Brewers closer Corey Knebel named to NL All-Star Team

MILWAUKEE | Corey Knebel wasn’t the Brewers closer until mid-May. Less than two months later he’s been named to his first career MLB All-Star Game.

The right-handed hurler was informed by manager Craig Counsell on Sunday night that he’d be the Brewers’ representative on July 11th in Miami.

Knebel, 25, opened as the setup man but replaced Neftali Feliz as closer in mid-May. Since then he’s posted a 1.13 earned-run average, WHIP of 1.08 and 13 saves in 40 appearances.

Knebel has 68 strikeouts in just 39 2/3 innings. That total ranks second in the majors among relievers behind only Houston’s Chris Devenski.

 

The Brewers signed Neftali Feliz to a $5.35 million, one-year deal to serve as their closer in late January, leaving Knebel to serve as his setup man in the early going. After Feliz worked his way out of the 9th inning role, Knebel has gone on to break major-league strikeout records held by Aroldis Chapman and Bruce Sutter, and enters Monday having fanned at least one batter in each of his 40 appearances this season.

Knebel is the ninth Brewers closer to be named an all-star, and the first since Francisco Rodriguez in 2015.

Spelling errors won’t cost Antetokounmpo potential All-Star bid

MILWAUKEE — People across the NBA are beginning to pronounce (and spell) Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the Milwaukee Bucks forward jokingly expressed concern over lost All-Star votes due to misspellings.

“Imagine how many votes didn’t count,” Antetokounmpo said Friday of the All-Star selection process. “I’d have a million votes if everybody could spell my name right.”

The NBA has come out to say there’s a system in place to account for fan votes that are misspellings of players’ names. For example, the league will count votes for Dwyane Wade regardless of the spelling of his first name. Fans can vote for a player on Twitter by writing out the player’s name along with the hashtag “#NBAVote.”

Players will be selected based on a formula where fan votes account for 50 percent of the selection process, current players votes at 25 percent, and media members’ votes will count toward 25 percent of the decision. NBA officials released this formula for how players at each position are selected:

Antetokounmpo’s recognition has exploded since the 2015-16 season, seeing his votes increase more than 19-fold.

Mallards discuss Pokémon GO, All-Star Game

MADISON, Wis. — Madison Mallards All-Star representatives Zach Jarrett and Troy Bacon have a lot to live up to, whether it be competing in the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game or defending a gym on Pokémon GO.

Bacon and Jarrett will represent Madison in the Northwoods League All-Star Game on July 19 held in Kenosha, Wis.

Jarrett, who leads the Mallards with 34 RBI, will also participate in the inaugural Northwoods League Home Run Derby held the day before the All-Star Game. A press release from the NWL describes the one-of-a-kind event, with the participants “batting from a pier that extends in to Lake Michigan. Sailboats from the Kenosha Yacht Club will serve as the foul poles to mark the dimensions of Simmons Field and a floating barrier will mimic the outfield wall. Derby participants will attempt to hit home runs over the floating barrier into the downtown Kenosha Harbor.”

“I’m sure it’s going to be a great time,” said Jarrett, son of NASCAR great Dale Jarrett. “The Home Run Derby is always fun for the guys that are in it and everybody else that’s watching…To see what everybody can do is a lot of fun.”

Not nominated for the derby, but joining Jarrett on the All-Star roster is Troy Bacon, currently with a 6-and-2 record (the first NWL pitcher to reach six wins this season). Bacon took part in a Home Run Derby of his own Thursday night, beating out the other members of the pitching staff with seven home runs in 10 swings during batting practice. Over his shoulder, Bacon proudly displayed the championship belt formerly owned by Mallards pitcher Luke Shilling.

Bacon is also one of the team’s better players of popular smartphone app Pokémon GO:

 

 

Jarrett isn’t as much of a fan, shaking his head when asked his thoughts on the newest smartphone craze.

“Personally, I haven’t gotten into it, but there are definitely a lot of guys on the team that are into it. On the bus rides and whenever we’re going on the road, getting off the bus, they’re walking around trying to find stuff. Even around [Warner Park] they’re just walking around the park doing it. It’s pretty crazy how it’s just blown up in a short period of time.”