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Changes in All-Star selection process will have to wait until next year, MLB commissioner says

Changes in All-Star selection process will have to wait until next year, MLB commissioner says
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks during a media conference prior to a game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Oakland Athletics on Friday. (Ben Margot / Associated Press)

Commissioner Rob Manfred said he is open to changes in the All-Star selection process but that none would be made this season in light of the fact that, as of last Monday, Kansas City Royals players led fan voting at eight of nine American League positions.

“I think we’re going to have a great competitive game,” Manfred said after meeting with the Angels and Athletics before Friday night’s game at Oakland Coliseum.

"If, after the game, we decide fan voting needs an adjustment, that will be an adjustment we'll make for next year. I'm not closed to the idea that there should be adjustments."

Manfred said there are “protections built into the system” that ensure the best players are in the game. Players, managers and coaches vote for eight pitchers and backups at each position, and the All-Star Game managers fill out the roster.

And there is still time for fans in other cities to nudge Royals players out of the starting lineup.

"Fans have a way of correcting things by the end of the voting," Manfred said. "We have already seen markets outside of Kansas City saying, 'Gee, it ought to be my guy and not that guy from Kansas City,' and really significant increases in the number of votes. That's the sort of engagement we want."

Angels Manager Mike Scioscia, who has been frustrated by the number of calls he believes have been missed by instant-replay officials in New York, also spoke with Manfred about replay but declined to reveal any details about the discussion.

“Needless to say, Major League Baseball is paying a lot of attention to it because it’s such a big change in our game,” Scioscia said. “It will evolve.”

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