07/14/09 6:34 PM ET
Injured finger sidelines Longoria
Rangers' Young to start; Angels' Figgins added to roster
By Mychael Urban / MLB.com
Voted in to start for the American League in the 80th All-Star Game, Longoria was removed from the roster and replaced by Chone Figgins of the Angels. Michael Young of the Rangers, selected as an All-Star reserve, will start in place of Longoria.
"Obviously, you don't want to come to an All-Star Game to sit on the bench and watch," Longoria said. "It's just unfortunate. ... It would be a disservice to [the AL team] to go out and try to play when I'm not up to full health.
"Obviously, priority [No. 1] is the Rays and being healthy for Friday's [regular-season] game."
Longoria, 23, batted .285 with 17 home runs and 66 RBIs before the All-Star break. He wasn't clear on how the finger became infected, but explained in detail the timeline that ultimately prompted Rays and AL All-Star manager Joe Maddon to replace him on the roster.
"My fingertip was sore for two days, but obviously I'm not going to go to the training staff and say, 'Hey, my fingertip is sore,'" Longoria said. "And then it just kind of progressed from there. I got a couple of swollen spots on my arm, which kind of alarmed me that something else was going on. And so I had it checked out, and just pumped the antibiotics in and let the infection go away.
"It was just one of those weird things that kind of came about. There was really nothing that I could have done to avoid it. There's really nothing that you can do other than just get the antibiotics and just let it run its course and let the tip on the end of my finger heal."
Though disappointed, Longoria made the most of his situation by taking part in the day's pregame festivities, including a red-carpet ride through the packed downtown streets leading to Busch Stadium.
"I'm not going to leave this team any earlier than normal," Longoria said. "I'll be here for the game and just be a cheerleader and do my part, I guess, on the bench. I am definitely enjoying being here."
Young, who had been voted onto the AL squad by the players, went into the break hitting .308, with 11 home runs and 37 RBIs. This is his sixth consecutive All-Star Game, but he will be starting for the first time.
"He has been a spectacular player for several years now, and he's been on the team as a third baseman," Maddon said.
Figgins, one of 30 first-time All-Stars this year, is batting .310 and leads the AL with 68 runs and is tied for the lead with seven triples.
"I like his versatility, the fact that he's played third base and can also play second base, all outfield positions, and he can run and hits from both sides of the plate," Maddon said. "When you are making decisions to augment your bench, I think you really are trying to get the kind of fit that helps you out in so many different ways at the end of the game."
The 80th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage.
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.