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MLB: Commissioner talks scandal, All-Star vote

BOSTON -- Rob Manfred addressed a variety of topics Tuesday in his first meeting with Boston-area reporters since becoming the 10th commissioner of Major League Baseball.

BOSTON - Rob Manfred addressed a variety of topics Tuesday in his first meeting with Boston-area reporters since becoming the 10th commissioner of Major League Baseball.
Manfred touched on several hot-button issues, including the federal investigation of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals’ All-Star voting controversy.
After stressing that his was a regularly scheduled visit, the commissioner was peppered with questions about a report that the Cardinals were under investigation by the FBI and Justice Department for an illegal breach of the Houston Astros’ baseball operations database.
Manfred confirmed the investigation is ongoing, but wasn’t willing to jump to conclusions.
“Obviously any allegation like this, no matter how serious it turns out to be, is of great concern to us,” Manfred said, adding that Major League Baseball is cooperating fully, “but it’s just too early to speculate on what the facts are going to turn out to be and what action, if any, is necessary.”
As for the possibility that virtual ballot box stuffing could lead to eight Kansas City Royals starting for the American League in the 2015 All-Star Game on July 14 at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio, Manfred affirmed his faith in the current fan voting process.
“We’ve got 16 days left,” he said. “Lots of years we’ve worried about lots of things with respect to fan voting, but in general - over time - fans have done a pretty good job. We’ll see how it all turns out.”
If the situation doesn’t unfold to the league’s standards, Manfred isn’t averse to change.
Manfred also discussed fan safety following the life-threatening injuries sustained by 44-year-old Tonya Carpenter when she was hit by a broken bat during a June 5 game at Fenway Park, saying that the league’s “first and foremost concern remains the safety of our fans.”
Harper tops NL voting
Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper continues to lead vote-getters for the National League All-Star team and four St. Louis Cardinals players are in position to start in the July 14 game.
Harper received 6,059,827 votes in the latest balloting released Tuesday.
Behind Harper in the outfield are Matt Holliday (3,739,181) of the Cardinals and Nori Aoki (2,995,899) of the San Francisco Giants. Aoko is slightly ahead of Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton (2,922,350), who had a major league-leading 23 home runs entering Tuesday.
The Cardinals’ players currently in first place at their positions are shortstop Jhonny Peralta (4,020,531) and third baseman Matt Carpenter (4,455,782).
Other leaders are San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (4,345,579), who moved ahead of St. Louis’ Yadier Molina (3,930,399); Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (3,562,399) and Miami second baseman Dee Gordon (3,481,830).
Voting ends July 2 for the game to be played at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

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