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Martinez declines All-Star invite
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07/09/2004 12:53 AM ET
Martinez declines All-Star invite
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BOSTON -- Some would argue that Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez deserved to be an All-Star for the seventh time in his career. Though he was initially not selected when the team was announced on Sunday, it turns out he had a chance to go to Houston.

2004 All-Star Game

With A's right-hander Tim Hudson on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle, Martinez was invited to take the vacant spot.

However, Martinez politely declined the invitation.

"They told me today, it was just too late," said Martinez. "I would have loved to do it, but I had already made plans. I would have loved to go."

Martinez indicated after his victory Tuesday night that he was likely to spend the All-Star break resting in his native land, the Dominican Republic.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner is 9-3 with a 3.67 ERA. He is third in the American League with 112 strikeouts.

When Martinez decided not to take Hudson's spot, the honor went to Yankee starter Javier Vazquez.

American League All-Star manager Joe Torre instructed Major League Baseball to use the player balloting to determine which players should serve as replacements for those who couldn't go because of injury.

"Pedro was the next one on the list," said Torre. "And evidently, when he didn't make it initially, he made plans to do other things. By the time he was asked, he already had made plans for the break."

Martinez understood the fact he didn't make the original team.

"I've been there [six] times," Martinez said. "There's a lot of people to choose. A lot of people are having great years. To me, it's not a big deal."

Ian Browne is a reporter for Mark Feinsand of contributed to this report from New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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