Detroit Tigers slugger Prince Fielder will start in the All-Star Game later this month in Kansas City, Mo.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge
NEW YORK -- Detroit first baseman Prince Fielder was selected as the starting first baseman Sunday for the American League All-Star team in fan voting.
He'll have teammates Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera along for the ride for the July 10 game at Kansas City's Kaufmann Stadium.
A pair of Indians were also added to the team: Chris Perez, who has saved 23 games for the Tribe, and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who is hitting .300 with 11 home runs and 40 RBIs.
Verlander is the reigning AL MVP and has compiled an 8-5 record with a 2.69 ERA. Fielder, the Tigers' big free-agent addition in the offseason, has slugged 12 home runs and driven in 53 runs. Cabrera is hitting .314, while pounding out 16 home runs and 62 RBIs.
Josh Hamilton drew a record total of more than 11 million votes, and the slugger was among seven Rangers chosen. A trio of San Francisco Giants rallied in the last week to claim spots, while three Yankees also made the starting lineup.
Washington flamethrower Stephen Strasburg and Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey were two of the 66 players chosen by fans, managers. So was 20-year-old Angels rookie outfielder Mike Trout, who leads the majors in hitting and drew more than 800,000 write-in votes.
Few of the races for starting spots were close, and there seemed to be little complaining about the fans' choices. OK, sure, David Wright could've gotten the nod over Pablo Sandoval.
But there certainly will be campaigning this week when it comes to Chipper Jones and Harper after they were left off -- for now, anyway.
The NL and AL each have one spot left, with fans voting online through Thursday to select one of five candidates in both leagues. Jones and Harper are two of the NL possibilities.
At 40, Jones is a seven-time All-Star and plans to retire after this season. Banged up, the Atlanta third baseman has managed to hit near .300.
At 19, Harper started the season in Triple-A. The Washington outfielder has dazzled since his promotion with his bat, arm, and flat-out hustle.
"I'm an old-timer, so I'd probably lean toward Chipper," NL manager Tony La Russa said on the TBS selection show.
The league that wins the All-Star game gains home-field advantage in the World Series. The NL won last year, then St. Louis became the ninth straight home team to win Game 7 in the Series.
Sandoval was picked for the NL at third base despite missing a month with a broken hand and not matching the stats of Wright.
Wright was diplomatic.
"That's the way the system is. I understand how the system works, and I respect that system. Pablo's having a very good year. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed that I don't get a chance to start, but I'm going to do everything I can to help win that game," he said.
Giants catcher Buster Posey was the NL's top vote-getter and beat out Philadelphia's Carlos Ruiz, the league's leading hitter. Wright and Ruiz made the team as reserves.
Posey, Sandoval, and San Francisco outfielder Melky Cabrera overcame late deficits to win starting spots. Giants ace Matt Cain, who pitched a perfect game in June, made the NL pitching staff.
Texas will have a team-record three starters. Hamilton, who hit four homers in a game earlier this season and leads the majors in RBIs, will be in the outfield with Adrian Beltre at third base and Mike Napoli at catcher.
Second baseman Ian Kinsler, shortstop Elvis Andrus, starter Matt Harrison, and reliever Joe Nathan also made the AL roster from Texas. The two-time AL champions began the day with a major league-best 50 wins.
Derek Jeter became a 13-time All-Star shortstop and will start for the AL with Yankees teammates Robinson Cano at second base and Curtis Granderson in the outfield.
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.