So much for Puig-mania sweeping the country. Give this contest to Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman.
Freeman and Toronto reliever Steve Delabar won the fan voting for the final spots in next week’s All-Star game, meaning Los Angeles Dodgers sensation Yasiel Puig is likely headed for a few days off after a terrific stretch to begin his major league career.
Freeman set a record with 19.7 million votes, and Puig was second. Major League Baseball did not release the vote total for Puig, but did say the Cuban defector also surpassed the previous record for the final vote of 15.6 million for Shane Victorino in 2009.
“It’s unbelievable,” Freeman said. “I’m speechless. I wouldn’t be here without the fans and I saw that it’s 19.7 million votes. It’s incredible and it’s a dream come true.”
Puig will not get to play in Tuesday’s game at Citi Field unless he is added as an injury replacement. Delabar won with 9.6 million votes. The right-hander is 5-1 with a 1.74 ERA in 37 appearances for the Blue Jays.
Agreement reached on Cubs’ Jumbotron
The proposed modernization of historic Wrigley Field overcame an important hurdle when the Chicago Cubs and the city reached an agreement allowing the team to build a first electronic Jumbotron and another sign above the ivy-covered outfield walls.
The city’s landmarks commission unanimously voted to approve the deal, overcoming opposition from the local alderman and the owners of rooftop businesses who fear their negotiated views of the field will be obstructed. The matter now goes to the City Council.
The deal would allow the Cubs to erect a 5,700-square-foot Jumbotron in left field of the 99-year-old ball park and a 650-square-foot sign in right field.
Clearing the bases
Pedro Alvarez of Pittsburgh replaced Carlos Gonzalez of Colorado for the N.L. team in the All-Star Home Run Derby. Gonzalez pulled out because of a sprained middle finger on his right hand. … Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish was placed on the 15-day disabled list. The move is retroactive to Sunday. Dr. Keith Meister said the injury “was probably just a little bit of arm fatigue.” Tampa Bay left-hander Matt Moore replaced Darvish on the American League All-Star roster. … Thirty-year veteran umpire John Hirschbeck will be behind the plate for next week’s All-Star game. … Detroit right-hander Rick Porcello had his suspension for throwing at Tampa Bay’s Ben Zobrist reduced to five games. Porcello was initially suspended six games after hitting Zobrist on June 30. … Cincinnati put catcher Ryan Hanigan on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left wrist.