In a few days the best players in Major League Baseball will descend on Kauffman Stadium, the home of the Kansas City Royals, for the 83rd annual mid-summer classic better known as the MLB All-Star Game.
This year's edition will hopefully be one of the better ones in recent years with a clause being added to the CBA mandating that players selected actually play in the game unless they are excused by the commissioner (fat chance).
So here are the guys that we should see in Kansas City come July 10:
American League starters:
C- Mike Napoli, Rangers; 1B- Prince Fielder, Brewers; 2B- Robinson Cano, Yankees; 3B- Adrian Beltre, Rangers; SS- Derek Jeter, Yankees; OF- Jose Bautista, Blue Jays; Curtis Granderson, Yankees; Josh Hamilton, Rangers; DH- David Ortiz, Red Sox
National League starters:
C- Buster Posey, Giants; 1B- Joey Votto, Reds; 2B- Dan Uggla, Braves; 3B- Pablo Sandoval, Giants; SS- Rafael Furcal, Cardinals; OF- Melky Cabrera, Giants; Carlos Beltran, Cardinals; Matt Kemp, Dodgers
SP- Ryan Cook, Athletics; Matt Harrison, Rangers; Felix Hernandez, Mariners; Jim Johnson, Orioles; David Price, Rays; CC Sabathia, Yankees (not playing); Chris Sale, White Sox; Jered Weaver, Angels; Justin Verlander, Tigers; C.J. Wilson (replaced Sabathia), Angels; RP- Joe Nathan, Rangers; Fernando Rodney, Tigers; Chris Perez, Indians
SP- Matt Cain, Giants; R.A. Dickey, Mets; Gio Gonzalez, Nationals; Cole Hamels, Phillies; Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers; Wade Miley, D-backs; Lance Lynn, Cardinals; Stephen Strasburg, Nationals; RP- Aroldis Chapman, Reds; Joel Hanrahan, Pirates; Craig Kimbrel, Braves; Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies; Huston Street, Padres
C- Joe Mauer, Twins; Matt Weiters, Orioles; 1B- Paul Konerko, White Sox; 2B- Ian Kinsler, Rangers; 3B- Miguel Cabrera, Tigers; SS- Asdrubal Cabera, Indians; Elvis Andrus, Rangers; OF- Adam Jones, Orioles; Mike Trout, Angels, Mark Trumbo, Angels; DH- Billy Butler, Royals; Adam Dunn, White Sox.
C- Yadier Molina, Cardinals; Carlos Ruiz, Phillies; 1B- Bryan LaHair, Cubs; 2B- Jose Altuve, Astros; 3B- David Wright, Mets; SS- Starlin Castro, Cubs; Ian Desmond, Nationals; OF- Ryan Braun, Brewers; Jay Bruce, Reds; Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies; Andrew McCutcheon, Pirates; Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins.
The method of selection for baseball's all-star squads is a little unique. Of the 33 players named to each roster, starters are chosen by the fans. The process is criticized as benefiting teams with large fan bases. The players vote in 16 of them, eight pitchers (5 starters and 3 relievers) as well as a back up for each position. The manager of the NL gets to name nine players and the AL manager eight (typically after consulting the other managers).
Once these names are announced the fans get to vote in one more player. This position was intended to allow a worthy player that was snubbed to get into the game. Replacements are chosen by the Commissioner.