Sunday, July 3, 2011
Rangers sending 4 to All-Star Game
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, designated hitter Michael Young, third baseman Adrian Beltre and pitcher C.J. Wilson were selected to the American League squad for the 2011 All-Star Game in Phoenix on July 12.
The team will be managed by Rangers skipper Ron Washington, who selected Wilson as one of his manager's picks on Sunday. The fans chose Hamilton as a starter for the fourth consecutive year and Beltre and Young were voted on by the players at their respective positions.
"C.J. is very deserving," Washington said. "There weren't a whole lot of choices on left-handed relievers. C.J. had the experience of doing that. He's deserving, as far as I'm concerned, of being on the All-Star team, so I chose him."
It's Wilson's first All-Star selection after making the transition from reliever to starter prior to the 2010 season. He entered Sunday's start against Florida 8-3 with a 3.14 ERA with 100 strikeouts in 17 starts. Wilson said on Twitter that he was "stoked" to get the call from Washington on Sunday morning.
"I can already feel the huge west coast posse forming for the All-Star Game," Wilson said via Twitter. "Thanks to everyone."
Hamilton managed to fight off a late surge from Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury, who finished just 36,727 votes behind him for the final starting spot in the outfield. Ellsbury made the team as a reserve. Had Hamilton lost to Ellsbury, he would have still made the All-Star team via player vote.
The 2010 AL MVP missed six weeks with a hairline fracture in a bone in his upper arm, but entered Sunday hitting .301 with 10 homers and 40 RBIs in 46 games so far this season. The four All-Star starts for Hamilton are second-most ever by a Ranger behind catcher Pudge Rodriguez's nine (1992-2001).
"Yes, he's missed the first month of season games, but he's back rolling and he's certainly playing like an MVP," Washington said.
Young was selected to his seventh All-Star team after batting .313 with seven homers and 54 RBIs. He was the MVP of the game in 2006 thanks to a game-winning, two-run triple in the ninth in Pittsburgh. Young is also the only player with two game-winning hits in an All-Star Game. He had a walk-off sacrifice fly in the 15th inning of the 2008 game at Yankee Stadium after playing the final 10 innings at shortstop.
Young is 4-for-12 with a double, triple and 3 RBIs in five previous All-Star appearances (he did not play in 2007).
"Michael can handle every position on the infield," Washington said. "That gives me versatility right there. That's exactly what he's done for the Texas Rangers so far this year. He's handled many positions and it hasn't affected the style of play that Michael goes out there and plays with."
Beltre, signed to a five-year deal with an option for a sixth by the Rangers this offseason, is heading to his second All-Star Game. He actually won the player voting for third base, beating out Alex Rodriguez, who was voted a starter by the fans. Beltre entered Sunday batting .265 with 14 homers and leads all AL third basemen with 61 RBIs.
"He's been a staple at third base for us," Washington said. "He's certainly one of the reasons why we're right where we are at this point in the season. He deserved to be an All-Star and I think the fans and the players understood that."
This is Washington's first All-Star Game as the manager of the AL club. The six members of his coaching staff will also go to Arizona: Dave Anderson, Scott Coolbaugh, Andy Hawkins, Mike Maddux, Jackie Moore and Gary Pettis. Bullpen catcher Jose Frasier is also headed to the game.
Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com.