I’m sitting around at home waiting for Esther Gin to get home from Derby practice so we can go for a sushi date before I go into work. I’ve been toying with a post about the new All Stars added to the team. I really like the excitement of all those who get added as guys who already received the honor get nicked up and can’t play in the game. Today, Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia announced that he would not attend, therefore freeing up a roster spot. Dustin is going to go home and be with his wife for the birth of their child, so hats off to him for that. AL manager Joe Maddon had a number of quality replacements available. I thought that the easy choice would be Ian Kinsler of the Rangers, who plays the same position as Pedroia, but he went the direction that NL manager Charlie Manuel went. Manuel picked his own player, outfielder Jayson Werth to replace the injured Carlos Beltran. This made Werth the 3rd Phillies outfielder on the team. This had happened before, back in 1972 when Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Al Oliver all made the squad for the NL. Its odd to me to compare Werth and Victorino to Clemente and Stargell, but whatever…
Aside from Kinsler, some other potential picks included Angels outfielder Juan Rivera, his teammate Chone Figgins, Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera, Mariners surprise slugger Russ Branyon, Blue Jays Scott Rolen and Adam Lind as well as Tampa Rays like Jeff Nieman, BJ Upton, JP Howell and Carlos Pena. Maddon picked his Gold Glove first baseman to fill the spot. Pena is leading the American League with 24 home runs, he is tenth in RBIs and among the league lead in runs, walks and slugging percentage. The Rays PR department had a big push for Carlos Pena with their “Vote For Los” campaign with all Trop employees wearing shirts with that message. He joins Texas slugger Nelson Cruz, who has had a Pena like career so far, who was added to the team earlier this week. Carlos Pena will participate in the home run contest. I wonder if that was one of the factors in his selection. The National League team added a few non-Phillies as well. All Time saves king and current Milwaukee Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman will make his 7th All Star trip and Pirates hard luck ace Zach Duke and his 8-8 record were also added.
The Rays are battling the Athletics at Tropicana Field as we speak (er type) and they are still tied up at zero in the 2nd. The first inning ended with Ben Zobrist, making the start in right field today, gunning down a runner at the plate on a perfect throw after Matt Holliday flied out deep for what looked like a sacrifice fly.
Congrats to Carlos Pena and all the All Stars. I can’t wait to hear who will be added in the coming days.