Friday, July 1, 2011
Updated: July 2, 4:03 PM ET
David Ortiz mum on HR Derby picks
By Steven Krasner
Special to ESPNBoston.com
HOUSTON -- Boston Red Sox DH David Ortiz has been given the task of choosing the American League contingent for the Home Run Derby during All-Star Weekend in Arizona.
Ortiz, though, was not spilling the beans Friday as to whom he might select for the July 11 contest at Chase Field in Phoenix. The truth is, he doesn't know yet, and doesn't have to pick a team until later next week, after the All-Stars have been announced Sunday.
But he does have one candidate in mind, and he happens to wear No. 34 and play for the Red Sox.
"I'll be in it, of course," said Ortiz with a big smile before Friday night's 7-5 win in Houston.
Ortiz will be asking AL home-run hitters to beat a squad of sluggers selected by Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder. Ortiz (2010) and Fielder (2009) were tabbed by MLB to pick the teams because they are the last two players to win the contest. Ortiz and Fielder will each pick three teammates and the leagues will compete against each other in this year's event.
Ortiz has been tweeting to ask for input from the fans, he said. He also will be sending text messages and calls to players he would like to represent the AL.
Will he ask Sox teammate Adrian Gonzalez to participate?
"We'll see. I'm thinking about it. I have three guys in mind. I have to talk to them. I'll let you guys know later," Ortiz told the media.
How about the Toronto Blue Jays star Jose Bautista, who is tied for the league lead in homers after bashing 54 last year?
"That's a good pick. I'll think about it," said Ortiz.
Steven Krasner is a regular contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.