If there was one thing evident from this past weekend's Houston Astros' sweep of the Chicago White Sox, aside from the fact that the Astros are clearly among the best teams in the sport right now, it's that some fans and media of opposing teams are still having a hard time moving on from the Astros' sign stealing scandal.
Or maybe more accurately, perhaps media covering teams like the White Sox, who the Astros had yet to play since their punishments came down in January 2020, have pent up jokes that they've been waiting to unleash for the last 17 months. The problem there, for folks like the clowns in the video below, is that everyone has used your lame jokes already, and by definition you look even MORE lame and uncreative than you otherwise would have looked uncorking these gems a year ago:
Just having a little fun out here ????????? pic.twitter.com/LtRnxXg28D— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) June 17, 2021
So, how did that work out, guys?
Well, um, anyway, for whatever lingering grudge lame asses like the broadcaster in the above video might have, it does not appear as though fans around baseball are holding a similar Astros burr in their collective saddle when it comes to voting for the All Star game, the one way in which fans could materially administer their own punishment toward the Astros.
As of Monday morning, the Astros are showing up prominently across the board at all positions in the fan voting for the July 13 All Star Game, slated for Coors Field in Denver. Here, courtesy of FOX 26's Mark Berman's Twitter feed, are the most recent results:
Update from MLB with the initial phase of fan voting for the All-Star Game about to end. The top 3 vote-getters at each position (top 9 outfielders) advance to phase two of the voting to determine who makes the All-Star Game and starts for each league. pic.twitter.com/XRq0H5oRyI— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) June 21, 2021
Here are the things you need to know about the All Star voting process, and what all of this means for the Astros:
Here is the timeline for voting, when polls close, and what you need to do
This comes courtesy of CBSSports.com:
The process for selecting the All-Star Game starters is in two phases. This begins phase one. Voters pick from the entire player pool available on MLB.com. Voting continues until 3:59 p.m. ET on June 24.
Phase two only includes the top three vote-getters per position (with nine outfielders).
Phase two voting begins on June 28 at noon ET. The vote totals are then reset at that time and votes during phase two determine the starters for the game.
Also, during phase two, fans are only allowed one vote per day, not the five they had in phase one.
So, there you go. That's how the starters will be selected. The reserves and pitching staff are chosen by a combination of players voting and the Commissioner's office providing their input, as well.
Damn, the Astros are going to have some serious "phase two" participation
They will indeed, faithful reader! With Carlos Correa moving up from fourth place to third place at shortstop in the American League, the Astros now have at least one player who will be involved with a phase two runoff. Here are where the Astros sit right now at each position — C Martin Maldonado (3rd), 1B Yuli Gurriel (2nd), 2B Jose Altuve (2nd), SS Carlos Correa (3rd), 3B Alex Bregman (2nd), DH Yordan Alvarez (3rd), and OF Michael Brantley (6th). For what it's worth, if the phase two voting mirrors the phase one voting, the Astros may have a hard time getting a starter into the game, but I will say that Jose Altuve's deficit at second base is encouraging, as are the late surges of Correa and Brantley, who was 9th among outfielders a week ago.
So, what's the latest on the predicted number of players the Astros send to Denver?
Well, I'm glad you asked! I'll be conservative about the chances at getting a starter into the game, and say that they will be shut out there. However, I think they have a great chance at getting anywhere from two to six reserves and/or pitchers into the game. I'd put their candidates into the following categories:
VIRTUAL LOCK: Correa, Altuve
VERY GOOD CHANCE: Gurriel
PUNCHER'S CHANCE: Zack Greinke, Ryan Pressly, Luis Garcia
INJURIES IMPEDED RESUME: Framber Valdez, Michael Brantley
At this point, I'll guess Correa, Altuve, Gurriel, and whichever pitcher listed above has the best next two weeks all make it. For what it's worth, the patch of schedule coming up over the next ten days — six games against Baltimore, four against Detroit — should be VERY conducive to enhancing All Star Game resumes.
If you want to do your part, as a true Houstonian, here you go:
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