This afternoon, Major League Baseball announced the rosters for the 2012 All-Star Game to be played in Kansas City a week from Tuesday. Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton set a new record, garnering 11.07-million votes, shattering the previous record held by Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista who received 7.45-million votes last year. Giants’ catcher Buster Posey received the most NL votes at 7.62-million.
Overall, fans of Major League Baseball cast a record 40.2-million ballots—overtaking the previous record of 32.5-million set last year. Baseball is healthy, my friends.
The rosters appear after the jump:
*Kemp is, of course, still on the DL with a hamstring injury and will not start for the NL.
Personally, I don’t much care for the All-Star Game. I’ll watch it if I’m not particularly busy, but I haven’t really cared about it since I was in my early teens. Over the next few days, you’re going to hear a chorus of people prattling on about Player X making the team over Player Y and why baseball is going to be ruined because of it.
My response is always: Meh.
We all know that about half of these players aren’t going to play in the game due to injuries or previously made vacation plans and so every deserving candidate and then some will be an All-Star eventually. In a month, no one is going to remember who was originally named and who was added later. It doesn’t matter.
Having said that, there are some notable non-inclusions that bear some mention at this point.
In the AL:
1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion, TOR
2B Jason Kipnis, CLE
2B Ben Zobrist, TBR
OF Austin Jackson, DET
OF Josh Reddick, OAK
RHP Jake Peavy, CWS
In the NL:
1B Paul Goldschmidt, ARI
2B Aaron Hill, ARI
2B Brandon Phillips, CIN
3B Chase Headley, SDP
SS Jed Lowrie, HOU
OF Michael Bourn, ATL
OF Bryce Harper, WAS
LHP Madison Bumgarner, SFG
RHP Zack Greinke, MIL
Like I said, the vast majority of these players will likely make it on to the team eventually anyway so there’s really no need to get too upset. The non-inclusion of Greinke is a bit of a head-scratcher though—he currently leads all Major League pitchers with a 3.6 fWAR.
UPDATE: MLB has announced its “final vote” candidates for the game. In the AL, Royals closer Jonathan Broxton, Rangers righthander Yu Darvish, Angels closer Ernesto Frieri, Orioles righthander Jason Hammel, and White Sox righthander Jake Peavy are on the ballot. The NL features Braves outfielder Michael Bourn, Cardinals third baseman David Freese, Washington outfielder Bryce Harper, D-Backs second baseman Aaron Hill, and Braves third baseman Chipper Jones.
You’d have to figure that Darvish and Harper would be easy victors for the final two All-Star spots given their popularity. That and they’re easily the two most exciting players not already in the game.