04/19/12 10:20 PM ET
Tribe's Opening Day lineup on All-Star ballot
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
Online voting is set to open on Friday, but the ballot for the 83rd All-Star Game was unveiled during a press conference in Kansas City on Thursday. The Royals' home stadium will play host to this year's festivities, which will culminate with the annual game on July 10 at Kauffman Stadium.
Indians manager Manny Acta has enjoyed seeing the voting process evolve to the point where the fans, players and All-Star managers have a say over which players make the American League and National League teams.
"I think it balances out pretty good," Acta said. "I think the ultimate prize, or goal, for every one of these guys is to be recognized by their peers. So when you're selected by the players it means a lot. It's great that we get the fans involved -- that's a big part of the game -- but we all know that a lot of times it just turns out to be a popularity contest. It's good that we have a balance."
From the Indians, this year's All-Star ballot includes first baseman Casey Kotchman, second baseman Jason Kipnis, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, third baseman Jack Hannahan, catcher Carlos Santana, designated hitter Travis Hafner, left fielder Shelley Duncan, center fielder Michael Brantley and right fielder Shin-Soo Choo.
Last season, Cleveland was represented by Cabrera, who started at shortstop for the American League, and closer Chris Perez. The ballot last summer listed Jason Donald instead of Hannahan at third base, even though Hannahan was the Tribe's starter at the position to open the season. Donald was sidelined on Opening Day a year ago with a fractured finger in his left hand.
Beginning on Friday, fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and on all 30 club sites -- online or via mobile devices -- using the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until June 28 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Perez irked by fine for Twitter message
SEATTLE -- Indians closer Chris Perez is outspoken by nature, whether he is talking to his teammates, being interviewed by reporters or posting messages on his Twitter account. Perez is now paying for that aspect of his personality.
The vocal Cleveland closer was hit with a $750 fine by Major League Baseball for a postgame tweet that hit the Internet in the aftermath of Saturday's heated game against the Royals in Kansas City. Perez said he does not believe he violated MLB's social media rules and plans on fighting the punishment.
"I think the fine is ridiculous," Perez said Thursday. "I'm not going to change the way I tweet. I feel like I was in my rights as an American. I didn't break any MLB rules. I read and reread the social media policy. I didn't make a specific threat to anybody or anybody on a team."
During Saturday's 11-9 win over the Royals, Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo and Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas were each hit with pitches, leading to a pair of bench-clearing incidents at Kauffman Stadium. Indians pitcher Jeanmar Gomez, third baseman Jack Hannahan and manager Manny Acta each were ejected from the game.
Following the victory, Perez logged into his account (@ChrisPerez54) and wrote: "Huge team win tonight; time for a sweep to tell the Royals it's not 'Our Time', it's #TribeTime. P.S. You hit us, we hit you. Period."
On Wednesday, Perez received a letter from MLB explaining that he had been fined because he "demonstrated a reckless disregard for the safety of the players on both clubs." Hannahan was also fined for his part in Saturday's altercation, though the price of the third baseman's punishment was $500.
"A reckless disregard?" Perez said. "To me, that would be saying, 'Royals, you better watch out. I'm coming for you.' And then going out there and hitting somebody -- inciting it. Looking back, nothing happened that next day. We played a regular game. Nothing happened the rest of that night. I pitched that night and nothing happened.
"I still am kind of baffled that I got fined more than somebody [Hannahan] that got thrown out of the game."
Acta not worried by Hannahan's early miscues
SEATTLE -- Indians manager Manny Acta is not worrying too much about the fact that third baseman Jack Hannahan has made an unusual amount of errors early on this season. As far as Acta is concerned, Hannahan's reputation as a strong defender remains intact.
"He's just making them all early," Acta said with a shrug. "It's not like now all of a sudden he's not going to be a good defensive player."
Hannahan, who is in his second season as Cleveland's Opening Day starting third baseman, had committed an uncharacteristic four errors through 23 total chances, entering Thursday's game in Seattle. The slick-fielding third baseman made five errors in 296 chances all of last season with his fifth and final miscue coming on July 8.
At the moment, Hannahan's fielding percentage is .826, which is far below his career average of .970 as a third baseman. A year ago, he posted a .983 fielding percentage, which led all American League third basemen. His fourth error of 2011 did not occur until June 15.
Indians third-base coach Steve Smith, who also oversees the team's infield instruction, blamed a series of tough plays and bad hops for Hannahan's early-season woes with the glove. Likewise, Hannahan said he was hardly concerned that these April gaffes were a sign of things to come throughout the course of the season.
"I'm fine," Hannahan said. "It's baseball. You're going to have errors. It's not like I'm trying to make them or anything. It's just about getting back into it. You can take a thousand ground balls in the offseason and in Spring Training, and you can get a couple bad hops here or there.
"The main thing is keeping that right mind-set of going out and playing good defense. It's important to stay mentally strong and not have it transfer over offensively."
Indians manager Manny Acta indicated that the current plan is to send lefty Nick Hagadone back to Triple-A Columbus once shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is activated from the bereavement list. Cabrera left the team on Tuesday to be with his family in Venezuela after the death of his grandfather. Hagadone was promoted, giving the Tribe eight relievers until the shortstop's return.
"We like the guy," Acta said of Hagadone. "But he needs to continue his development and we're not going to stay with eight guys in the bullpen. He will be here at some point. We all know that."
Indians left fielder Shelley Duncan has hit fifth or sixth in the lineup this season, but manager Manny Acta dropped him to the seventh hole for Thursday's game in Seattle. Acta had left-handed hitters in the first six slots to counter Seattle right-hander Felix Hernandez. Over Hernandez's career, lefties have posted a .704 OPS compared to a .617 mark for righties.
"He's not a great matchup," Acta said. "Right on right, obviously [Hernandez] abuses those guys. There's no need to be splitting any lefties when you know that he's going to be out there for the long haul. That's basically it."