Results tagged ‘ All-Star Game ’
C’mon, fans. Vote Rizzo. Here are the candidates for the Final Vote and details on how to get Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo to the All-Star Game:
Dallas Keuchel (HOU) – #VoteKeuchel (A1)
Corey Kluber (CLE) – #VoteKluber (A2)
Rick Porcello (DET) – #PickRick (A3)
Garrett Richards (LAA) – #VoteGRich (A4)
Chris Sale (CWS) – #TargetSale (A5)
Casey McGehee (MIA) – # VoteHitsMcGehee (N1)
Justin Morneau (COL) – # VoteMorneau (N2)
Anthony Rendon (WSH) – #VoteRendon (N3)
Anthony Rizzo (CHI) – #VoteRizzo (N4)
Justin Upton (ATL) – #VoteJUp (N5)
* Fans began casting votes for the All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Experian on MLB.com and the Club sites immediately, and can continue voting until 3 p.m. CT on Thursday. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.
In addition to the web, fans can use their mobile phones to cast votes via the mobile web at MLB.com/vote or via text message. To receive the All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian mobile ballot, text the word “VOTE” to 89269. To vote for a specific player, fans can text the choice to 89269. EXAMPLE: Text “A3″ to vote for AL Player 3 or “N3″ to vote for NL Player 3. Standard message and data rates may apply. Text “STOP” to end and “HELP” for information. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010.
* TWITTER VOTE BACK FOR THIRD YEAR – THURSDAY, JULY 10 ONLY
For the third consecutive year, the All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote will include social balloting participation, as Twitter support from the 10 candidates’ fans over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their final vote totals. From 9 a.m.-3 p.m. CT on Thursday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag (noted above) will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the American League and National League winners. Fans will be able to follow @MLB for the latest standings updates over the course of the entire four-day voting period.
* FREE MLB.TV TRIAL
Baseball fans have cast more than 430 million online votes for Final Vote candidates since the program’s inception in 2002. In recognition, MLB.com is giving eligible voters a 14-day free trial of MLB.TV from July 11-25. Current MLB.TV subscribers voting will receive a special 15 percent discount to the MLB.com Shop. Fans will receive an e-mail notifying them of the instructions for redeeming their respective All-Star Final Vote offers.
Travis Wood may get a chance to pitch in the All-Star Game after all. Manager Dale Sveum said Tuesday that the left-hander, who will be the Cubs’ sole representative in the July 16 game at Citi Field, could pitch one inning or face one batter, depending on what National League manager Bruce Bochy needs.
Wood is scheduled to pitch Sunday night against the Cardinals, the last game before the break. The All-Star Game is the following Tuesday, which would be his side day.
“It will all depend on how Sunday goes,” Sveum said about how much Wood can pitch for the NL team. “Bochy can use him for a left-handed hitter. It’s going to be a side day anyway. I’ve got no problem with him pitching one inning, or 20 pitches. He goes all out on his side days anyways.”
On Monday, Sveum said Wood most likely would not pitch in the game because of his regular season start on Sunday night, saying that would be a good showcase for the left-hander.
Wood, who started Tuesday against the Angels at Wrigley Field, may also try to lobby with Bochy for at least one batter.
“That’s all Bochy — he has control over that,” Sveum said.
— Carrie Muskat
Travis Wood is an All-Star but he won’t be able to pitch in the July 16 game. Wood is scheduled to start Sunday night against the Cardinals, and Major League Baseball has a rule that pitchers who start the Sunday before the game cannot pitch in it.
“Obviously, if there are no rain outs or anything like that, he’ll pitch Sunday, so obviously he won’t be able to pitch [in the All-Star Game],” Dale Sveum said. “The good thing about it is he’ll be pitching Sunday night, which is a pretty good venue for a guy who deserves as much as anybody to be in the [All-Star] Game, and to pitch Sunday night against the Cardinals leading into the All-Star Game is promoting the All-Star Game as much as anything. That’s about as good as you can get other than playing in it.”
The Cubs aren’t going to tweak the schedule so Wood can get one inning in the game, to be played at Citi Field.
“Hopefully, he gets to pitch in a lot more All-Star Games,” Sveum said. “He made the team, and it’s going to be a great experience. Whenever you go for the first time, it’s an unbelievable experience. Sunday night will be a good venue to let him showcase and let everybody know he’s in the All-Star Game.”
— Carrie Muskat
It hasn’t quite hit Bryan LaHair that he’s an All-Star, and probably won’t until Monday when he shows up in the National League clubhouse in Kansas City. LaHair will travel Sunday night with Cubs first base coach Dave McKay and the Mets’ All-Star contingent.
“I’ve been thinking about it and the closer you get, the more you think about it,” LaHair said, sounding like a little kid before Christmas. “I’m just trying to focus on the job here now and stay as humble as possible.”
LaHair, 29, spent nine years in the Minor Leagues, including six at Triple-A, before finally getting an opportunity in the big leagues with the Cubs this year. He received the second-most votes on the players’ ballot. He still gets a couple text messages a day from friends and family to congratulate him.
“This morning, I woke up and I’m like, ‘Hmm, I’ve got a game today, and I’m going to Kansas City,’ and it’s kind of cool I’m going to meet my brother and wife there,” he said.
The Mets All-Stars were presented their jerseys before Friday’s game. LaHair hasn’t seen his yet. But he’s been trying to visualize what it’ll be like in Kansas City.
“I thought about it yesterday when I was out there stretching,” he said. “I thought about Kansas City for a second, and trying to compare the two crowds, and thinking it probably won’t be close — it’ll be really loud and packed there. Different things pop up — what’s this going to be like? What’s that going to be like?”
He’ll find out Monday.
