Robinson Cano says Royals fans crossed the line by yelling at his family

Royals fans made their point at the Home Run Derby Monday night with the way they treated Robinson Cano. They were upset with Cano, the American League team captain, for not picking Kansas City DH Billy Butler to join the AL squad. They booed the Yankees second baseman mercilessly in a move that many thought was classless during what is supposed to be a fun event. Cano says the harassment didn’t stop there and the fans got his family involved at the All-Star Game Tuesday night.

“The only thing I didn’t like was the way they treated my family when they went to the restroom,” Cano said after he came out of the game according to FOXSports.com. “Hopefully it stops here and (doesn’t) go forward. They were yelling stuff to my family, which I don’t see (as) the right thing. This is a game. We’re All-Stars. If I get booed, I don’t really care. But stuff with your family, that’s crossing the line.”

If that is true, I agree with Cano that Royals fans crossed the line. He added that there are “no hard feelings” toward the fans because players get booed everywhere they go, but it should have stopped Monday night. Butler has 16 home runs on the season and Cano would have only been picking him to please the fans in Kansas City. The same thing happened last year with Justin Upton being left out in Arizona.

Cano made the mistake of publicly saying that picking a Royals representative would be the right thing to do and then not following through, but there’s no need to harass his family over it during what is intended to be a laid back event.

Chipper Jones gave the worst pregame speech ever for the All-Star Game (Video)

Chipper Jones is retiring after the season, making this year the farewell tour for what’s probably been a hall-of-fame career. Evidently that meant Chipper, one of four Braves all-stars, was required to give a stirring pregame speech to inspire NL team (because, as you know, the All-Star Game matters!). Gave a speech, he did. Stirring and inspirational, it was not. Here’s video of the speech, and as you’ll learn, it was a miracle the NL still managed to get out to an early 8-0 lead:

Bryce Harper wears gold cleats, Melky Cabrera goes orange at All-Star Game

The 2012 MLB All-Star Game turned into a bit of a fashion show in Kansas City. As you can see in the photos above, Bryce Harper and Melky Cabrera really stood out with their flashy footwear. Cabrera, who took home MVP honors, wore bright orange cleats from Nike (David Wright wore them too) and went 2-for-3 with a 2-run home run in them. Harper wore gold Under Armour cleats and went 0-for-1 with a walk and strikeout, and he also whiffed on a ball in left field.

Below is a closer look at Harper’s cleats:

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A.J. Pierzynski angry about All-Star team snub, takes swipe at Mike Napoli

Every single year there is one player that everyone agrees was overlooked for the All-Star Game. This year, that player is A.J. Pierzynski. At age 35, the White Sox catcher is having by far the best first half of his 14-year career. Pierzynski is hitting .291 with 15 home runs and 48 RBIs. His career highs for an entire season are 18 homers and 70 RBIs, so he’s on pace to shatter both marks. Despite his tremendous success at the plate, three other AL catchers were selected to the All-Star team.

The fans voted Mike Napoli in as the AL starter. He is hitting a lowly .235 with 12 homers and 30 RBIs. Baltimore’s Matt Wieters and his .247 average, 11 homers and 40 RBIs were selected by the players as a back-up. And with his choice, AL manager Ron Washington selected Joe Mauer, who is hitting .332 with five homers and 38 RBI. Washington said he felt bad for Pierzynski, but A.J. isn’t buying it.

“If he felt that bad, he would have put me on the team,” Pierzynski told Chicago reporters according to the Dallas Morning News. “He had an opportunity to do it and he didn’t do it. He can feel as bad as he wants, but he obviously didn’t feel that bad.”

When a media member reminded Pierzynski that Napoli is a good hitter, he gave the following response: “Yeah, if you consider .230 good.” On Tuesday night during Chicago’s 19-2 throttling over the Rangers, Pierzynski hit a three-run homer in the fifth and glared toward the Texas dugout.

Based on the numbers, Pierzynski certainly deserves a spot. However, Washington is not the one A.J. should be upset with. In choosing between Mauer and Pierzynski, Washington had the most difficult job. Both deserve to be on the roster over Napoli and Wieters. We see this type of thing every season. Pierzynski just needs to accept that he is this year’s notorious snub and move along.

Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Sandy Alderson: Pablo Sandoval beat David Wright in All-Star voting because of his ‘cute nickname’

Pablo Sandoval won the fan vote to become the starter for the National League All-Star team at third base despite missing over a month because of a hand injury and having inferior stats to David Wright. The Mets have understandably been upset that Wright wasn’t voted in as the starter given how much he’s outperforming the competition.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson let loose at the whole spectacle with the following tweet:

Pretty strong burn from Alderson. He and anyone who values integrity in the All-Star Game starting lineups should be upset that Sandoval was voted in as the starter, but Alderson’s tweet overlooks two important factors in Sandoval winning the vote: He’s liked by Giants fans because he’s good, and Giants fans stuffed the ballot box for almost all their eligible players.

Buster Posey won the fan vote over Yadier Molina and Carlos Ruiz, both of whom were more deserving. Giants fans also made Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Melky Cabrera, and Angel Pagan some of the most-voted players.

So no, the Pablo Sandoval didn’t win the vote because he has a cute “Kung Fu Panda” nickname, but because Giants fans stuff the ballot box. And don’t think they’re above rigging the vote, either. They’ve done it before.

H/T Hardball Talk

Bryce Harper says he’d vote for Chipper Jones over himself for All-Star Game

Bryce Harper is believed by many to be the favorite to win the annual MLB All-Star Game Final Vote out of the National League. His steepest competition will be Chipper Jones, who has said that this will be his last major league season. Chipper has made seven All-Star teams in his 19-year career, and many believe number eight would be the perfect way to cap off his Hall of Fame-worthy career. Harper is one of those people.

“I think a Hall of Famer should be able to go to the All-Star game his last year,” Harper said when asked about the Final Vote according to Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. If I was going to vote, I’d go vote for Chip.”

The other three finalists from the NL are Aaron Hill, Michael Bourn, and David Freese. Barring an amazing turn of events, either Harper or Chipper will take the honors.

The moment the Nationals called Harper up to the bigs, most of us were more excited to see the ridiculous things he would say and do to make headlines rather than his superstar abilities. To his credit, Harper has kept his mouth shut when he has to and said all the right things. The clown question incident was completely warranted. His comments about Chipper are another example of a series of moments that could possibly indicate that the rookie gets it.

H/T Eye on Baseball
Photo credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Leaving Bryce Harper out of Home Run Derby is latest example of MLB screwing up All-Star Game

Matt Kemp is the captain of the National League Home Run Derby team at next month’s All-Star Game, and he says he’s picked out his squad. Despite his prodigious power, Nationals rookie Bryce Harper didn’t make Kemp’s cut.

“It’s not because he’s a rookie. It’s just that there are other guys out there that are capable,” Kemp told USA TODAY Sports. “I’m not saying he wouldn’t do a good job in the Home Run Derby. He’s going to have plenty of time to participate in many Home Run Derbies. Just not this year. Nothing against him. I love watching him play.”

Kemp says he based his decision on stats, and Harper is only tied for 50th in the National League with 7 home runs. Based on his reasoning, it’s understandable why Harper was left off. And given that Kemp is captain, he can choose whomever he wants based on whatever criteria he wants. He’s doing nothing wrong.

The problem is that MLB has screwed things up once again.

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