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MLB All-Star Game Rosters Announced

by Photo of Matthew Golda

Reserves have their snubs, as usual, but fans vote in worthy candidates.

MLB All-Star Game Rosters Announced

Fan voting for All-Star games has become almost as scrutinized as the sport itself. Hard to criticize though, since the fans are the ones who essentially support sports by attending games year in and year out. Voting for the all-stars is a reward for being a fan. It is in your hand who starts the game. In baseball, this premise is no exception. Fans stuff the ballot boxes and lead campaigns to get their favorite players voted in. Sometimes these tactics work, sometimes they don't. This was especially the case when San Francisco Giant Pablo Sandoval started over David Wright in the 2012 All-Star game. Wright had better numbers across the board, but the fans of the Bay Area stepped up. Like I said, sometimes it works.

In recent years, baseball fans have gotten better and better at voting in the correct players. Maybe it has something to do with the advancement of analytical stats in the sport, but whatever it is, baseball fan votes are pretty on-the-mark. In 2014, it's more of the same. I can't really argue against these guys:

NL Starters

C Yadier Molina, STL
1B Paul Goldschmidt, ARI
2B Chase Utley, PHI
SS Troy Tulowitzki, COL
3B Aramis Ramirez, MIL
OF Andrew McCutchen, PIT
OF Carlos Gomez, MIL
OF Yasiel Puig, LAD

AL Starters

C Salvador Perez*, KC
1B Miguel Cabrera, DET
2B Robinson Cano, SEA
SS Derek Jeter, NYY
3B Josh Donaldson, OAK
OF Jose Bautista, TOR
OF Mike Trout, LAA
OF Adam Jones, BAL
DH Nelson Cruz

* Baltimore's Matt Wieters, who was voted in as starter, is out for the season with an injury.

Perhaps the biggest argument amongst the starters on the AL side is with reigning 2-time AL MVP Miguel Cabrera. José Abreu of the Chicago White Sox has been a machine this season. He is tied for the league-lead in homers with 27 and that's with a stint on the DL. However, he is a rookie, so his recognition is not as widespread. Also going against him is that he plays the same position as Miguel Cabrera, who is established as the best pure hitter in the sport. Though Abreu is having a better year, respect goes to the 2012 Triple Crown winner. In time, young Padawan, in time.

On the NL side, Aramis Ramirez is starting at third base. He isn't having an extraordinary year, but did miss nearly a month. Todd Frazier, of the Cincinnati Reds, is realistically the only other viable candidate. He did make the reserve team, so not all was lost with him. Jonathan Lucroy of the Milwaukee Brewers is also a reserve who is putting up starter stats. But like in the AL, it is sometimes tough to crack the starting spot against solidified stars, which is what Lucroy is up against. Yadier Molina is the starting catcher and he's having a pretty solid year. This is Molina's 6th consecutive All-Star appearance and he has won 6 consecutive Gold Gloves. He's a brand name and a player who has now gotten the benefit of the doubt. Molina won the vote despite the best efforts from the Milwaukee Brewers.

Okay, so fan voting isn't terrible, which means there is no controversy. Well, not exactly. The pitchers are selected by the managers and the reserves are selected by the players and managers.

Mike Matheny, of the St. Louis Cardinals, and John Farrell, of the World Series winning Boston Red Sox, are the managers for their respective leagues. They choose the pitchers and have a hand in the reserve hitters. This sometimes leads to a manager selecting a player from his own team, as a show of respect and gratitude for their player. You don't want your own manager choosing a player from another team over you. You want to show your player you have his back. 

Back in 2001, Joe Torre came under a bit a criticism for selecting 7 Yankees, including set-up man Mike Stanton. 

However, that type of favoritism was clearly lost on John Farrell, who only selected just two players off of his Red Sox team. They are Jon Lester and closer Koji Uehara, who is expected to replace Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka on the roster.

Mike Matheny, on the other hand, had a bit of home-town lovin', as Matt Carpenter and Pat Neshek are on the team. Okay, not so much with Neshek, since he has a ridiculous 0.77 ERA and a 0.57 WHIP. But Carpenter's numbers are pedestrian. Casey McGehee, who sees himself in the final vote, should be in over Carpenter.

To make up for the Carpenter selection, Matheny left off Matt Adams, the starting first baseman for his Cardinal team. Yes, Adams had time on the DL, but also leads all NL first basemen in batting average and is fifth overall in the major leagues. Matheny opted for Braves first basemen Freddie Freeman instead. I guess we'll call it even, Mike. 

The entire roster selections from Matheny and Farrell can be seen here. They made it fairly controversy free. 

The players in the final vote can be seen here. You'll see more campaigning from teams to get these guys in. Mike Trout has been trying real hard on Twitter to get Garrett Richards voted in.

Do you have any gripes about the selected players? If so, vent by leaving a comment! I'd love to hear what you think!

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