Check out the complete All-Star rosters

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Check out the complete All-Star rosters

From Comcast SportsNet
NEW YORK (AP) -- Josh Hamilton is set to lead a Texas parade to the All-Star game. Now, fans will decide if Chipper Jones gets one final appearance or whether it's time for teen sensation Bryce Harper. Hamilton drew a record total of more than 11 million votes, and the slugger was among seven Rangers chosen Sunday as All-Stars. A trio of San Francisco Giants rallied in the last week to claim spots, while three Yankees also made the starting lineup. "I don't think the Texas Rangers have to apologize because we've got good players," AL manager Ron Washington of Texas said. "I certainly didn't pick my guys being selfish, I picked them very deserving of being All-Stars, bottom line." Washington fastballer Stephen Strasburg and Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey were two of the 66 players chosen by fans, managers and big leaguers for the showcase July 10 in Kansas City. So was 20-year-old Angels rookie outfielder Mike Trout, who leads the AL in hitting at .339 and drew more than 800,000 write-in votes. Few of the races for starting spots were close and there seemed to be little complaining about the fans' choices. OK, sure, David Wright could've gotten the nod over Pablo Sandoval. But there certainly will be campaigning this week when it comes to Jones and Harper after they were left off -- for now, anyway. The NL and AL each have one spot left, with fans voting online through Thursday to select one of five candidates in both leagues. Jones and Harper are two of the NL possibilities. At 40, Jones is a seven-time All-Star and plans to retire after this season. Banged up, the Atlanta third baseman has managed to hit near .300. "This being my last year, it would be fun to go. I'd love to take my kids," Jones said. At 19, Harper started the season in Triple-A. The Washington outfielder has dazzled since his promotion with his bat, arm and flat-out hustle. "I'm an old-timer, so I'd probably lean toward Chipper," NL manager Tony La Russa said on the TBS selection show. The league that wins the All-Star game gains home-field advantage in the World Series. The NL won last year, then St. Louis became the ninth straight home team to win Game 7 in the Series. Sandoval was picked for the NL at third base despite missing a month with a broken hand and not matching the stats of Wright. "I'm surprised I made it," said Sandoval, popular for his "Kung Fu Panda" persona. "He's been having a great year but the fans gave me the votes. I can't thank them enough." Wright was diplomatic about the result. "That's the way the system is. I understand how the system works and I respect that system. Pablo's having a very good year. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed that I don't get a chance to start, but I'm going to do everything I can to help win that game," he said. Giants catcher Buster Posey, back from a devastating injury last season, was the NL's top vote-getter and beat out Philadelphia's Carlos Ruiz, the league's leading hitter. Wright and Ruiz made the NL team as reserves. "This is hard to wrap my head around," Posey said. "I watched all the All-Star games and home run derbies when I was a kid. It's surreal I get to play in one and get to watch the home run derby." Posey, Sandoval and San Francisco outfielder Melky Cabrera overcame late deficits to win starting spots. Giants ace Matt Cain, who pitched a perfect game in June, made the NL pitching staff. Texas will have a team-record three starters. Hamilton, who hit four homers in a game earlier this season and leads the majors in RBIs, will be in the outfield with Adrian Beltre at third base and Mike Napoli at catcher. A postseason star last year, Napoli has started only about half the time at that spot this year, but still easily outdistanced Minnesota's Joe Mauer. "No, it's not awkward, the fans voted for him," Washington said. "He's an All-Star, he's going to go to the All-Star game. Who's to say that Napoli may not be the MVP?" Second baseman Ian Kinsler, shortstop Elvis Andrus, starter Matt Harrison and reliever Joe Nathan also made the AL roster from Texas. The two-time AL champions began the day with a major league-best 50 wins. "You look up and down our lineup and we've been in the World Series the last two years in a row, and there's a reason," Hamilton said. "It's not just one player, but multiple players that have got us there." Derek Jeter became a 13-time All-Star shortstop and will start for the AL with Yankees teammates Robinson Cano at second base and Curtis Granderson in the outfield. Injured New York pitcher CC Sabathia was picked, too, and will attend the festivities but not play. "It's an honor, especially throughout the years the position I played and all the great shortstops that have been out there," Jeter said. Prince Fielder of Detroit will start at first base. He was the MVP of last year's All-Star game while playing in the NL for Milwaukee. "Thrilling, every time," Fielder said. Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp edged Milwaukee's Ryan Braun by 100,000 votes for the third spot in the NL outfield -- Kemp, beaten out by Braun for the NL MVP award last year, is on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring and looks doubtful to play. Braun leads the NL in home runs. He was the league's top vote-getter last year, but may have been hurt by drug allegations. Braun or perhaps Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen could wind up starting in Kemp's place. "I've always been a person that wanted something because I earned it and that's what people wanted," McCutchen said. "It would be awesome to get that, but for me I'd still be feeling like I took someone else's place because someone got hurt." Dickey, at 37, made his first All-Star team. He leads the majors with 12 wins and could become just the second knuckleballer to start an All-Star game. Dutch Leonard did it in 1943, STATS LLC said. "It's an honor for every person who's ever helped me along the way and every fan that believed that special things could happen if you apply yourself," Dickey said. "So it's a need to be able to celebrate that with a network of people. Strasburg is 9-3 with a 2.81 ERA and tops the majors in strikeouts for the NL East-leading Nationals. Last season at this time, he was working his way back to the big leagues while recovering from Tommy John surgery. "It's going to be a tremendous experience, and it's a huge honor for me. It's amazing to think where I was a year ago, so it's great to see all the hard work has paid off, but it's not done," he said in Atlanta. "It's only the halfway point of the year. We've still got a long ways to go." The fans, players and managers combined to pick 14 first-time All-Stars in the NL, including somersaulting Cincinnati reliever Aroldis Chapman and San Diego closer Huston Street. "No way. Really?" Street said. There were nine first-timers in the AL, including designated hitter Billy Butler from the host Royals. Every team gets at least one All-Star. The AL starters: Fielder, Cano, Jeter, Beltre, Hamilton, Granderson, Napoli, Toronto outfielder Jose Bautista and Boston DH David Ortiz. The NL starters: Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto, Atlanta second baseman Dan Uggla, shortstop Rafael Furcal and outfielder Carlos Beltran of St. Louis, Kemp, Sandoval, Posey and Cabrera. The five candidates for the final AL roster spot are all right-handed pitchers: Texas rookie Yu Darvish and fellow starters Jake Peavy of the White Sox and Jason Hammel of Baltimore and relievers Jonathan Broxton of the Royals and Ernesto Frieri of the Angels. The NL candidates: Jones, Harper, Arizona second baseman Aaron Hill, Atlanta outfielder Michael Bourn and St. Louis third baseman David Freese, MVP of last year's World Series. Washington said he felt White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski deserved to be on the roster. "I consider him a winning player," Washington said. "He beats you mentally, he beats you physically, so I feel really bad for Pierzynski." Said Pierzynski: "If he felt that bad, he would have put me on the team." "He had an opportunity to do it. He didn't do it," he said.

