NEW YORK - Orioles manager Buck Showalter downplayed the All-Star voting for much of the process, relying on reporters for updates, turning his attention to it only in the final week.
Showalter cast his ballots a few days ago. And he showed his pride in the four representatives this afternoon while meeting with reporters following a 5-4 loss to the Yankees.
“I’m real proud of them,” he said. “Could have been some others. You look at the competition for these spots, I’m real proud of all of them, and some other guys, too, who weren’t even in the voting. It’s a nice moment for the organization and for the players and, more importantly, the fans. They really turned out and supported our guys, so I’m really proud of our fans, too.
“If you ask our three or four guys, they’d say it doesn’t mean anything to them unless we can be the last team standing. They wouldn’t say that just because it’s the right thing to say.”
Showalter passed along the news to Adam Jones, Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy, who were voted in as starters. He allowed third base coach Bobby Dickerson, who doubles as infield instructor, to tell Manny Machado that he had been selected as a reserve.
And yes, I said “doubles” while referencing Machado.
“When I announced it in front of all the team, there was a big round of applause,” Showalter said. “Our guys really respect each other, and I think their play reflects it. You have a lot of respect for the past. You don’t become a prisoner to it, but you think about some of the great players who have played in Baltimore, it gives you an idea of what a nice moment it is for everybody.
“I’m very biased. I’ll be the first to admit it, especially wearing black and orange. Does it equate out to Ws? I just like to see people start appreciating... and they do. And there are some people who are very deserving who won’t be going. It’s still the best All-Star Game in sports and to be allowed to be part of it, I know how excited the players are, and their teammates for them. They may not show it, but I know they are.
“I don’t get to deliver a whole lot of good news here, but that was fun. I’m just real proud of them and for the organization. I know Mr. (Peter) Angelos and his family are very proud of them, and so are the scouts that signed them and everybody that had a part of bringing them here and hope to keep them here. I’ll be watching and pulling for the league as usual.
“I told Chris, and he was still talking about the game and didn’t want to hear it. I let Bobby Dickerson tell Manny. I thought he was deserving of that honor, so to speak.”
Showalter informed Nick Markakis that he wasn’t included among the AL outfielders.
“Had a tough conversation with Nicky, and he responded just as I thought he would. Said, ‘I’m real happy for the guys and they should get it. It’s more about where we end up as a team,’” Showalter said.
“J.J. was fun. When you see guys who aren’t necessarily flashy, to be recognized by everybody, that really makes you feel good about the process and people getting it. I think the people who vote for this are some of the more informed groups that do it. You look back on it when all is said and done, and you could make a case that they got it all right. Adam, he should be an All-Star just because of effort.
“One thing they all have in common is how much they sincerely want our team to do well and that’s what I’m proud of.”