So much drama in the city of Houston right now among our sports teams. The Texans are involved in the top story in the NFL, as they were accused (and then un-accused) of tampering with Patriots personnel guy Nick Caserio last week, and the fallout continues. The Rockets have been the center of all sorts of reports of behind-the-scenes drama for the last several weeks, between their owner and head coach, between their two star players, everything.
Meanwhile, the Astros roll along drama-free, other than the fact that they've lost four in a row and been swept in a series for the first time all season, with a 3-2 loss to the Reds yesterday. If this string of losses is the Astros trying to inject themselves onto the sports radar, I can think of better ways!
That said, the Astros will undoubtedly pull out of this funk, especially once they get George Springer and Carlos Correa back in the lineup. For now, let's avert our eyes from the four consecutive losses on the field, and look at the latest All Star Game balloting update, where the Astros have a player in the top five at every position, and seven players in line to be part of the Starters Election (top three at each position, expect outfield, which is top nine) which will take place next Wednesday online.
Here are the latest voting totals in the American League:
1. Gary Sanchez, Yankees — 1,357,340
2. James McCann, White Sox — 580,394
3. Robinson Chirinos, Astros — 487,868
4. Jason Castro, Twins — 444,533
5. Christian Vazquez, Red Sox — 302,686
COMMENT: Since we last took a look at the American League voting totals, Robinson Chirinos has slipped ahead of former Astro and current Minnesota Twin catcher Jason Castro, into third place in the American League, and enough to get into the Starters Election, if he holds on. Either way, Chirinos deserves a spot in the game, as he came into the week with 6 home runs and 16 RBI in the month of June, with a season OPS around .900. At age 35, he is aging like fine wine!
1. Luke Voit, Yankees — 696,164
2. C.J. Cron, Twins — 586,303
3. Carlos Santana, Indians — 560,836
4. Jose Abreu, White Sox — 517,473
5. Yuli Gurriel, Astros — 433,692
COMMENT: I love Yuli Gurriel, but he is clearly riding the wave of being a Houston Astro to some loitering in the top five at his position. He doesn't deserve to be here, and it won't matter once the polls close next week. (Still, I trust him in a big at bat in October!)
1. Tommy La Stella, Angels — 1,020,912
2. Jose Altuve, Astros — 923,117
3. DJ LeMahieu, Yankees — 739,074
4. Jonathan Schoop, Twins — 362,504
5. Whit Merrifield, Royals — 247,903
COMMENT: I still choose to believe that, despite not really deserving it this season, Jose Altuve will find a way into the starting lineup for this year's All Star Game. The All Star Game without Jose Altuve is like Fruity Pebbles without the milk.
1. Alex Bregman, Astros — 1,322,935
2. Gio Urshela, Yankees — 502,614
3. Hunter Dozier, Royals — 424,028
4. Rafael Devers, Red Sox — 335,635
5. Marwin Gonzalez, Twins — 290,264
COMMENT: Alex Bregman. Destroying. End of story. (Also, a nice Marwin Gonzalez sighting at the back end of the top five. We miss you, Marwin!)
1. Jorge Polanco, Twins — 818,082
2. Carlos Correa, Astros — 656,995
3. Gleyber Torres, Yankees — 565,728
4. Tim Anderson, White Sox — 510,337
5. Francisco Lindor, Indians — 460,952
COMMENT: Carlos Correa is in second place in a pretty stacked position group. Correa was off to an All Star caliber start to the season before his masseuse pulverized his torso a couple weeks ago. Sad!
1. Mike Trout, Angels — 1,904,273
2. George Springer, Astros — 1,495,817
3. Michael Brantley, Astros — 924,173
4. Austin Meadows, Rays — 887,946
5. Mookie Betts, Red Sox — 777,642
6. Eddie Rosario, Twins — 687,515
7. Aaron Judge, Yankees — 577,640
8. Joey Gallo, Rangers — 537,934
9. Josh Reddick, Astros — 511,903
10. Max Kepler, Twins — 435,789
11. Byron Buxton, Twins — 418,287
12. Brett Gardner, Yankees — 259,179
13. Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox — 258,476
14. Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox — 234,302
15. Tommy Pham, Rays — 223,250
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COMMENT: Since our last update, George Springer has solidified his hold on second base, and as the top Astro vote getter, and Michael Brantley has now moved into the top three. If this voting total holds up, all three Astro outfielders will be in the Starters Election next Wednesday, and all three deserve to be.
1. J.D. Martinez, Red Sox — 893,689
2. Hunter Pence, Rangers — 602,766
3. Nelson Cruz, Twins — 506,211
4. Shohei Ohtani, Angels — 362,947
5. Aledmys Diaz, Astros — 353,015
COMMENT: Aledmys Diaz anywhere in the vicinity of the top three at a position is the highest of high comedy. Props to former Astro Hunter Pence for finding the fountain of youth this season!