Primary players: All-Stars set to rock Cleveland on July 9
NEW YORK (AP) — Looking to spice up the All-Star Game election, Major League Baseball essentially introduced a primary this year.
Candidates were narrowed down in fan voting to three finalists per position, including nine outfielders for three starting spots in each league. Fans then had 28 hours beginning Wednesday at noon EDT to go online and choose from those finalists the starters for the July 9 showcase in Cleveland.
Results will be announced Thursday night, with pitchers and reserves revealed Sunday.
So, with that in mind, let's take a look at who belongs.
Each roster has 32 slots, with 12 going to pitchers. Perhaps the most difficult part is that every club must be represented — although Miami is really the only team without a worthy All-Star this season.
Alex Cora of the World Series champion Boston Red Sox will manage the American League, which has won six times in a row and is 18-3-1 in the last 22 years.
After capturing consecutive pennants, Dave Roberts from the Los Angeles Dodgers pilots the NL for the second straight season.
"As a fan of this game, growing up in this game, the All-Star Game is always a big deal to me," New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone said this week. "This year we're in Cleveland, so I like seeing all the wrong home uniforms in the American League park. I think that's the thing that always stands out to me that's a little weird that I always enjoy. So, it'll be fun to see the pinstripes at Progressive Field. I'll be on vacation those days, but I'll be tuning in to watch our guys and how they do and look forward to it, hopefully around a barbecue somewhere."
Without any regard for fan or player balloting, here are our picks: