The starting lineups for the 2012 All-Star Game on July 10 at Kauffman Stadium have been named, so get set Kansas City, here they come.
Are you ready for some baseball, barbecue and good old-fashioned fun in the City of Fountains? The biggest stars in the game are coming to town for the Midsummer Classic in the heart of the Midwest.
The 17 starters announced on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell on TBS on Sunday give new meaning to the words “star power.” Fans have already won, making a record-setting statement in support of their favorite players, but who will win the game this year?
The 83rd Major League Baseball 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. Pregame ceremonies begin at 7:30 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
Fans will also have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the 2012 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on MLB.com.
The high-powered National League ended a 13-year losing streak with a win in 2010, and will be seeking its third All-Star Game victory in a row. The star-studded American League lineup is fit for a king — make that a Prince — and has other ideas, especially with home-field advantage during the World Series on the line.
Here’s a rundown of the AL starting lineup:
Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder, the 2011 All-Star Game MVP and winner of the 2009 Home Run Derby, will make his fourth All-Star appearance and first as a member of the American League.
Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, winner of last year’s Home Run Derby, got the starting nod for the third consecutive time, his fourth All-Star Game selection.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is back in the All-Star Game for the 13th time in his career. The Yankees captain bowed out of last year’s game, citing exhaustion from the mental and physical rigors of the pursuit of his 3,000th career hit and the need for rest over the All-Star break.
The two-time defending American League champions Texas Rangers will be well represented in Kansas City. Third baseman Adrian Beltre, starting for the second consecutive year, is back in the All-Star Game for the third time in a row and catcher Mike Napoli is an All-Star for the first time. Josh Hamilton, winner of the 2008 Home Run Derby, is now a five-time All-Star.
Boston designated hitter David Ortiz is an All-Star for the eighth time. Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson and Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista can each smile knowing that they are both three-time All-Stars and in the starting lineup for the second consecutive year.
The visiting NL starting lineup will look like this:
Giants catcher Buster Posey, the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year, has bounced back from a devastating ankle injury that wiped out last season to earn the starting nod behind the plate in his first appearance in the Midsummer Classic. Joining Posey in the NL’s starting lineup are teammates Pablo Sandoval, who was named to last year’s team by Giants manager Bruce Bochy, at third base and fellow first-time All-Star Melky Cabrera in the outfield.
Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto is slated to make his third appearance in the All-Star Game, but his first start. Joining the slugger in the infield are Atlanta second baseman Dan Uggla and St. Louis shortstop Rafael Furcal, who both have been part of two All-Star teams but will be making their first starts.
St. Louis veteran Carlos Beltran, who is making his seventh All-Star Game appearance, and injured Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, who was voted in as a starter for the second consecutive year, round out the rest of the NL outfield.
Fans cast their votes at an unprecedented rate in MLB.com’s All-Star Game balloting, which included three of the four highest one-day totals ever during the final three days of voting. There were 4.2 million ballots cast on June 28, 3.9 million on June 27, and 2.8 million on June 26. Fans also set a new single-day mark with 42.5 million total votes on June 28.
Overall during balloting, 391.2 million votes from 34.9 million ballots were cast, the largest totals recorded in the history of online balloting at MLB.com, surpassing last year’s record.
In addition to the starters, who were elected by the fans, pitchers and reserve players were named to the All-Star Game rosters by the Player Ballot — a vote of the players, managers and coaches — and by All-Star Game managers Ron Washington (AL) and Tony La Russa (NL) in conjunction with MLB.
The AL pitching staff consists of Rays starter David Price, Yankees starter CC Sabathia, White Sox starter Chris Sale, Tigers starter Justin Verlander and Angels starter Jered Weaver. Sabathia, who is currently on the disabled list, will be recognized as an All-Star and has been invited to Kansas City with full All-Star honors, but will be replaced by C.J. Wilson of the Angels, per the request of Washington. The relievers are Jim Johnson of the Orioles, Chris Perez of the Indians and Fernando Rodney of the Rays.
Named to the AL bench are Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, Angels outfielders Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo and designated hitter Adam Dunn of the White Sox.
Washington’s seven selections, in conjunction with MLB, included Twins catcher Joe Mauer, Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus and designated hitter Billy Butler of the Royals. Washington’s pitching selections are A’s reliever Ryan Cook, Rangers starter Matt Harrison, Mariners starter Felix Hernandez and Rangers reliever Joe Nathan.
National League reserve position players are Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, Cubs first baseman Bryan LaHair, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, Mets third baseman David Wright and outfielders Ryan Braun of the Brewers, Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies and Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates.
NL pitchers include Giants starter Matt Cain, Mets starter R.A. Dickey, Cardinals starter Lance Lynn and Nationals teammates Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg. The relievers are the Reds’ Aroldis Chapman, the Pirates’ Joel Hanrahan and Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel.
La Russa made nine selections in conjunction with MLB to fill out the remainder of the NL roster. The position players chosen by the manager are catcher Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies, shortstop Ian Desmond of the Nationals and outfielders Jay Bruce of the Reds and Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins. The five pitchers chosen are Phillies teammates Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon, Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, D-backs starter Wade Miley and Huston Street of the Padres.