07/04/10 6:00 PM ET
Inevitably, snubs part of All-Star process
Votto, D. Young, Bell could be elected as Final Vote candidates
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
"I think the toughest part is you know you are going to leave somebody off that is extremely deserving of going and they are going to be disappointed," said Joe Girardi, the Yankees and American League manager, after the selections were announced on Sunday."It's kind of like the NCAA [men's basketball] tournament pool: You have 64 teams, increase it to 128, and there still are going to be two teams that felt they are deserving of going. [In this case], there are players who [think they're] deserving of going who are not, and that is tough." This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are six players in each league who undoubtedly were at least statistically deserving of All-Star berths for the 2010 game, to be played on Tuesday, July 13, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim: Catcher Miguel Olivo, first baseman Joey Votto, outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and pitchers Mike Pelfrey, Mat Latos and Heath Bell in the National League. Over in the American League, outfielders Magglio Ordonez and Alex Rios, plus pitchers Andy Pettitte, Jered Weaver and Justin Verlander all have the bonafides to go. Gonzalez, Votto and Bell are among the five NL Final Vote candidates and still have a chance to be elected via MLB.com for the 34th roster slot on the team. Voting is ongoing until Thursday at 4 p.m. ET. The 81st Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and Le Reseau des Sports, and around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ET /5 p.m. PT. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
Everyone has their opinion and every team has some candidates who could have been selected.On the Dodgers, it's shortstop Rafael Furcal and left-handed reliever Hong-Chih Kuo. "I'm sure there are six to eight other guys worthy, too," said Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who has led the AL squad six times since 1997. "It would have been nice recognition. Having been in that spot, you can't put everybody on that should be on." On the Twins it's starter Carl Pavano, closer Jon Rauch and outfielder Delmon Young. The latter is among the five AL Final Vote candidates. "I think it has to do a lot with our team's success and making the playoffs so much in the last eight or nine years," said Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, who was elected to the AL team at his position by the fans. "You look at some guys here who deserve to go, like Pavano, Rauch, and hopefully Delmon ends up winning the vote and gets to go with us. I think it shows a lot to the team's success and how far we've come in that respect." Statistically there were certainly some omissions. Bell went into Sunday's game leading Major League Baseball with 23 saves. Verlander, Pettitte and Pelfrey each have 10 wins. "From our perspective, it's a little shocking," Padres manager Bud Black said. "I thought we had some guys who were pretty good bets to make it. I thought Heath was a pretty good bet."
Though Girardi selected one of his pitchers, CC Sabathia (10-3), the big left-hander is slated to start in Seattle next Sunday, a day before the break. A new rule states that anybody starting that day won't be allowed on the active All-Star roster, although he will be invited to take part in all the activities. Knowing that, Girardi may have figured he'll ultimately sub Sabathia with Pettitte (10-2, 2.82 ERA)."That is a move that will possibly be made at the end of the week, when one pitch is thrown on Sunday," Girardi said, with a smile.
The Mets' Pelfrey (10-2 with a 2.93 ERA) is slated to make his next start Saturday at home against the Braves. He seems well-adjusted to the reality that he might not be an All-Star."I think the biggest thing was I would have liked to have gone, sat there and watched the Home Run Derby with my kid," he said. "There are a lot of guys who are qualified. I'm not angry at all. It stinks that I didn't make it, but leading up to it, I thought it was going to be a tough decision, anyway." Olivo deserves to make the roster, though he will not. NL and Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is carrying two catchers -- Yadier Molina, who was elected by the fans, and Brian McCann, who was selected by the players. Though he doesn't have enough plate appearances, Olivo, would lead all Major League catchers with a .540 slugging percentage, a.905 OPS and five triples. He has 11 homers, 39 RBIs, and has thrown out 18-of-36 attempted basestealers. "Me and Carlos [Gonzalez] were talking just now, and I think to make the All-Star team you just need to be lucky, not have numbers," Olivo said. "The numbers were there, but the luck's not there. That's how we joked about it." Votto is batting .313 with 19 homers and 57 RBIs, but he ran flat up at his position against Albert Pujols, who was voted in by the fans, and Adrian Gonzalez, selected by the players. Manuel also tabbed his own first baseman, Ryan Howard, with one of his selections. "I'm very disappointed for Joey but he still has a shot. I urge everybody to go on the Internet and vote for Joey," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Joey probably has as much competition at that position as anybody he's competing against in name recognition. He probably has equal to better numbers. Everybody knows Albert is still Albert. Gonzalez is carrying his team offensively. There are some tremendous first basemen out there." Fans, having already decided the starters and final player on each team, once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevy via the 2010 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint on MLB.com during the All-Star Game.