The All-Star game comes on July 12th from Petco Park in San Diego, California at 8pm on FOX. Several teams are breaking records for the amount of players being sent. The Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs are sending the most in both leagues as they are sending six players each. Speaking of the Chicago Cubs, they also accomplished a feat that only happened one other time.
Anthony Rizzo (first baseman), Ben Zobrist (second baseman), Addison Russell (Shortstop), and Kris Bryant (third baseman) were elected as starters for next Tuesday’s All-Star game. This is the second time in Major League Baseball history that a team will have an entire infield start an All-Star game. This was done previously in 1963 by the St. Louis Cardinals. They were represented by Billy White (first baseman), Julian Javier (second baseman), Dick Groat (Shortstop), and Ken Boyer (third baseman).
“Organizationally it speaks on what has been done here for the last several years,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. He went on to say how he does not take any credit towards the success his organization has had as of the last several years. However when asked who does he give the credit to, he mentioned how the front office and the scouting department should receive the credit.
He vows to be watching the game as the four infielders will be joined at the All-Star game by outfielder Dexter Fowler, granted he is healthy enough to play in the game. Currently, he is on the disabled list dealing with a hamstring injury. In addition to Dexter Fowler, pitchers Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester will also be joining them in San Diego. Jon Lester was chosen by National League manager Terry Collins and Jake Arrieta was chosen by his peers. Jake Arrieta is also a candidate to get the start for the National League.
Out of the four Cubs infielders who were elected to start the All-Star game, Ben Zobrist had the closest race. He gained 88 more votes than the runner-up Daniel Murphy of the Washington Nationals. Daniel Murphy however still made the National League team as a reserve.
The Chicago Cubs jumped out of the gate with the best record in baseball at 25-6 before slowing down. It was a struggle for the Cubs to even find one All-Star worthy player for years. Since Theo Epstein came to the Cubs in 2011, they have revamped their farm system. A few years into the regime of Theo Epstein and the work they put in is paying off greatly for them.
While the Chicago Cubs dominated the National League roster, the American League roster was dominated by the Boston Red Sox who are sending an AL best six players to San Diego. The Boston delegates are a cross selection of young and old stars, perennial stars, and some surprises.
They include the following: Xander Bogarts (Shortstop), Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts (Outfield), David Ortiz (Designated Hitter), Steven Wright (Starting Pitcher), Craig Kimbrel (Closer),and Eduardo Rodriguez (Relief Pitcher). It should be noted, David Ortiz is the 40-year-old Designated Hitter who is having a career year, but he is also planning on retiring at season’s end. This will also be David Ortiz’s tenth All-Star game.