The American League All-Star team will have a Boston flavor.
07/06/2009 3:34 PM ET
Wakefield honored by All-Star selection
Red Sox pitcher gets first nod in 17th season
Six members of the Red Sox were named to the team. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia was selected as a starter along with left fielder Jason Bay. Infielder Kevin Youkilis, relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon and starting pitchers Josh Beckett and Tim Wakefield also made the roster. Wakefield, a 17-year veteran, will be making his first trip to the All-Star Game.
"The time he's put in this game and the sacrifices he's made to be able to wear the Red Sox uniform at the All-Star Game is a special thing," Papelbon told the Boston Globe about Wakefield. "Your first one is always special, you're always going to remember that one."
Wakefield received a standing ovation on Sunday when the Sox All-Stars were announced at Fenway Park. He acknowledged the cheering crowd with a wave.
"That was pretty cool," Wakefield said. "It was phenomenal. It just shows how much the fans really care, not just about me but our players here. For them to give me the kind of ovation they gave me, it makes me feel very welcomed here, and I've felt that way for a long time, because the fans have been behind me since I've been here. Like I've always said, they're our 26th man on the roster -- I owe a lot of my success to them.
Buehrle eager to cherish All-Star Game near home: Mark Buehrle, who grew up just outside of St. Louis and about 30 minutes from Busch Stadium, will be making his fourth All-Star Game appearance.
"It's a great honor," Buehrle, 8-2 with a 3.09 ERA for the White Sox, told the Chicago Tribune. "It will mean more once I'm retired and sitting at home and you see four-time All-Star instead of three-time All-Star. I think it will soak in more once I get there, being home, and tons of friends and family are going to be there. Just playing in Busch Stadium, it will all sink in more when I get there."
Franklin plans to thank Manuel for first All-Star selection: For the first time in his career, Ryan Franklin is an All-Star. The Cardinals relief pitcher was selected by NL manager Charlie Manuel, for whom Franklin played in 2006.
"That says a lot," Franklin, 2-0 with 20 saves in 21 chances and a 0.84 ERA, told MLB.com. "I can't wait to thank Charlie. We had a good relationship my little time I was in Philadelphia. I think he noticed that I've been having a good year. He's one of the main guys who got me started relieving. I signed with Philadelphia to be a starter, and he put me in the bullpen. I didn't like it much, but I thank him every time I see him for that."
Jones finds All-Star success in Baltimore: When Baltimore made a trade with Seattle before last season, they got in return George Sherrill, top prospect Chris Tillman and two more Minor League pitchers, as well as Adam Jones. After Sherrill made the All-Star team last season, the trade was looking good. Now, a year later, Jones is also an All-Star.
"Being over here in Baltimore is a dream come true," Jones told MLB.com. "I think it's the best thing that happened to me and my career. Coming to a franchise that was rebuilding and getting an opportunity to play every single day, that's all I ask."
Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said that Jones, who is batting .308 with 12 home runs and 46 RBIs, has made great strides in a short time.
"He's come a long way," Trembley said. "It's great for him, and I think it says a lot for the fact that other people in baseball have recognized the accomplishments for him. I spoke to [AL manager] Joe Maddon three different times in the last two days. He said it was a tough decision because there were a lot of players that were worthy of making the club. But he liked Jones, and I think it's a great choice. Adam will represent himself and the Orioles in a real positive way."
Howard ready for trip home to All-Star Game: St. Louis native Ryan Howard is one of four first basemen who have been selected to represent the NL in the All-Star Game next week at Busch Stadium.
"There's not many opportunities where you get to play in an All-Star Game in your hometown," Howard told MLB.com. "I think everybody is definitely excited and can't wait for it."
Pence joins Tejada on All-Star roster: Miguel Tejada and Hunter Pence of the Astros were selected to the NL All-Star team. Tejada will be making his sixth trip to the All-Star Game and second consecutive time with the Astros. Pence is heading to the Summer Classic for the first time.
"It's very exciting," Pence told MLB.com. "It's hard to believe, and I'm just honored."
Both players were selected to the team by the players' vote and were told ahead of Sunday's game against San Francisco. Both players then went out and hit solo home runs in Houston's 7-1 victory.
