Kenley Jansen had just been honored with his second consecutive selection to the All-Star game. He was livid.
Not about his selection, to be sure. He was furious that teammates Corey Seager and Justin Turner had not been voted into the starting lineup for the National League, and the Dodgers’ closer took dead aim at the voters in the hometown precincts.
“I’ll say it loud and clear again,” Jansen said. “It’s the Dodger fans’ fault.”
The Dodgers have the best record in the league, and no elected starters. The Chicago Cubs had the best record in the league at last year’s All-Star break, and their entire infield was voted in as starters.
“Addison Russell got voted in,” Jansen said. “Corey Seager was way better. It’s the same thing this year, I feel like.” (Russell, the Cubs’ shortstop, was batting .237 at last year’s All-Star break.)
Seager, at least, was elected by the players as a reserve. Turner was not, relegated to a five-man vote-off in hopes of securing his first career All-Star appearance.
“J.T. deserved to be an All-Star for the last three years,” Jansen said.
The Dodgers had four players selected: Jansen, Seager, pitcher Clayton Kershaw and first baseman-outfielder Cody Bellinger. Outfielder Mike Trout was the Angels’ lone selection.
Trout made the All-Star team for the sixth consecutive season, an elected starter for the fifth consecutive season. At 25, he already has tied Rod Carew and Jim Fregosi for the most All-Star appearances in franchise history.
The two-time AL MVP and two-time All-Star MVP might be unable to play in the All-Star game July 11 in Miami; he has not played since May 28 because of a thumb injury and has not yet started a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
Kershaw became the first Dodgers player to be named to seven consecutive All-Star teams since Steve Garvey (1974-81). Bellinger, 21, the NL home run leader, became the youngest position player in franchise history to be selected.
Turner, 32, said he would happily accept an All-Star invitation — in the final vote, as an injury replacement, or by any other means.
“I’m not like Belly and Corey,” Turner said. “I’m getting up there in age. Whatever opportunity I get, I’ll gladly take it.”
“I can’t imagine myself a better first half than I’m having right now,” Turner said. “If it’s not in the cards, then it’s not in the cards.”
The Dodgers are on pace to lead the major leagues in attendance for the fifth consecutive season, but All-Star voting no longer is done at the ballpark. It’s all online now.
The Dodgers have not had an elected starter since Yasiel Puig in 2014; they have not had an elected infielder since Jeff Kent in 2005. According to the Dodgers’ media guide, they have not had more than one elected starter since 1980 — the last time the All-Star game was held at Dodger Stadium.
Maybe Dodgers fans don’t care about the game since Major League Baseball doesn’t seem to care about letting the Dodgers host the game.
Maybe fans don’t care about voting for players the team can’t seem to arrange for all to see on television, a blackout deep into its fourth season.
Maybe fans who would vote online don’t care to do so because the Dodgers are one of three major league teams whose hometown fans can’t stream the games online — even if they pay for the games on cable.
Maybe fans aren’t voting for stars because the Dodgers’ current management relentlessly emphasizes depth over stars.
Whatever the case might be, Turner is up for another vote. He’s a Dodger, so history suggests he won’t win. He said he won’t campaign.
“I feel like I’ve been campaigning for three months on the field,” he said.
Said Seager: “We’re going to have to promote him a lot, to get him in there. He really does deserve it.”
Seager lost the shortstop vote to Zack Cozart of the Cincinnati Reds. Cozart’s teammate, Joey Votto, had promised him a donkey if he made the All-Star game.
It’s worth a shot, right? Would Seager promise Turner a farm animal if he makes the All-Star game?
“No,” Seager said. “I don’t know if I can pull that one off.”
Follow Bill Shaikin on Twitter @BillShaikin