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7 Rangers named to All-Star team

By Ben Walker

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, July 1 2012 11:15 p.m. MDT

NEW YORK — Josh Hamilton is set to lead a Texas parade to the All-Star game. Now, fans will decide if Chipper Jones gets one final appearance or whether it's time for teen sensation Bryce Harper.

Hamilton drew a record total of more than 11 million votes, and the slugger was among seven Rangers chosen Sunday as All-Stars. A trio of San Francisco Giants rallied in the last week to claim spots while three Yankees also made the starting lineup.

"I don't think the Texas Rangers have to apologize because we've got good players," AL manager Ron Washington of Texas said. "I certainly didn't pick my guys being selfish, I picked them very deserving of being All-Stars, bottom line."

Washington fastballer Stephen Strasburg and Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey were two of the 66 players chosen by fans, managers and big leaguers for the showcase July 10 in Kansas City. So was 20-year-old Angels rookie outfielder Mike Trout, who leads the AL in hitting at .339 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 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.

"This being my last year, it would be fun to go. I'd love to take my kids," Jones said.

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.

"I'm surprised I made it," said Sandoval, popular for his "Kung Fu Panda" persona. "He's been having a great year but the fans gave me the votes. I can't thank them enough."

Wright was diplomatic about the result.

"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, back from a devastating injury last season, was the NL's top vote-getter and beat out Philadelphia's Carlos Ruiz, the league's leading hitter. Wright and Ruiz made the NL team as reserves.

"This is hard to wrap my head around," Posey said. "I watched all the All-Star games and home run derbies when I was a kid. It's surreal I get to play in one and get to watch the home run derby."

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. A postseason star last year, Napoli has started only about half the time at that spot this year, but still easily outdistanced Minnesota's Joe Mauer.

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. Injured New York pitcher CC Sabathia was picked, too, and will attend the festivities but not play.

Prince Fielder of Detroit will start at first base. He was the MVP of last year's All-Star game while playing in the NL for Milwaukee.

Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp edged Milwaukee's Ryan Braun by 100,000 votes for the third spot in the NL outfield. Kemp, beaten out by Braun for the NL MVP award last year, is on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring and looks doubtful to play.

Braun leads the NL in home runs. He was the league's top vote-getter last year, but may have been hurt by drug allegations.

Braun or perhaps Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen could wind up starting in Kemp's place.

"I've always been a person that wanted something because I earned it and that's what people wanted," McCutchen said. "It would be awesome to get that but for me I'd still be feeling like I took someone else's place because someone got hurt."

Dickey, at 37, made his first All-Star team. He leads the majors with 12 wins and could become just the second knuckleballer to start an All-Star game. Dutch Leonard did it in 1943, STATS LLC said.

"It's an honor for every person who's ever helped me along the way and every fan that believed that special things could happen if you apply yourself," Dickey said. "So it's a need to be able to celebrate that with a network of people.

Strasburg is 9-3 with a 2.81 ERA and tops the majors in strikeouts for the NL East-leading Nationals. Last season at this time, he was working his way back to the big leagues while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

"It's going to be a tremendous experience, and it's a huge honor for me. It's amazing to think where I was a year ago, so it's great to see all the hard work has paid off, but it's not done," he said in Atlanta. "It's only the halfway point of the year. We've still got a long ways to go."

The fans, players and managers combined to pick 14 first-time All-Stars in the NL, including somersaulting Cincinnati reliever Aroldis Chapman and San Diego closer Huston Street.

"No way. Really?" Street said.

2012 MLB All-Star

Game rosters

July 10 at Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City

(x-starter; y-injured, will not play)

American League

Pitchers

Ryan Cook, rh, Oakland

Matt Harrison, lh, Texas

Felix Hernandez, rh, Seattle

Jim Johnson, rh, Baltimore

Joe Nathan, rh, Texas

Chris Perez, rh, Cleveland

David Price, lh, Tampa Bay

Fernando, Rodney, rh, Tampa Bay

y-CC Sabathia, lh, N.Y. Yankees

Chris Sale, lh, Chicago White Sox

Justin Verlander, rh, Detroit

Jered Weaver, rh, L.A. Angels

C.J. Wilson, lh, L.A. Angels

Catchers

Joe Mauer, Minnesota

x-Mike Napoli, Texas

Matt Wieters, Baltimore

Infielders

Elvis Andrus, Texas

x-Adrian Beltre, Texas

Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland

Miguel Cabrera, Detroit

x-Robinson Cano, N.Y. Yankees

x-Prince Fielder, Detroit

x-Derek Jeter, New York

Ian Kinsley, Texas

Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox

Outfielders

x-Jose Bautista, Toronto

x-Curtis Granderson, New York

x-Josh Hamilton, Texas

Adam Jones, Baltimore

Mike Trout, L.A. Angels

Mark Trumbo, L.A. Angels

Designated Hitters

Billy Butler, Kansas City

Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox

x-David Ortiz, Boston

National League

Pitchers

Matt Cain, rh, San Francisco

Aroldis Chapman, lh, Cincinnati

R.A. Dickey, rh, N.Y. Mets

Gio Gonzalez, lh, Washington

Cole Hamels, lh, Philadelphia

Joel Hanrahan, rh, Pittsburgh

Clayton Kershaw, lh. L.A. Dodgers

Craig Kimbrel, rh, Atlanta

Lance Lynn, rh, St. Louis

Wade Miley, lh, Arizona

Jonathan Papelbon, rh, Philadelphia

Stephen Strasburg, rh, Washington

Houston Street, rh, San Diego

Catchers

Yadier Molina, St. Louis

x-Buster Posey, San Francisco

Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia

Infielders

Jose Altuve, Houston

Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs

Ian Desmond, Washington

x-Rafael Furcal, St. Louis

Bryan LaHair, Chicago

x-Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco

x-Dan Uggla, Atlanta

x-Joey Votto, Cincinnati

David Wright, N.Y. Mets

Outfielders

x-Carlos Beltran, St. Louis

Ryan Braun, Milwaukee

Jay Bruce, Cincinnati

x-Melky Cabrera, San Francisco

Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado

x-Matt Kemp, Los Angeles

Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh

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