Blackhawks ink Anton Forsberg, Tomas Jurco

Blackhawks ink Anton Forsberg, Tomas Jurco

When the Blackhawks traded to get Brandon Saad back, they also acquired Anton Forsberg, who they believe is ready to be their latest backup goaltender. On Monday they signed him to a two-year deal.

The Blackhawks inked two players on Monday, Forsberg, whose contract runs through the 2018-19 season, and Tomas Jurco, who agreed to a one-year contract extension.

Forsberg joins the Blackhawks having very little NHL experience – he’s played 10 career games at this level, going 1-8-0. But the Blackhawks’ previous two backup goaltenders, Antti Raanta and Scott Darling, hadn’t made an NHL appearance before joining the Blackhawks. Forsberg led the Cleveland Monsters, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ AHL-affiliate team, to a Calder Cup title in 2016; during that run he went 9-0 with a 1.34 goals-against average and .949 save percentage.

On Friday, when the Blackhawks acquired Saad and Forsberg from Columbus for Artemi Panarin and Tyler Motte, general manager Stan Bowman said the team is, “optimistic about Anton’s potential.”

“We like his profile as a goalie,” he said. “He’s a big guy, takes up a lot of net, has that mobility and makes good positional saves as well as athletic saves. A year ago, led his team to the [Calder] Cup championships, so he knows what it’s like to put a team on his back. It was the AHL but he’s had a lot of success there. He’s earned the right to be an NHL goalie.”

Jurco, acquired by the Blackhawks from Detroit in February, played 13 games with them down the regular-season stretch. Bowman said shortly after the trade that Jurco would get a chance here.

“We’ll be patient with him but we really think there’s a good fit there, looking at his skills and the style of hockey we play,” he said. “I think a lot of ways, sometimes guys need different opportunities. It doesn’t work out in every place. A fresh start will be great for Tomas.”

Cubs down to only one All-Star starter in voting update

Cubs down to only one All-Star starter in voting update

The Cubs are down to only one starter in next month's All-Star Game in Miami: reigning MVP Kris Bryant.

Jason Heyward lost his grip on the final starting outfielder spot to Marlins star Marcell Ozuna in the latest All-Star balloting update released by the MLB:

That may be for the best, as the Cubs are currently banged up (Heyward. Ben Zobrist and Kyle Hendricks are on the disabled list) and slogging through a season where they've hovered around .500. So maybe four days off in a row would be beneficial for the defending champs.

Heyward is 29,270 votes behind Ozuna and Zobrist is 118,248 votes behind Heyward. It appears as if Washington's Bryce Harper and Colorado's Charlie Blackmon are sure things for the top two outfielder spots in the NL.

Bryant is only 58,082 votes ahead of Nolan Arenado at third base. Anthony Rizzo trails Ryan Zimmerman at first base, Javy Baez comes in well behind Daniel Murphy at second base and Buster Posey has more than twice as many votes as runner-up Willson Contreras at catcher.

Addison Russell is third among shortstops. Kyle Schwarber — despite being demoted to the minors last week — is eighth among NL outfielders.

It's a far cry from 2016, when the Cubs made up all four infield spots in the NL starting lineup.

Voting ends in four days. Fans can head to MLB.com to vote.