Every year, the rosters for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game cause an uproar among fans and analysts. The 2012 American and National League teams promise to provide their share of yelling and screaming.
But at least the game counts!
While Bud Selig continues to insist on making this exhibition decide who gets home-field advantage in the World Series, we can focus on what will be on the field in Kansas City on July 10 and just enjoy the game.
As a way to get you ready for the announcement of the All-Star Game rosters, here is where and when everything will come out.
When: Sunday, July 1 at 1:00 p.m. ET
|AMERICAN LEAGUE VOTE LEADERS||TOTAL VOTES*|
|Prince Fielder, 1B, Detroit Tigers||2,825,532|
|Robinson Cano, 2B, New York Yankees||3,559,290|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas Rangers||3,073,541|
|Derek Jeter, SS, New York Yankees||4,407,982|
|Mike Napoli, C, Texas Rangers||3,008,228|
|David Ortiz, DH, Boston Red Sox||3,128,711|
|Josh Hamilton, OF, Texas Rangers||7,310,824|
|Curtis Granderson, OF, New York Yankees||3,812,339|
|Jose Bautista, OF, Toronto Blue Jays||2,773,442|
|NATIONAL LEAGUE VOTE LEADERS||TOTAL VOTES*|
|Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds||4,475,180|
|Dan Uggla, 2B, Atlanta Braves||2,641,361|
|Rafael Furcal, SS, St. Louis Cardinals||2,323,486|
|David Wright, 3B, New York Mets||2,687,818|
|Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants||3,335,982|
|Matt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers||4,118,524|
|Carlos Beltran, OF, St. Louis Cardinals||3,717,483|
|Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee Brewers||3,168,617|
|Melky Cabrera, OF, San Francisco Giants||3,045,884|
*Vote totals released on Monday, June 25 at MLB.com
Final Ballot Procedure
After the rosters have been announced, MLB will give fans the chance to vote one more player into the game on MLB.com in the Final Ballot.
Five players from each league will be put on the Final Ballot, with the winner being announced on Thursday, July 5.
Predicting Starting Pitchers
Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
I am reluctant to put Strasburg in this spot, simply because I am not sure the Nationals want/will allow him to pitch in the game. On credentials and merit, there is no one in the National League who should start this game more than the 23-year-old phenom.
With 90 innings pitched this season, Strasburg has amassed 118 strikeouts, a 2.60 ERA and just 71 hits allowed. He has been every bit as dominant this season as he was when he was a rookie, despite the Tommy John surgery that robbed him of virtually all 2011.
He is the most exciting pitcher in all of baseball right now, and there is no one who should be facing American League hitters at the start of the All-Star Game than Strasburg.
Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
Is it beating a dead horse to keep telling the world that Justin Verlander is really, really good?
Too bad, because the Tigers' ace is up to his old tricks. I will admit that the race for the starting spot in the American League was much more difficult for me than the National League. As much as I love R.A. Dickey, this is Strasburg's year.
The AL, on the other hand, has three or four names at the top you could make a legitimate case for. Verlander separates himself by having thrown 13 more innings than Jake Peavy and 22 more than Chris Sale.
It doesn't hurt that Verlander also leads the league in innings pitched (117.2), strikeouts (113) and is fourth in ERA (2.52).
Note: Starting pitchers won't be announced until Monday, July 9