabled list with a right elbow strain, is batting .308 with five home runs and 18 RBI on the season. Along with Cruz, the duo is aiming to give the Orioles multiple starters in consecutive years (Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones in 2013) for the first time since 1997 (Alomar, Cal Ripken, Jr., Brady Anderson) and 1998 (Alomar, Ripken).

MLB’s All-Star Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports. The last two years represent the two highest totals in balloting history, including a record 40.2 million ballots cast in 2012. More than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at MLB’s 30 ballparks, each of which will have 23 dates for balloting.

In addition, fans around the world can cast their votes for starters 25 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 Club web sites – online or via their mobile devices – with the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian. The All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian is available in English and Spanish, and offers audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans. Banco BHD sponsors online All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the Dominican Republic via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language Web site of Major League Baseball.

Every Major League Club began its in-stadium balloting no later than May 12th. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes no later than June 26th, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively online at MLB.com, the 30 Club Web sites and their mobile devices until Thursday, July 3rd at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).

Firestone, the official tire of MLB, is once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2014 In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program. The ballot features an All-Star sweepstakes, in which a winner will be rewarded with a trip for two to MLB All-Star Week, including airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to the All-Star Game and other MLB All-Star Week events, and VIP on-field access to watch batting practice before the All-Star Game with an MLB legend.

For the sixth consecutive year, the ballot features the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans have the opportunity to select three players in each League who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The Fan Poll is also available online at MLB.com. The 2014 Home Run Derby, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8:00 p.m. (ET)/7:00 p.m. (CT) on Monday, July 14th. The 10 American League candidates are Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays; Carlos Beltran of the New York Yankees; Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers; Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners; 2013 Home Run Derby Champion Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics; Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles; Prince Fielder of the Texas Rangers; All-Star Ambassador Joe Mauer of the Twins; David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox; and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The 10 National League candidates are Pedro Alvarez of the Pittsburgh Pirates; Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds; Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks; Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals; Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves; Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants; Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins; Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies; and David Wright of the New York Mets.

The 2014 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5th-6th, with further details to follow. The A.L. All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the N.L. All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads – totaling 25 for the N.L. and 24 for the A.L. – will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers – N.L. skipper Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals and A.L. manager John Farrell of the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox.

Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League’s 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over the balloting period. Now in its 13th season with more than 430 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile phones.

This year’s final phase of All-Star Game voting again will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year’s recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15th. The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International’s independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

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I’m glad the Red Sox won.  I hope it ticks off the Orioles…

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I’m glad the Red Sox won. I hope it ticks off the Orioles…

Posted on 31 October 2013 by Drew Forrester

Back in October of 2009, I wrote right here and said on the air that I hoped the Yankees would win the World Series against the Phillies.

I got clobbered by people who couldn’t believe a Baltimore guy would stoop to such a low level.

I had my reasons for doing it, and it looks like I might have been right.

And, for those same reasons, still, I’m happy the Red Sox won the World Series last night.

Really, I am.

I’m happy the Red Sox won because their success might light a fire under the Orioles front office this winter, in the same way the Yankees winning in 2009 might have been the kick-starter for Peter Angelos waking up and realizing that trotting out inferior managers like Perlozzo and Trembley wasn’t going to cut it.  Five months into the 2010 season, Buck Showalter arrived on the scene at Camden Yards and things haven’t been the same – in a good way – since that move.

I’m happy for the Red Sox and I’m glad they won.

They’re an organization that TRIES to win.  Their fans…yeah, they might be jerks, but the football fans in Charm City aren’t exactly gold medal “good winners” either.  The Red Sox, though, understand the same concept the Yankees employ: “We owe it to our fans to be a champion.”

It’s been 30 years since the Orioles played in the World Series and nearly 20 years since the team advanced to the A.L. Championship Series.

I’m all for anything that gets Peter Angelos and Dan Duquette to say, “Enough is enough.  We’re tired of seeing New York and Boston win.”

Does seeing the Red Sox win bother those two enough?

My guess is probably not.

Which, of course, explains why the club has never been to the World Series in the Peter Angelos era of ownership.

—————————————————————

Two vested veterans like Huff and Spears getting cut is a very telling statement from the Ravens.

They’re basically saying, “Neither of those players could have helped us for the remainder of the season.”

Quite an admission.

And, a rare swing and miss from Ozzie Newsome.  Make that TWO swings — and TWO misses.

A few people e-mailed me on Wednesday after the news of Huff and Spears getting the boot was made public and once again tried to pigeon-hole a player move into why the Ravens should have kept Anquan Boldin instead of signing those two players.

Let me, I promise, try and educate you all on this one final time.

Anquan Boldin was due to make $6 million this season with the Ravens.

In the Ravens opinion, he wasn’t a $6 million football player anymore.

So, in their estimation, he was worth $4 million and they asked him to play for that.

He said “no”.  The Ravens said, “Well, we don’t think you’re worth $6 million, so we’ll have to part company.”

And that’s that.

The Ravens DID use the money they saved by trading Boldin on other players, yes, but they were going to go out and get football players in the off-season whether or not Anquan Boldin was retained or not.

If Anquan Boldin would have agreed to play for $4 million, he’d be in Baltimore.  Instead, he’s making $6 million in San Francisco, which is what he wanted.

The Ravens wanted Boldin, too.  But, they didn’t think he was a $6 million football player anymore.

Were they wrong on that estimation?  I’d say based on his overall performance in San Francisco this season, probably not.  That said, with Dennis Pitta on the sidelines in Baltimore, Boldin would have been a welcome sight here over the last seven weeks of the 2013 season.

Without money being a consideration, if you asked me “would you rather the Ravens HAVE Boldin on their team or NOT HAVE him on their team?”, I’d absolutely say, “Have…”

Only problem?  Money is always a consideration in the NFL.  It’s the driving force behind the structural formula that gives each franchise hope every March.

We must also keep this in mind anytime we’re discussing a player in one city vs. another city:  Nothing is ever the same.  These aren’t pieces of a puzzle that fit in next to one another.  What Boldin does in San Francisco can’t just be cookie-cuttered into “look at what he would have done in Baltimore for us…”  It just doesn’t work that way.  For all we know, Boldin might have torn his ACL in week two against the Browns if, in fact, he played for the Ravens this season.

People who don’t know sports like to generalize and say stuff like, “Look at what Boldin is doing in San Francisco.  He’d be doing the same thing here for us if Ozzie wouldn’t have let him go.”

Maybe.  Maybe not.  He might be doing worse.  Or, he might be doing better.

The Ravens – in their expert opinion – felt like Anquan Boldin wasn’t worth $6 million anymore and he wasn’t going to be worth it even if they didn’t sign Marcus Spears or Michael Huff.

Now — pay attention here:  If you want to beat up the Ravens for signing a couple of stiffs, that’s where you should point your angry finger.  Huff was a complete zero here.  Spears tried, but he’s not healthy anymore.

Those were bad signings.

But they had nothing at all to do with the fact that the Ravens didn’t think Anquan Boldin was a $6 million football player anymore.

 

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