To help with your planning, here are stories The Associated Press will be moving around the All-Star Break. All times EDT. If you have any questions, please contact Assistant Sports Editor Ed Montes at emontes(at)ap.org.
This advisory may be updated.
WASHINGTON — The first letter Mark Lerner sent then-Commissioner Bud Selig after his family bought the Washington Nationals asked about hosting the All-Star Game in his hometown. The All-Star festivities coming to Washington are a celebration of baseball’s return to the nation’s capital 13 years ago. As Ryan Zimmerman and those around the Nationals for the past decade-plus know, D.C. had to rediscover the sport after so many years of not having a team. Now it’s a baseball town again. By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 950 words, photos.
WASHINGTON — During every previous All-Star Game in Washington, the president was part of the story. That might not be the case this year. Ask former Republican congressman Tom Davis about the prospect of President Donald Trump throwing out the first pitch at Nationals Park on Tuesday night, and the pageantry of the office isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. “It’s very disruptive when a president comes to a game because they stop all the traffic. People can’t get in the gates,” said Davis, a Nationals season-ticket holder. He’s also familiar with Trump’s preference for friendly crowds, noting the president got just 4 percent of the vote inside the Washington city limits. By Ben Nuckols. SENT 900 words, photos.
ATLANTA — Braves outfielder Nick Markakis has more than 2,000 career hits but had to wait until this summer to finally receive his first All-Star selection. It came with the added affirmation of leading NL outfielders in the voting and earned him applause both from the Braves, Orioles manager Buck Showalter and others who say the honor was overdue. By Charles Odum. SENT: 650 words, photos.
BBA--RED SOX-METICULOUS MARTINEZ
BOSTON — Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez is serious about every swing he takes, even in batting practice, and he has the tape to prove it. The 30-year-old All-Star has recorded every BP swing he’s taken since 2015 on a personal iPad, and he reviews the footage before every game. Despite ranking among baseball’s best batters, Martinez says he’s “not a natural hitter” but “a trained hitter,” a credit to his meticulous preparation. By Ken Powtak. UPCOMING: 780 words, photos.
WASHINGTON — Before Major League Baseball’s stars of today get to shine in the All-Star Game, the stars of tomorrow get their chance to show their stuff in the All-Star Futures Game. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts at 4 p.m. EDT.
WASHINGTON — A ban on defensive shifts. Lowering the mound. Shortening the bases. As baseball’s best gather for the All-Star Game, many wonder whether the sport needs a break from the all-or-nothing spectacle that’s led to record numbers of home runs and strikeouts. By AP Baseball Writer Ben Walker. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 3 a.m.
BBO--HOME RUN DERBY
WASHINGTON — Hometown star Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers slugger Jesus Aguilar headline an eight-man Home Run Derby, the marquee preliminary event leading up to the 2018 All-Star Game. By David Ginsburg. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Starts at 8 p.m. EDT.
— BBO--HOME RUN DERBY-THE LATEST — Real-time updates.
WASHINGTON — Mike Trout, J.D. Martinez, Aaron Judge and a power-packed lineup try to help the American League win the All-Star Game for the sixth straight year. Max Scherzer and Bryce Harper of the host Washington Nationals lead an NL side full of first-timers. By AP Baseball Writer Ben Walker. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Game starts approximately 8 p.m.
WASHINGTON — How my dad got us front-row tickets to the 1969 All-Star Game at RFK Stadium, that’s still a mystery to me. I do know that thanks to Steve Carlton, I got a lot of neat autographs. And because of Johnny Bench, I wound with a very cool souvenir I never saw coming. By AP Baseball Writer Ben Walker. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 3 a.m.
— BBO--ALL-STAR GAME-THE LATEST — Real-time updates throughout the day.
BBO--ON THE MOVE-HITTERS
Manny Machado is the biggest bat available for teams looking to boost their offense before the July 31 non-waiver deadline. Teams shopping for hitters will have several options to upgrade their lineups. By Rob Maaddi. 600 words, photos.
BBO--ON THE MOVE-PITCHERS
A pair of lefties with postseason experience —Cole Hamels and J.A. Happ— are among the pitchers who could be headed to contending teams this month. There’s some closers and late-inning relievers who could be switching uniforms, too. By Rob Maaddi. 600 words, photos.
It’s the haves and the have-nots as baseball returns after the All-Star break. The major league-leading Red Sox, Yankees, Astros and Mariners are all on pace for 100-plus wins, while the Orioles, White Sox and Royals are on track to lose more than 100. The Nationals were supposed to be one of the haves this year, but they are looking up at the surprising Phillies and Braves. And one trade for Manny Machado could remake the entire picture. By Jay Cohen. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.
MINNEAPOLIS — The high hopes for Minnesota’s season started taking hits in spring training, with a slew of untimely injuries and unexpected slumps primarily responsible for the struggles the Twins have endured in 2018. With only a handful of players signed for next year, there are several logical candidates for the trade market this summer as the focus slowly shifts toward the future in the top-heavy American League where pennant races this year look to be in name only. By Dave Campbell. UPCOMING: 800 words, by 5 p.m. EDT.