Monday, December 9, 2013
From news service reports
NEW YORK - Remember the days when the Red Sox duked it out with the Yankees for the most spots on the AL All-Star roster?
WHEN: 8 p.m. July 10
WHERE: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City
For the first time since 2001, the Sox have only one player voted into the All-Star Game. As expected, David Ortiz was voted via fan balloting as the American League's starting designated hitter. It marks the eighth time he has been picked to play in the midseason showcase.
But he won't have company July 10 in Kansas City unless one of his teammates is chosen as an injury replacement.
"This is my first time going to the All-Star Game by myself. Hopefully it doesn't turn out boring," said Ortiz.
"I always like to hang out with my boys. Now I'm going to carry a lot of stuff coming back from the All-Star Game. When we go as a group, everybody gets a piece of it. Now I've got to carry all the stuff. Another challenge for Papi."
Ortiz has carried the Red Sox for most of the season. He's batting over .300 and is one home run shy of reaching 400 for his career.
"I'm happy that we have David," Manager Bobby Valentine said. "He's played like an All-Star. He got selected to that team. It's fitting. Maybe it's fitting he's the only All-Star because he's played so consistently well the entire time that he could get the notice, get the spotlight."
Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a chance to make the All-Star team, but he was bypassed in voting by players and AL All-Star Manager Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers.
Texas catcher Mike Napoli was voted to start in the fan balloting, while Baltimore's Matt Wieters and Minnesota's Joe Mauer were named as reserves.
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia's chances of making the All-Star team were sabotaged by a right thumb injury that dropped him in a deep slump.
Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, the runner-up in the AL MVP voting last season, hasn't played since April 13 because of a partially dislocated right shoulder.
Unlike past seasons, Ortiz won't compete in the All-Star Home Run Derby. He declined the invitation, citing a desire to rest his body on the night before the All-Star Game.
Meanwhile, Josh Hamilton is set to lead a Texas parade to the All-Star Game.
Now, fans will decide if Chipper Jones gets one final appearance or whether it's time for teen sensation Bryce Harper.
Hamilton drew a record total of more than 11 million votes, and the slugger was among seven Rangers chosen Sunday as All-Stars.
A trio of San Francisco Giants rallied in the last week to claim spots while three Yankees also made the starting lineup.
Washington fastballer Stephen Strasburg and Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey were two of the 66 players chosen by fans, managers and big leaguers for the showcase July 10 in Kansas City.
So was 20-year-old Angels rookie outfielder Mike Trout, who leads the AL in hitting at .339 and drew more than 800,000 write-in votes.
There certainly will be campaigning this week when it comes to Jones and Harper after they were left off -- for now, anyway.
The NL and AL each have one spot left, with fans voting online through Thursday to select one of five candidates in both leagues. Jones and Harper are two of the NL possibilities.
Giants catcher Buster Posey, back from a devastating injury last season, was the NL's top vote-getter and beat out Philadelphia's Carlos Ruiz, the league's leading hitter. Wright and Ruiz made the NL team as reserves.
Posey, Sandoval and San Francisco outfielder Melky Cabrera overcame late deficits to win starting spots. Giants ace Matt Cain, who pitched a perfect game in June, made the NL pitching staff.
Texas will have a team-record three starters.
Hamilton, who hit four homers in a game earlier this season and leads the majors in RBIs, will be in the outfield with Adrian Beltre at third base and Mike Napoli at catcher.
A postseason star last year, Napoli has started only about half the time at that spot this year, but still easily outdistanced Minnesota's Joe Mauer.
Second baseman Ian Kinsler, shortstop Elvis Andrus, starter Matt Harrison and reliever Joe Nathan also made the AL roster from Texas.
Derek Jeter became a 13-time All-Star shortstop and will start for the AL with Yankees teammates Robinson Cano at second base and Curtis Granderson in the outfield. Injured New York pitcher CC Sabathia was picked, too, and will attend the festivities but not play.