Archive for Monday, July 4, 2005

Volatile Rogers tapped All-Star

Game to feature 11 first-time starters

July 4, 2005


— Kenny Rogers soon might be surrounded by even more cameras.

He was selected Sunday for a new-look All-Star game that has 11 first-time starters and four from the World Series champion Boston Red Sox.

Rogers was picked for the AL All-Star team two days after the Texas pitcher was suspended for 20 games and fined $50,000 for an angry fit that sent a television cameraman to a hospital and prompted a police investigation.

Chicago Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee and Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts, who lead their leagues in batting average, were among 11 players elected to start for the first time, tying the record set in 1976, the commissioner's office said.

Among the perennial All-Stars missing this year because of injuries or substandard seasons are Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. Derek Jeter wasn't picked, but could be voted in as the final AL player through Internet balloting.

Boston became the first team with four starters since the 1976 Cincinnati Reds had five, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"I think it's great because last year there was nothing but Yankees in the clubhouse," Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz said, jokingly.

The NL champion Cardinals have six All-Stars, more than any other team and the most for St. Louis since 1959.

"There could be more All-Stars in this group," Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols said. "There's a lot of guys we left behind because there's no room."

Also elected by fans to start for the first time in the AL were Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, outfielder Johnny Damon and Ortiz; Texas first baseman Mark Teixeira; and Baltimore shortstop Miguel Tejada.

"Thank you very much for overlooking the hair," the long-locked Damon joked.

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was elected to his sixth straight start and eighth overall, and his 2.25 million-vote edge over Boston's Bill Mueller was the largest winning margin. Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez was elected to his seventh consecutive start. Rodriguez and Ramirez will be making their ninth appearances.

Rodriguez will be joined by only two of his Yankees teammates on the AL team, reliever Mariano Rivera and outfielder Gary Sheffield. The Yankees have not had as few as three All-Stars since 1996, but Jeter and Hideki Matsui are joined by Minnesota's Torii Hunter, Chicago's Scott Podsednik and Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford on the list for the final AL berth.

Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero also was elected to start the game, which for the third straight year will determine home-field advantage in the World Series.

All three NL outfielders were elected to start for the first time - Philadelphia's Bobby Abreu, the New York Mets' Carlos Beltran and St. Louis' Jim Edmonds - as was Cardinals shortstop David Eckstein.

Piazza was elected to his 11th start, surpassing Johnny Bench and Ivan Rodriguez for the most among catchers. It will be Piazza's 12th trip overall.

Dodgers second baseman Jeff Kent and St. Louis third baseman Scott Rolen also were chosen to start for the NL.

Lee, who leads the NL with a .383 average, overtook Pujols in the final week and won by 105,000 votes. Eckstein trailed the Dodgers' Cesar Izturis by 44,000 in totals released June 29 and won by 570,000.

Damon won the final AL outfield spot by 57,000 over Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki, who was 14,000 ahead of him in June 27 totals.

Ortiz had the most votes of any player, 4.14 million, and Lee topped NL players at 3.56 million.

Houston's Roger Clemens and the Mets' Pedro Martinez, who spent years squaring off as Yankees-Red Sox rivals, are teammates for only the second time. In 1998, each was a member of the AL team that won 13-8 at Colorado.

Also on the AL pitching staff are Chicago's Mark Buehrle and Jon Garland, Minnesota's Johan Santana and Joe Nathan, Toronto's Roy Halladay, Bartolo Colon of the Angels, Baltimore's B.J. Ryan, Cleveland's Bob Wickman, Tampa Bay's Danys Baez and Oakland's Justin Duchscherer.

The NL staff also includes Washington's Livan Hernandez and Chad Cordero, St. Louis' Chris Carpenter and Jason Isringhausen, Florida's Dontrelle Willis, San Diego's Jake Peavy, Atlanta's John Smoltz, Houston's Brad Lidge and Colorado's Brian Fuentes. The NL Internet vote includes five pitchers: Philadelphia's Billy Wagner and Brett Myers, San Diego's Trevor Hoffman, Houston's Roy Oswalt and Arizona's Brandon Webb.


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