Brantley set to represent Tribe at All-Star Game
Indians outfielder selected by peers as member of American League squad
CLEVELAND -- There was one call Michael Brantley could not wait to make on Sunday. After learning that he was heading to his first All-Star Game as a member of the American League, the Indians outfielder was excited to get his father on the phone.
Brantley's dad, Mickey, never had that chance during his Major League career with the Mariners. Now, though, as a reward for developing into Cleveland's top all-around talent on the field, Michael has added an All-Star appearance to the list of his family's accomplishments.
"I'm excited to see his reaction," Michael Brantley said on Sunday. "I can't wait to just talk to him and see what he has to say. We haven't talked about it at all. For me to have the opportunity to have a phone call and tell him, that's going to be something very special and something I'll never forget."
Brantley is putting together a season remember for the Indians, too.
Through 83 games this year, the 27-year-old Brantley has hit .321 with 13 home runs, 20 doubles, one triple, 10 stolen bases, 57 RBIs, 58 runs and 103 hits for Cleveland. Defensively, Brantley's 10 assists in the outfielder were tied for the most in the Major Leagues.
Indians manager Terry Francona smiled when discussing the fact that Brantley was voted onto the AL's All-Star roster by his peers. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 15 at Target Field
"It's well-deserved," Francona said. "I think it means a lot that the players voted for him. I think that shows the respect he has and is growing throughout our league. That was one of the more pleasurable conversations I've had in a long time."
Brantley said the news had him speechless.
"You never know when it's going to happen again," Brantley said. "To have this happen now for me, words can't describe how happy I am inside and how blessed I am. I just want to make sure that I enjoy waking up early in the morning until I go back to sleep, and just keeping my eyes open to all the great experiences."
The Indians are thrilled that Brantley will be a part of the festivities.
"He's developing also into a leader on the team now," said general manager Chris Antonetti, "because he's comfortable in his place on the team and he knows how much everybody in the clubhouse, the coaches' room, the front office, organization, how much everyone respects the way he goes about his business. It's been great to see the way he's performed this year.
"It's not luck. It's a byproduct of all the work he's put in to get to this point. He's that guy who's constantly trying to improve. It's been fun to see."
The Indians are hoping that pitcher Corey Kluber (8-6, 2.86 ERA, 137 strikeouts) joins Brantley at the Midsummer Classic. Kluber is one of five American League starting pitchers eligible for MLB.com's Final Vote Sponsored by Experian, joining Dallas Keuchel (Astros), Rick Porcello (Tigers), Garrett Richards (Angels) and Chris Sale (White Sox). Like Brantley, Kluber is aiming for his first career All-Star selection.
MICHAEL BRANTLEY, OF
Prior ASGs: None
ASG W-L: N/A
ASG Stats: N/A
How he made 2014 AL team: Player selection
Why He's an All-Star: Brantley has not only emerged as a steady offensive weapon for the Indians (featuring a blend of power, contact and speed), but he has developed into an elite defender in left field. This breakout season is a testament to why Cleveland signed him to a multi-year extension during Spring Training.
DYK?: Brantley is known by the nickname "Dr. Smooth" in Cleveland and the Indians have taken to playing Sade's "Smooth Operator" after his hits. His father, Mickey, spent four season with Seattle from 1986-89.
Quotable: "He means so much to what we're doing. Defensively, teammate wise, in the batting order, he's really turned himself into one of the better players in the game." --Indians manager Terry Francona
Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters on Sunday, fans began voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each league until the winners are announced after the voting concludes on Thursday at 4 p.m. ET.
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans help choose the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 platforms that support MLB.TV, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.