Braun maintains perfect All-Star record: Ryan Braun was selected to start in the outfield in the All-Star Game for the second consecutive season, joining Hall of Famer Robin Yount as the only Brewers players so honored. Braun will be joined by teammate Prince Fielder.
Together, Braun and Fielder, the Brewers' No. 3 and 4 hitters, have driven in 134 runs this season. No teammates have been more productive.
"It's a rewarding feeling, knowing that all the hard work, all the effort, everything I put into this game is being recognized by the fans," Braun, who was the top vote-getter among NL outfielders, told MLB.com. "By no means am I taking it for granted. It means a lot to me, and it's also special to share it with Prince. He's been such a help in my career, obviously providing unbelievable protection. It's special to go to an All-Star Game with him."
Hamilton, Young again will represent Rangers: Josh Hamilton and Rangers teammate Michael Young are happy to be on the road to St. Louis for the All-Star Game.
"It feels definitely an honor," Hamilton told MLB.com from Oklahoma City, where he was getting ready to play in a doubleheader for the RedHawks while on a rehab assignment. "I kind of have mixed feelings. I don't personally feel like I deserve to go, but the fans voted me in, so I'm really happy about that. It's an honor to go for a second straight year."
This is the second year in a row that Hamilton has been selected to start for the AL, becoming the first Rangers player to be selected to start in consecutive All-Star Games since Alex Rodriguez started three straight from 2001-03. Young, who was selected by the players' vote, is making his sixth straight trip to the All-Star Game. Entering Sunday, he was batting .314 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs.
Hawpe, Marquis give Rockies pair of All-Stars: Baseball fans may finally find out how good Brad Hawpe is after the outfielder was named to the NL All-Star team along with Rockies teammate Jason Marquis. Hawpe is hitting .331 with 56 RBIs and has been named a starter with Carlos Beltran unable to play.
"I try not to think about personal accolades, but this is special to be recognized as an elite player in the league," Hawpe told the Denver Post. "My goal has always been to be an All-Star caliber player on a elite team. This means more because we are winning."
"You have pride and want to be recognized," said Marquis. "It doesn't mean you're selfish. I am proud of this. You like to know that, when you work hard and do the right things, that it will pay off."
Bell, Gonzalez get attention of fellow players: Playing for a Padres team that is struggling to earn wins, players around the NL understand how good Heath Bell and Adrian Gonzalez have been this season. Both players were voted onto the NL All-Star team by their fellow players.
"I'm pretty much thrilled, excited," Bell told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "This is awesome."
Bell will be headed to his first All-Star Game. A full-time closer for the first time in his career this season, he leads the league in saves with 23 and is 3-1 with a 1.53 ERA. Gonzalez is making his second straight trip to the All-Star Game.
Tampa Bay All-Stars set franchise record: One year after sending three players to the All-Star game to set a club record, the Tampa Bay Rays broke that mark as Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford, Jason Bartlett and Ben Zobrist will head to St. Louis for the July 14 All-Star Game. Zobrist and Bartlett will be making their first All-Star appearance.
First baseman Carlos Pena could join them as he is one of five players on the online ballot for the final spot on the roster.
"I think it is all well deserved obviously," Rays manager Joe Maddon, who is also managing the AL squad, told the St. Petersburg Times. "I'm in agreement with all the people that were voted in and I felt, I'm looking at everybody else that was available or eligible, and I just felt that Zobrist's numbers stacked up really well. And you have to be careful; you want to be fair to everybody else, but then you cannot be unfair to your own group at the same time. I just looked at the whole thing and I felt Ben definitely belonged on the team also."
Haren, Upton land on NL roster: Not surprisingly, Dan Haren will be a member of the NL pitching staff in the All-Star Game. Joining him in St. Louis will be Arizona teammate Justin Upton. Haren leads the NL with a 2.19 ERA and leads the league in fewest hits per nine innings, fewest walks plus hits per inning pitched, and he had the best strikeouts-to-walks ratio.
"Haren shouldn't be punished for our team failures or struggles this year," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch told MLB.com. "He doesn't have the glossy win-loss record, but I don't know if there's been anybody that's been better than him this year in every aspect of pitching outside of wins and losses."
Haren is making the trip to the All-Star Game for the third time. This is Upton's first selection.
Teixeira thrilled to make All-Star team with Yankees: Three New York Yankees will be on the AL All-Star team after Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter were voted onto the starting lineup and Mariano Rivera was selected to the team.
