NEW YORK - For the first time since 2005, the Orioles will have four representatives at the All-Star Game.
Outfielder Adam Jones, first baseman Chris Davis and shortstop J.J. Hardy were voted into the Midsummer Classic, which will be played July 16 at Citi Field in New York. Third baseman Manny Machado was chosen as a reserve.
Davis leads all of Major League Baseball with 8,272,243 votes, passing Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera (8,013,874).
Nick Markakis fell out of the top three in outfield voting last week and didn’t get back in, denying the right fielder his first All-Star berth. He received 3,783,189 votes to place fourth behind Jose Bautista (3,999,631). Nate McLouth was fifth with 3,221,179 votes.
Matt Wieters finished second to the Twins’ Joe Mauer among catchers and wasn’t selected as a reserve. Pitchers Chris Tillman and Jim Johnson also were denied.
No Orioles were included among the five players in the fan final vote.
The Orioles have three starters for the first time since Cal Ripken Jr., Roberto Alomar and Brady Anderson in 1997, and four reps for the first time since Melvin Mora, Brian Roberts, Miguel Tejada and B.J. Ryan in 2005.
The 2005 season also marked the last time that the Orioles had a starter in the game. They had only one representative the next six years.
The Orioles are the only team in the majors with three starters this year.
Jones had been the leader in voting among AL outfielders until slipping to second last week behind the Angels’ Mike Trout. He passed Trout this week to take the top spot.
Jones, who was batting .287 with 15 homers and 59 RBIs before today, also made the All-Star team in 2009 and 2012.
“Going back consecutive years, it’s pretty cool,” he said. “I think, for me, it’s more humbling. You look at it there, it’s almost 5 million votes that have been tallied for myself. That’s humbling. I know Birdland has been very, very strong in voting this year. But you still have to get votes outside of your own team and organization and it shows that myself, CD, Hardy and Machado are really being looked at amongst baseball, instead of just in Baltimore.
“It’s humbling that we’ve got four guys going. Last year we had three. The year before, 10 years before, we only had one. And baseball is starting to recognize the Orioles as a franchise that’s coming back with some very good talent on the field.
“It’s going to be awesome having that many guys, especially three starters. You’re going to see some of the cornerstone positions - first, center field and shortstop - will have O’s across their chest. I think that’s a pretty string statement from baseball, from a baseball standpoint.”
Jones hadn’t been a starter in the All-Star Game until this year.
“Everybody wants to go to an All-Star Game,” he said. “To be a starter, that’s cool because you’re voted in by the fans. You see how strong they can be. They put 11 million to (Jose) Bautista a couple years ago. They pushed him through this year with a strong surge. Miguel Cabrera and Chris Davis, I think they were neck-and-neck on votes, up in the six million range. That’s awesome. People are getting out there voting.
“To me, and I think my other teammates, I think we feel the same way, just humbled by the amount of people that went out there and voted, especially the people in Baltimore, because that’s where it starts for us. And we’re just grateful for it.”
Davis already has tied his career highs in home runs (33) and RBIs (85) set last season. He began today batting .325, making him both an MVP and Triple Crown threat.
The news had to be anti-climatic for Davis, who was assured of going to the All-Star Game since the voting process began.
“It still feels good,” he said. “I think anytime you are getting that recognition not only from your fan base but from everybody across the nation, I think it feels good to know that people are watching. I think what we did last year toward the end of the season really kind of opened people’s eyes to the fact that there’s some good baseball being played in Baltimore. And the fact that we have a number of guys going to the All Star Game again this year just shows that we’re doing something right.
“I’m proud of our guys. It just says a lot about what we’ve got going on here. We’re obviously headed in the right direction. And the fact that everybody is starting to take notice means a lot.”
Davis said he didn’t routinely check the vote totals to see whether he could catch Cabrera for the overall lead. Cabrera was ahead of him until the final week.
“No, the guy’s going for another Triple Crown,” Davis said. “He’s obviously the best player in the game right now with what he ‘s doing offensively. It’s just unbelievable. I think if you get voted in, you’re excited, but at the same time you have a job to do every day. So, that’s kind of been where my focus has been.”
Hardy was batting .254 with 15 homers and 46 RBIs. His 15 homers easily led the league’s shortstops. Detroit’s Jhonny Peralta was second with seven.
“It means a lot,” he said. “I’m very appreciative of all the fans in Baltimore and everyone else that voted. It means a lot to me.
“I think with what we did last year, I think really people are starting to notice what we did this year. It’s awesome for all the guys on this team. That just shows the fans are showing their support.”
Hardy also made the NL All-Star team in 2007 with the Brewers. This year marks his first start.
“When I made it in ‘07, I think there was a total of four guys from the Brewers,” he said. “It’s awesome. It just makes you that much more comfortable - your friends, your teammates representing the Orioles. It’s pretty exciting.
“The team is doing great. You look at what everyone’s doing, one through seven in the lineup, putting up good numbers, really everyone in the lineup. It’s making all of our numbers look good. At the same time, we’re winning ballgames. It just shows that people are noticing.”
Machado leads the majors with 39 doubles. He was batting .316 with six homers and 42 RBIs before today - his 21st birthday.
“It’s something that I’ve always dreamed about, obviously, about seven years. I was just excited for all of us and for myself,” he said.
At this time last year, Machado was the starting shortstop at Double-A Bowie. To say he’s come a long way would be a gross understatement.
“I mean, it’s crazy,” he said. “It’s crazy what I’ve been through my first year in Major League Baseball, making the playoffs last year, just having two months into the league and then obviously now making the All-Star and having such good success right now.
“I mean, I worked hard in the offseason to set my goals, and obviously for this, to make the All-Star Game and the playoffs as a team. You really don’t anticipate it until it happens. Now, it’s here. I’m going to be an All-Star. That’s pretty great, pretty exciting to say.”
The excitement in the Orioles’ clubhouse was mixed with disappointment for Markakis.
“Me, personally, I wanted Markakis,” Jones said. “You all know him, he doesn’t care. He gives two craps about it. He wants the four days off to go and, who knows what he’s going to do on the days off, but he’s a guy who has put up numbers in his career. He plays every single day. He knows how to play the game. He’s one of the best right fielders in the game to me. He just doesn’t get the attention because that’s not who he is. He doesn’t play for the attention. He plays for the game, and for the love of it, and I would’ve loved to see him go, but you never know.
“I know he doesn’t care, but me as his teammate, I’ve been seeing it for six years, yeah, I think he just needs to go to one because he’s one hell of a player to me.”
Said Hardy: “I don’t think he’s going to say anything or show any disappointment that he didn’t make it, but he’s been one of the best players for the Orioles for eight years. We’d all really respect the fact that he should make it.”