If Royals manager Ned Yost could have his way, he might be inclined to stock the American League All-Star roster with his own.
“You try to put the best team out there,” said Yost, who as manager of the AL champions earned the duty for July 14 in Cincinnati. “If you think your guys are the best team, then you pick your guys.”
But Yost isn’t going to have much sway or wiggle room in forming the team.
After fans vote in the nine starters, and after players, managers and coaches vote in the pitchers and another wave of players, Yost figures to have only a few spots left to his discretion.
And whatever that number is could be further reduced to account for all teams having at least one player represented.
“If everybody’s got a representative, you can pick a player you think will strengthen the team, but it’s not going to be more than one or two,” Yost said. “It’s not like it was before.”
When Yost was with Atlanta in the 1990s and the Braves were perennial National League champs, Bobby Cox had much more flexibility.
“Bobby would start the first of May looking at stats, and we’d meet once a week about which players are this, which players are that,” he recalled. “And now you don’t have any input on any of that stuff.”
Yost will have a voice in the five names to be voted on by fans for the 34th and final spot on the team.