Major League Baseball's All-Star Game is one of the best summer traditions in sports. The voting for the 2014 edition has now closed, and the players lucky enough to be selected have been announced.
Baseball is one of the few sports in the world that focuses so much attention on the people who actually pay the bills (the consumers) during this process, and many of the players participating in this year’s event were voted in by the droves of MLB fans across the country.
When the All-Star Game takes place July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, these will be the rosters for the American League and the National League:
|American League||National League|
|Salvador Perez, C, Kansas City Royals*||Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis Cardinals*|
|Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit Tigers*||Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks*|
|Robinson Cano, 2B, Seattle Mariners*||Chase Utley, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies*|
|Derek Jeter, SS, New York Yankees*||Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies*|
|Josh Donaldson, 3B, Oakland Athletics*||Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers*|
|Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels*||Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates*|
|Jose Bautista, OF, Toronto Blue Jays*||Carlos Gomez, OF, Milwaukee Brewers*|
|Adam Jones, OF, Baltimore Orioles*||Yasiel Puig, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers*|
|Nelson Cruz, DH, Baltimore Orioles*||Giancarlo Stanton, DH, Miami Marlins*|
|AL Reserves||NL Reserves|
|Derek Norris, C, Oakland Athletics||Jonathan Lucroy, C, Brewers|
|Kurt Suzuki, C, Minnesota Twins||Devin Mesoraco, C, Cincinnati Reds|
|Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago White Sox||Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves|
|Victor Martinez, 1B, Detroit Tigers||Dee Gordon, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays||Daniel Murphy, 2B, New York Mets|
|Brandon Moss, 1B/OF, Oakland Athletics||Starlin Castro, SS, Chicago Cubs|
|Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros||Todd Frazier, 3B, Cincinnati Reds|
|Alexei Ramirez, SS, Chicago White Sox||Matt Carpenter, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas Rangers||Josh Harrison, IF/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Oakland Athletics||Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado Rockies|
|Alex Gordon, OF, Kansas City Royals||Hunter Pence, OF, San Francisco Giants|
|Michael Brantley, OF, Cleveland Indians|
|AL Pitchers||NL Pitchers|
|Yu Darvish, RHP, Texas Rangers||Johnny Cueto, RHP, Cincinnati Reds|
|Max Scherzer, RHP, Detroit Tigers||Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Felix Hernandez, RHP, Seattle Mariners||Zack Greinke, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Masahiro Tanaka, RHP, New York Yankees||Madison Bumgarner, LHP, San Francisco Giants|
|Jon Lester, LHP, Boston Red Sox||Adam Wainwright, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals|
|David Price, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays||Tyson Ross, RHP, San Diego Padres|
|Scott Kazmir, LHP, Oakland Athletics||Jordan Zimmermann, RHP, Washington Nationals|
|Mark Buehrle, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays||Julio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta Braves|
|Sean Doolittle, LHP, Oakland Athletics||Craig Kimbrel, RHP Atlanta Braves|
|Greg Holland, RHP, Kansas City Royals||Aroldis Chapman, LHP, Cincinnati Reds|
|Glen Perkins, LHP, Minnesota Twins||Francisco Rodriguez, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers|
|Dellin Betances, RHP, New York Yankees||Tony Watson, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Pat Neshek, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals|
Source: MLB.com. *Denotes starter.
According to MLB.com’s official Twitter account, the starting lineups will look like this:
Breaking Down the 2014 All-Star Game Rosters
Baseball fans love the All-Star Game due to the historical significance of the event and the festivities that surround it, and the AL and NL rosters for the 2014 edition have fans and experts buzzing.
The best part of the annual game is how MLB gets the fans involved. With the ability to decide which players make the game, those casting their votes now have a vested interest in the Midsummer Classic and will pay closer attention.
As MLB’s public relations Twitter account shared, there were millions of votes for both leagues:
One of the most consistent vote-getters in this process is New York Yankees star shortstop Derek Jeter. Despite the clear drop in production in his advanced age, the fans still love his style of play and his attitude toward the sport.
After being told about getting voted in once again, Jeter spoke to Erik Boland of Newsday about what the honor means to him in his final MLB season before retirement:
Jeter elected to start All-Star game a ninth time. "I’m happy I get the opportunity to come back here. It’s special for me."— Erik Boland (@eboland11) July 6, 2014
Another player who made the All-Star Game is Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley. Not only did he make the team, but according to Matt O'Donnell of 6ABC, he also has put himself into an elite category both on the team and in the league:
Chase Utley will start in all star game next week. 6th career start, second most on Phillies (Schmidt-9) third most for NL 2nd basemen.— Matt O'Donnell (@matt_odonnell) July 7, 2014
One of the biggest shocks for this year’s All-Star Game is the recognition Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is receiving. With a .310 batting average, 16 home runs and 58 RBI, the young player deserves the honor.
Arizona’s official Twitter account shared just how dominant Goldschmidt has been since 2012:
While the voters got most of the top players onto the roster, there is always talk about the snubs who were not included. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports rattled off a few of his own but added why they didn’t make the team:
Early snubs: Chris Sale, Garrett Richards, Corey Kluber. American League absolutely loaded with starting pitchers.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 6, 2014
Regardless of whether you agree with every player on the rosters or not, the fans and the league got the majority of the decisions correct. With serious star power throughout both lineups, the resulting battle on the field should result in a must-watch game.
The players take the All-Star Game seriously now due to the World Series implications—the winning team earns home-field advantage for their league in the final series—and the depth and the quality of the athletes on both rosters will make for a heated matchup.
The top stars in the league are already ultra-competitive. Adding the World Series caveat will only make the best in MLB work even harder, especially if those players believe their team could be in contention for the championship.
Stats via MLB.com.