Seattle's Ken Griffey Jr. isn't making any friends in Denver after announcing he won't participate in Monday's home run derby.
"He's got all kinds of excuses," local florist Mark Thomas told the Rocky Mountain News. "He's got 4 million votes, and he's not swinging the bat."San Francisco's Barry Bonds and Texas' Juan Gonzalez will also sit out of the slugfest.
NO MO: Boston's Mo Vaughn will sit out Tuesday's Midsummer Classic with a hamstring injury, while teammate, shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, who had his 24-game hitting streak snapped Saturday, wasn't voted in nor selected to the American League squad. A.L. manager Mike Hargrove took one of his own - Omar Vizquel.
TAKING CUTS: John Elway, Denver Bronco quarterback and former Stanford pitcher, will dust off his baseball skills for Monday's MCI All-Star Hitting Challenge. Elway will team up with Oakland's Ben Grieve, Rockies' Todd Helton and nine others, including three celebrities.
Current big leaguers Travis Lee (Arizona) and Magglio Ordonez (Chicago White Sox) and former all-stars George Brett, Andre Dawson, Dave Kingman and Robin Yount are on the team along with celebrities Kevin Costner, Jonathan Silverman and country music recording star Tim McGraw.
WHO'S ON THE HILL: N.L. Manager Jim Leyland and A.L. skipper Hargrove are yet to name the starters, but it appears that Atlanta's Greg Maddux will start for the National League, and the Yankees' David Wells for the American.
SENT WALKING: Former Salt Lake Buzz star Todd Walker, who is sixth in the league in hitting at .328, was edged by teammate Brad Radke as the Minnesota Twins' only representative on the All-Star team. Radke is currently 8-6, but his 2.77 ERA is second-best in the American League.
LATE ADDITIONS: Baltimore's Rafael Palmiero will replace Mo Vaughn, whille Cleveland's Manny Ramirez will replace New York's Bernie Williams.