"I'm so appreciative of the fans," Teixeira, who was an All-Star in 2005 as a member of the Texas Rangers, told MLB.com. "Since I've been here, I've said they were the best fans in the country. I want to thank all of the fans for going out there and voting. It just shows how passionate Yankees fans are."
Jeter, making his 10th trip to the All-Star game, led all American League players in votes with 4,851,889 ballots to earn his sixth start in the Midsummer Classic.
Rivera, who was named to the team thanks to the player balloting, recently earned his 500th career save and is making his 10th trip to the game.
Wright, Beltran head Mets foursome as All-Stars: David Wright and Carlos Beltran were selected by the fans to start for the NL in the All-Star Game. Mets teammates Johan Santana and Francisco Rodriguez also were selected to the squad.
"I love being in it. I wouldn't miss it," Wright told MLB.com about being named the starting third baseman. "And hopefully I'll enjoy the games before and after it, too."
Santana ranks among NL leaders in wins with nine and strikeouts with 107. Rodriguez, pitching in the NL this season for the first time, has 21 saves.
McCann equals Piazza's All-Star streak: Brian McCann will represent the Braves at the All-Star Game in St. Louis. McCann is an All-Star for the fourth year in a row, but it is the first time that he is the only Atlanta player at the game. McCann becomes the first catcher since Mike Piazza to make the All-Star team in each of his first four seasons.
"This is probably the happiest I've been as far as that goes, because I didn't know what was going on with my eye early in the season," McCann told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Found a solution and I was able to bounce back."
Since returning from the disabled list with new glasses, McCann is batting .329 with six home runs and 29 RBIs in 173 at-bats.
Zimmerman not in trouble at all: Ryan Zimmerman, owner of a 30-game hitting streak, didn't have the All-Star Game in mind when Nats manager Manny Acta called him into his office to give him the news that he'd been selected.
"I didn't even know, to tell you the truth, that they did the stuff today," Zimmerman told the Washington Post. "I thought I was in trouble when I went into his office."
"The kid has been recognized now, and I hope this is the start of a stretch of maybe 10, 15 years for him," Acta said of Zimmerman's first All-Star selection.
Sadowski thriving with some help from his mom: Ryan Sadowski, who is 2-0 for the Giants since being called up from Triple-A, took an interesting route to the Majors.
He played collegiately at Florida but rarely got into a game, throwing just 6 2/3 innings for the Gators. So Sadowski had his mom call each of the 30 MLB clubs asking for a tryout for her son.
"If you just do something a little out of the ordinary, it might grab someone's attention," Sadowski told the San Francisco Chronicle of the gambit with his mother.
"To be mentioned in this rotation is unbelievable," Sadowski said. "You've got three Cy Young winners, another guy [Matt Cain] that's pitching as well as anyone in the National League. And me."
Punto will take a guaranteed hit any time: Teammate Mike Redmond was guaranteeing hits with his bats, so Nick Punto borrowed one and, sure enough, got a couple knocks.
"Before the game started, he guaranteed me a base hit up the middle and jam shot to left, so it worked out," Punto told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "Guarantees are good. Any time you get a guarantee, that's pretty good."
Carpenter works his magic, ERA falls to 2.32: Chris Carpenter was once again on top of his game on Sunday, pitching seven innings while allowing just one run in the Cardinals' 10-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds. Now 6-3 with a 2.32 ERA, Carpenter was more than happy to see all those runs on his team's side.
"You've still got to go out and pitch," Carpenter told MLB.com. "You've got to go out and execute pitches. Because when you've got an offensive team like them, they can go out and put something together pretty quick if you lose your concentration. So you've got to go out and execute."
Nolasco hits personal best: Ricky Nolasco allowed just three hits over eight scoreless innings and fanned 12 in Florida's 5-0 win over Pittsburgh on Sunday. It was the fourth straight win for Nolasco since rejoining the team after a trip to the Minors.
"The slider today was really sharp," Nolasco told the Miami Herald. "Most of [the strikeouts] were on sliders swinging over the top of them. I was just trying to get ahead of guys, and, if I did get two strikes on them, I was going to go ahead and take that chance right there, and they were just swinging over the top of them."
-- Red Line Editorial