Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost is not apologizing for his team's fans loading up the American League All-Star balloting with Kansas City players.
Currently, seven Royals lead the balloting at their respective positions. If the voting ended today, the only non-Royals who would start the July 14 game would be Los Angeles Angels outfielder and reigning AL Most Valuable Player Mike Trout and Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve.
Voting ends on July 2 at 11:59 p.m. E.T, and the All-Star Game will be played at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.
“There's nothing wrong,” Yost added. “Vote! The votes are the votes. If you don't like it, go out there and vote. Our fans have gotten out and voted.”
Another Royals player is close to possibly cracking the starting lineup. Second baseman Omar Infante, who is hitting .204 this season, is only 200,000 votes behind Altuve.
Kansas City has not had an All-Star starter since 2000, when rightfielder Jermaine Dye was elected.
“Look, I could see if it was just Kansas City people filling out random ballots and voting for just us,” Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer said, “but when you're looking at (three) guys getting 4 million votes, that can't be just coming from Kansas City.”
The last time seven players were elected from one team was 1957, when the Cincinnati Reds littered the National League ballot for the game in St. Louis. Two Reds outfielders voted to start the game were replaced by MLB commissioner Ford Frick.
Fans voting was stripped until 1970, when the All-Star starters were again chosen by the fans.
- Scooby Axson