Torre: Manny shouldn't be '09 All-Star
From baseball aspect, suspended OF hasn't done enough
CHICAGO -- Dodgers manager Joe Torre said he doesn't think suspended outfielder Manny Ramirez should be an All-Star this year, even though fans have him fourth in voting at the position.
"No, I don't, and if you ask Manny, he'd give you the same answer," said Torre. "I understand a lot of it is a popularity contest and you want to give the manager the best players, but to me, the significance of the All-Star Game is to reward players who had a good first half.
"They don't always do that. But I always feel it's great to have young players [given] a chance to make the club. Look at [Evan] Longoria, and rightly so.
"Manny's popularity is why he's gotten votes. Realistically, he didn't have, except for reputation, a right to be an All-Star. It probably isn't the right thing for him this year, from the baseball aspect, I've got to think."
One day earlier, Dodgers chairman Frank McCourt offered a different view on whether he would want Ramirez to play in the All-Star Game.
"I'm sure it would be a great honor," McCourt said. "The fans will make up their own minds."
Ramirez, a 12-time All-Star, is serving a 50-game suspension for violating the Major League Baseball drug policy. His suspension is scheduled to end July 3, and he is eligible to play in the July 14 All-Star Game in St. Louis.
Torre, instead, threw his All-Star support to a pair of infielders who have contributed since Opening Day -- Casey Blake and Orlando Hudson -- and also named a pair of his pitchers.
"My third baseman and second baseman -- those two guys are standouts," Torre said. "[Jonathan] Broxton and [Chad] Billingsley, but with pitchers, they can't take them all."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.