Not to go all Dewey-beats-Truman here, but the latest All-Star balloting update from Major League Baseball isnt particularly encouraging for the Royals.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
While four players remain listed among the voting leaders, it appears increasingly likely that any hometown selections for the July 10 game at Kauffman Stadium will the players balloting process or personal selections by Texas manager Ron Washington.
So heres your chance to (maybe) influence those decisions before the July 1 announcement. After all, you see these guys all of the time. Who has a better feel for this decision than you?
What we want to know is which Royals player would be the most-deserving selection for this years game? And before you ask, yes, we hope theres more than one. But we just want to identify the top choice.
Weve come up with five candidates. Your preference might not be one of those listed and you might be right but our list is the result of conversations with club officials, opposing scouts and the players themselves.
Well publish the results in Sundays paper.
Jonathan Broxton, right-handed closer
When its all said and done, does it really matter that Brox puts us (and the Royals) through the wringer on virtually all of his saves? If were only going on results, the big guy absolutely deserves consideration to be selected for his third All-Star Game.
Billy Butler, designated hitter
Ask Cardinals closer Jason Motte whether Big Bill is a potent threat as a pinch hitter (which is likely the role he would fill if selected). It was just last Sunday that Butler put a 438-foot charge into a Motte heater. Butler also leads the Royals in most offensive categories.
Tim Collins, situational lefty reliever
The All-Star Game, because of the extended staffs, often hinges more on matchups than other games. So who wouldnt love a lefty with 49 strikeouts in 341/3 innings and a 2.36 ERA? Also: Tiny Tim had five strikeouts in two innings against Washingtons Rangers.
Alcides Escobar, shortstop
Want a top glove at the games most important defensive position to protect a lead in the late innings? How can you do better than the guy who plays half of his games on the Kauffman surface? Eskys .292 average with pinch-runner speed is an added bonus.
Mike Moustakas, third baseman
We know Adrian Beltre is the gold standard for defensive third baseman, but Moose proved twice in the last week that theres a new kid in town. Throw in some pop from the left side and, yeah, we could see this happening.