— Carrie Muskat
Last year, Starlin Castro got the news that he made the All-Star Game as soon as he arrived at the ballpark. This time, nobody said anything to him. He was nervous. Then, Dale Sveum called a meeting to give Castro and Bryan LaHair the news. Castro could take a deep breath.
This will be his second All-Star appearance. He’s just hoping to be on time. Last year, he missed the workout day festivities because he missed his flight.
“It’s amazing and exciting for me,” Castro said about making the NL team. “That’s why I come here, is to be in the All-Star Game every year. I want it to be more.”
He was first on the players’ ballots, and finished fifth on the fan balloting. The Cardinals’ Rafael Furcal will start.
“When I was a little kid, I would see baseball games, good players who made the All-Star Game, and I think, ‘Oh, my God, it’s unbelievable,’ and one day I want to be there,” Castro said. “Now this is my second one. I’m not stopping here. I’ll keep working hard to make some more.”
Teammate Alfonso Soriano was proud of the 22-year-old shortstop.
“I’m happy for him because he’s improving,” Soriano said. “He’s a good player and consistent. That’s the most important thing in the big leagues. You can do it for one year and the second year, you disappear. I’m happy for him because he’s young. He’s working hard and he’s been consistent. Sometimes when you get to the big leagues you do it for one year, but from what I see with Castro, he wants to do it every year.”
— Carrie Muskat
There’s a chance Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro could start in Tuesday’s All-Star Game and it could depend on whether Troy Tulowitzki starts Saturday night for the Rockies.
Jose Reyes, voted as the starting National League shortstop, will not play in Tuesday’s game in Phoenix because he’s on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. Tulowitzki and Castro are the backups. Tulowitzki has been bothered by a sore right quadriceps strain, suffered Monday. If he plays Saturday, when the Rockies face the Nationals, he’ll play in the All-Star Game, the Rockies said.
Tulowitzki missed last year’s All-Star Game because of a fractured left wrist. The Rockies want their shortstop healthy for a second half run.
“In Tulo’s case, we’re going to monitor very closely how things go this weekend,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “With that being said, I’d hate to see the guy get grinded on in the All-Star Game. In order to take a run at the division, I know full wel that if we’re without him for an extended period of time, it’s not going to happen.”
This is Castro’s first All-Star Game, and he is the first Cubs shortstop to be named to the team since Shawon Dunston in 1990.
— Carrie Muskat
Marlon Byrd is representing the Cubs in the All-Star Game on Tuesday, and he’s come a long way. This is a player who has been designated for assignment twice — yet never gave up. He won over Cubs fans quickly, hitting a three-run homer in his first at-bat April 5 against Atlanta’s Derrek Lowe on Opening Day.
Compare that to Opening Day 2007 when Byrd was at home after being DFA on March 31 that year by the Rangers. Texas opted to keep infielder Matt Kata as the 25th man. Byrd eventually was outrighted to Triple-A Oklahoma, where he hit .358 with six homers and 32 RBIs in 44 games.
“Once they called him up and he started getting going, I was really impressed with him and his work ethic and his energy,” said Rudy Jaramillo, who was the Rangers hitting coach at that time.
The Rangers promoted Byrd on May 26, 2007, and he didn’t look back, hitting .307 with 10 homers and 70 RBIs the rest of the season.
“He never gave up,” Jaramillo said. “He said he was always working wrong. It’s been a joy to see him progress. It just shows a lot about him and his makeup as a man.”
Byrd’s positive attitude has carried over into the Cubs clubhouse.
“Marlon is a smart player, he’s a good teacher,” rookie outfielder Tyler Colvin said. “It’s like the little things — he’s always working. You see him get real mad if he doesn’t take a good swing, even if the outcome is good. He’s always wanting to go up there and hit the ball hard and have a good approach and have everything perfect.
“It’s good to see that because it kind of rubs off — you want to try to be like that,” Colvin said. “You want a strict routine like he has and take everything seriously like he does.”
Don’t mess with Byrd’s routine. The center fielder follows a strict pregame program, that includes a session with Jaramillo, who was his mentor in three seasons in Texas and now is with the Cubs.
“I think that really is key here,” Colvin said of Byrd’s program. “You play so many games and everyone says it’s a game of failure, but you better have a good routine so at least you feel good before the game even if you might be struggling at the plate. As long as you know you’re working on things, you can hopefuly keep those slumps to a minimum.”
Besides his bat, Byrd also has brought an energy to the Cubs.
“He gives me more energy and more motivation to come to the ballpark and play hard because I see him play and I like how he plays,” Alfonso Soriano said.
What if the Cubs had 25 guys like Byrd?
“Not 25,” Soriano said, laughing. “Maybe 15. Twenty-five is too much. Maybe half of the team like that, we’d be in better shape.”
Soriano, a seven-time All-Star, said Byrd was a good pick.
“He deserves it because of the way he plays,” Soriano said. “I think he’s the best player on the team. He comes every day to play hard and I’m very happy for him.”
Colvin couldn’t ask for a better role model.
“There’s some other guys who I thought were deserving,” Colvin said. “He’s definitely a good representation of what we’d like to do here — always play hard and work hard and be ready to go.”
— Carrie Muskat
Marlon Byrd has been contacting his former teammates such as Michael Young who have been to All-Star Games on what to bring, so he’s ready for Tuesday’s event in Anaheim. What is the Cubs’ lone All-Star looking forward to?
“Just being in the clubhouse, seeing the guys,” Byrd said. “Just being with the All-Stars — that’s the whole thing.”
Byrd knows to bring a few items to have players sign them. He’s prepared for anything.
“I’m a big boy,” he said. “I can figure it out when I get there.”
— Carrie Muskat