ALL-STARS: Fan vot­ing led by Mauer, Pu­jols

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS -

Con­tin­ued from C1

Texas could get a fran­chise-record sixth player in the game if third base­man Michael Young wins the AL In­ter­net bal­lot­ing for the fi­nal spot. Young is up against Bos­ton’s Kevin Youk­ilis, Chicago’s Paul Kon­erko, New York’s Nick Swisher, and Min­nesota’s Del­mon Young.

The World Se­ries cham­pion New York Yan­kees and Bos­ton Red Sox have six All-Stars each for the July 13 game in Ana­heim, Calif.

Gold Glove cen­ter fielder Michael Bourn will rep­re­sent the Hous­ton Astros on the Na­tional League squad. Bourn leads the league in steals with 25.

The biggest snub on ei­ther side might have been Cincin­nati first base­man Joey Votto, who is top-five in ev­ery power cat­e­gory in the NL. Votto, who has 19 homers, 57 RBIs and a .572 slug­ging per­cent­age, is one of five NL In­ter­net can­di­dates to earn the last bid.

Rookie pitch­ing sen­sa­tion Stephen Stras­burg also will have to wait at least an­other sea­son be­fore he gets the nod. Stras­burg has barely pitched a month for Washington, com­pil­ing a 2-2 record, 2.45 ERA and a stun­ning 53 strike­outs in 362⁄ in­nings.

“He got quite a bit of con­sid­er­a­tion,” said NL man­ager Char­lie Manuel of Philadel­phia. “He is go­ing be an Al­lS­tar for a long time. What does he have, five starts? I just felt there are other guys who have started 18 to 20 games.”

Stras­burg’s com­pe­ti­tion was for­mi­da­ble. In the year of the pitcher, no-hit aces Ubaldo Jimenez and Roy Hal­la­day lead a spec­tac­u­lar NL staff. Jimenez is 14-1 with a 2.27 ERA and Hal­la­day 9-7 with a 2.42. Then there’s Josh John­son (83, 1.82) and Adam Wain­wright (12-5, 2.24).

AL MVP catcher Joe Mauer was the fans’ top choice. Al­bert Pu­jols earned the most votes in the Na­tional League.

In the clos­est vot­ing, the Mets’ David Wright over­took the Phillies’ Placido Polanco in the fi­nal week to win the NL start­ing third base­man spot.

Yan­kees man­ager Joe Gi­rardi made sev­eral dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions in fi­nal­iz­ing the AL squad. He left off Andy Pet­titte and took team­mate CC Sa­bathia, both 10-game win­ners, and se­lected slug­ger Alex Ro­driguez, who only has 12 homers but 61 RBIs.

Among the other play­ers hav­ing strong sea­sons who got left off are Kansas City’s David DeJe­sus (.325) and Billy But­ler (.320), Mets pitcher Mike Pel­frey (10-2) and San Diego pitcher Mat Latos (9-2).

One sur­pris­ing pick was St. Louis’ Matt Hol­l­i­day. In the first year of a seven-year, $120 mil­lion deal, Hol­l­i­day is bat­ting .209 with run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion and has 39 RBIs — fourth-best on the team.

“I think he has pressed to make that deal look good, but he’s shown a lot of tough­ness,” Car­di­nals man­ager Tony La Russa said.

Cincin­nati’s Arthur Rhodes made his first All-Star team at age 40. In his 19th sea­son, Rhodes has a 1.09 ERA in 37 ap­pear­ances.

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