Not only is Barry Bonds going to the All-Star game in his home ballpark, he’ll be in the starting lineup.
The San Francisco Giants star overcame a 119,000-vote deficit in the final days of balloting and finished 123,000 ahead of the Chicago Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano on Sunday to claim the third and final starting outfield spot for the National League.
“I’m at a loss for words right now,” Bonds said. “It just means more ‘cause I’m at home. This is my town. This is my house. You can’t say enough about being at home. It’s great. This is the one I’ll remember all time. This is the one I’ll remember forever.”
The Boston Red Sox and defending A.L. champion Detroit Tigers led all teams with five players selected. Boston is sending first baseman David Ortiz, third baseman Mike Lowell, outfielder Manny Ramirez and pitchers Josh Beckett and Jonathan Papelbon.
The Red Sox could gain a sixth, with reliever Hideki Okajima among five players on the Internet ballot for the final A.L. spot.
Detroit had three players elected to start for the first time since 1983 (second baseman Placido Polanco, outfielder Magglio Ordonez and catcher Ivan Rodriguez). Justin Verlander was picked for the A.L. staff and shortstop Carlos Guillen is a reserve.The Mets (center fielder Carlos Beltran, shortstop Jose Reyes, closer Billy Wagner and third baseman David Wright) tied the Brewers (closer Francisco Cordero, first baseman Prince Fielder, shortstop J.J. Hardy and pitcher Ben Sheets) for the most players picked in the N.L.
Fans elected the starters, except for the pitchers, and a record 18.5 million votes were cast.
Alex Rodriguez, with 3.89 million votes, led fan voting for the first time.
Ken Griffey Jr. jumped past Carlos Beltran in the final days and topped the N.L. with 2.99 million votes.
Voting runs through Thursday on MLB.com for the final roster spot in each league. Competing with Okajima in the A.L. are pitchers Jeremy Bonderman of Detroit, the Angels’ Kelvim Escobar, Toronto’s Roy Halladay and Minnesota’s Pat Neshek. The N.L. five are pitchers Tom Gorzelanny of Pittsburgh, Houston’s Roy Oswalt, Arizona’s Brandon Webb, San Diego’s Chris Young and the Cubs’ Carlos Zambrano
Reds fire manager
Manager Jerry Narron was fired by the Cincinnati Reds, who raised their payroll and their expectations in the off-season only to find themselves with the worst record in the major leagues.
Narron was the second big league manager to be fired this season. Baltimore’s Sam Perlozzo lost his job on June 18 after the last-place Orioles couldn’t shake another losing streak.
The Reds have been far worse, setting a pace for their first 100-loss season since 1982.
Narron, a former Spokane Indian, was replaced by ex-Indian Pete Mackanin on an interim basis. Mackanin was an advance scout for the Reds.
Clearing the bases
Outfielder Milton Bradley was acquired by the San Diego Padres from Oakland for pitcher Andrew Brown on Friday and has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle. … The Toronto Blue Jays sent A.J. Burnett to the 15-day DL with a right shoulder strain. … The Detroit Tigers acquired right-hander Jose Capellan from the Milwaukee Brewers for minor league pitcher Chris Cody. … New York Mets starter Jorge Sosa was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a stiff back. … Pirates left-hander Zach Duke was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sore left elbow. … White Sox left fielder Scott Podsednik left the game against Kansas City with a strained left rib muscle. … The Texas Rangers purchased the contract of infielder Desi Relaford from Triple-A Oklahoma, optioned right-hander Scott Feldman to Oklahoma and designated left-hander John Koronka for assignment. … The Chicago Cubs placed right-hander Rocky Cherry on the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle. … The Florida Marlins optioned outfielder Brett Carroll to Triple-A Albuquerque.
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