Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost told USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale on June 15 that if fans aren't happy with his team leading the 2015 MLB All-Star ballots at several positions, they should "go out there and vote."
Kansas City Royals manager has stood up for his players' impending dominance in the 2015 MLB All-Star Game next month.
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When USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale asked Yost on June 15 how he felt about how he felt about fans not liking the possibility of the Royals fielding eight starters to the All-Star Game in Cincinnati in July, he didn't mince any words:
"There's nothing wrong. Vote! the votes are the votes. If you don't like it, go out there and vote. Our fans have gotten out and voted.
"Does seven starters surprise you? Yeah. But once you sit back and think about it, it's really not that surprising."
Nightengale stresses the controversy surrounding the Royals is reminiscent of the time when the people of Cincinnati voted seven Cincinnati Reds players in to the 1957 MLB All-Star Game. Back then, the fans used pre-marked ballots that were given out in The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Then-MLB commissioner Ford Frick intervened and declared Willie Mays and Hank Aaron would replace Reds players Gus Bell and Wally Post in the National League team. Frick was so furious with the outcome, he stripped fans of their voting privileges until 1970, per USA TODAY.
Nightengale says the Royals would be sending eight of their players to the MLB All-Star Game assuming the voting has already ended. This would represent the most number of players in league history.
Bleacher Report's Timothy Rapp posted an update of the 2015 MLB All-Star Game voting for the American League on June 15. Seven Royals players (first baseman Eric Hosmer, second baseman Omar Infante, third baseman Mike Moustakas, shortstop Alcides Escobar, designated hitter Kendrys Morales, catcher Salvador Perez and outfielder Lorenzo Cain) lead their respective categories through Monday.
Out of the three outfielders who will start for the American League if the voting were to end today, two (Cain and Alex Gordon) are from Kansas City. The Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout, who is currently in second place, is the only one getting in the way of another Royals outfielder, Alex Rios, from cracking the 2015 MLB All-Star Game starters.
Infante (4,518,765 votes) overtook the Houston Astros' Jose Altuve (4,209,702) for the American League's starting second baseman position on Monday, per The Kansas City Star's Blair Kerkhoff.
Should Infante be voted into the MLB All-Star Game, he will receive a salary bonus of $250,000, per Kerkhoff.
The Kansas City Star update says of the seven Royals players led their respective categories in the voting, five of them increased their lead. Catcher Salvador Perez has the largest lead, with a four million voting gap separting him and the Oakland Athletics' Stephen Vogt.
Hosmer told Nightengale on June 15 the latest stats simply mean the Royals are becoming a very popular ballclub:
"I don't know what people want us to do. Are we supposed to tell people to stop voting for us?
"Look, I could see if it was just Kansas City people filling out random ballots and voting just for us, but when you're looking at (three) guys getting four million votes, that can't just be coming from Kansas City.
"That's the biggest difference we've seen this year. You didn't realize how many Royals fans there are throughout the country. They really didn't have any reason to put their Royals shirt on and go watch us before. Now, it's almost like a sense of pride."
Nightengale attests to this when he cites the Royals playing the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field two weeks ago. When the Kansas City players went to the bullpen and batting cage, there were many Royals fans who were cheering them on.
"It almost felt like a home game," third baseman Mike Moustakas told USA TODAY. "It was incredible."
Voting is until 11:59 p.m. ET on July 2, per MLB's official website.
The 2015 MLB All-Star Game will be held at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Oh. on July 14, 2015. Yost will manage the American League All-Stars while the San Francisco Giants' Bruce Bochy will manage the National League All-Stars.
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