0

MLB NOTEBOOK: Posey leads NL All-Star voting for second straight year, Cabrera tops in AL; MLB may mass-ban stars with links to Miami PED clinic

Buster Posey, whose 7,621,370 All-Star votes last year represented the most ever garnered by an NL player, amassed 1,275,956 votes in the first update, ahead of second-place Yadier Molina of St. Louis (938,911).

Buster Posey, whose 7,621,370 All-Star votes last year represented the most ever garnered by an NL player, amassed 1,275,956 votes in the first update, ahead of second-place Yadier Molina of St. Louis (938,911).

SAN FRANCISCO — Everyone wants to be popular, and Buster Posey is certainly that.

The San Francisco Giants star catcher Leesburg native leads all NL vote getters in the first balloting totals for the 84th All-Star Game.

Major League Baseball announced the leaders Tuesday to start the July 16 game at Citi Field in New York.

Posey, the 2012 National League Most Valuable Player and two-time World Series champ, has 1,275,956 votes as he seeks his second starting nod after becoming the first Giants catcher to earn a fan-elected start last season. Atlanta Braves’ outfielder Justin Upton and Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals are second and third in the voting, respectively.

Posey, whose 7,621,370 All-Star votes last year represented the most ever garnered by an NL player, amassed 1,275,956 votes in the first update, ahead of second-place Yadier Molina of St. Louis (938,911).

Molina is second in votes among NL catchers once again, while Milwaukee Brewers’ left fielder Ryan Braun is third among outfielders, behind Upton and Harper.

Also leading his position was third baseman Pablo Sandoval, elected an All-Star starter last year. Sandoval (1,094,475 votes) outpolled Mets star David Wright (967,299).

Rounding out the position leaders are Colorado Rockies’ shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, Cincinnati Reds teammates Joey Votto (first base) and Brandon Phillips (second base).

Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites — online or via a mobile device — using the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until July 4 at 11:59 p.m.

Fans may submit 25 online ballots during the voting period but can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots.

Tigers’ Cabrera leads AL voting

Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera is the leading vote-getter overall.

Cabrera, last year’s first Triple Crown winner since 1967 and reigning American League MVP, led the first AL balloting of the season with 1,500,165 votes.

Along with Cabrera, New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano (1,235,230 votes) and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout make up the top three overall AL vote-getters.

Baltimore Orioles rookie Manny Machado, 20, is second in the balloting at third base with 723,943 votes.

Cabrera, a seven-time All-Star who has never been elected a starter, leads the major leagues with a .367 batting average, 83 hits and 65 RBI.

Other leading vote-getters by position include: Orioles first baseman Chris Davis (1,176,016 votes), Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus (727,555), Orioles center fielder Adam Jones (1,181,875), Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter and Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer (863,450).


MLB MAY LAY DOWN LAW ON STARS:

The largest mass suspension for performance-enhancing drugs in an American sports league could be at hand.

ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reported Tuesday that Major League Baseball could suspend about 20 players with ties to the Miami-area clinic under investigation for distributing performance enhancers to a list of players that includes New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun.

The suspensions could be coming within the next few weeks, according to the report.

Tony Bosch, the Biogenesis of America clinic founder suspected of supplying the drugs, agreed this week to cooperate with MLB investigators in the case. Meetings between Bosch and MLB officials could begin within a week.

MLB officials reportedly have clinic records with the names of approximately 20 players that Bosch could authenticate and help solidify their case against the clients. Investigators also are trying to get two other Bosch associates to cooperate.

“Outside the Lines” cited a source that indicated Rodriguez, Braun and others could face a 100-game suspension for a second offense -- one for the connection with Bosch and the other for denying use of performance-enhancers.

According to ESPN, other players who could potentially be disciplined are Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Yasmani Grandal, Nelson Cruz, Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Montero, Jhonny Peralta, Cesar Puello, Fernando Martinez, Everth Cabrera, Fautini de los Santos and Jordan Norberto. There are several unknown players also subject to possible suspension. All of those named on the list are in the major leagues except Puello, a outfielder for the New York Mets’ Class AA affiliate.

Attempts by ESPN to reach Bosch and his lawyers or MLB were unsuccessful.

Bosch told ESPN recently that he had no knowledge about performance-enhancing drugs.

“I have been accused, tried and convicted in the media. And so I think (I) have been falsely accused throughout the media,” he told ESPN’s Pedro Gomez. “I’ve done nothing wrong.”

Bosch also could be facing a potential criminal investigation. He recently received a cease-and-desist letter from the Florida State Department of Health.

Bosch’s name first surfaced last summer in connection with Miami-area players Cabrera, Colon and Grandal, who tested positive for testosterone and received 50-game suspensions from MLB during the 2012 season.

ESPN also reported that MLB is interested in determining whether Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano had a connection to Bosch or the clinic. Sonia Cruz, a spokeswoman for Cano’s foundation, is listed in clinic documents.