Three Red Sox players selected to All-Star team

Three Red Sox players selected to All-Star team
July 6, 2013, 9:15 pm
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ANAHEIM -- A year after the Red Sox were represented by just one player at the All-Star Game, the team placed three of its representatives on the 2013 squad with the possibility of a fourth to be added later this week.

David Ortiz was voted by fans as the starting DH for the American League while pitcher Clay Buchholz and second baseman Dustin Pedroia were added thanks to player voting.

Additionally, reliever Koji Uehara will compete with four other relievers for the fans' Final Vote choice.

For Ortiz, who received over 6.2 million votes, the selection is the ninth of his career and marks the sixth time he has been chosen as a starter.

"It's always an honor with the fans picking you,'' said Ortiz.”It's good to be (a part of). Once the fans pick you, it's because they want to see you there.

"The All-Star Game is always good; it doesn't matter where it is. They always make it fun. You see people coming from everywhere just to watch us do our thing.''

The selection is particularly satisfying for Ortiz after missing most of the final two months of last season - and the first three weeks this year, too -- with an Achilles injury.

Ortiz is glad he'll be joined by at least two teammates -- if not three -- after being the lone Sox player chosen last year in Kansas City.

"Last year was a little crazy being by myself out there,'' he said with a chuckle.”Having a couple of Red Sox jerseys all the way around is always fun.''

Ortiz entered Saturday with a .321 average (fourth-best in the league), with a team-high 17 homers and 61 RBI. He's second in the league in OBP (.409), third in slugging (.615) and third in OPS (1.024).

His ninth selection ties him with Bobby Doerr for third in franchise history. Only Ted Williams (17 selections) and Carl Yastrzemski (18 times) have more.

After missing out on being selected the last two seasons, Pedroia will be making his fourth All-Star appearance. He was chosen in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Among major league second basemen, Pedroia entered Saturday's action first in runs scored and multi hit games. He's committed one error in 87 games and has a .997 fielding percentage.

"It's an honor,'' he said."There's a lot of great second basemen in the American League so it's pretty special. It means a lot. There's a lot of guys who are deserving every year, so it's pretty cool to be there and representing the American League. The game means something (for home field advantage) so we've got to go out there and win.''

The Yankees' Robinson Cano won the fan balloting. Cleveland's Jason Kipnis was also chosen.

"It's awesome,'' said Pedroia, "because we see them all. We play against them and kind of follow how they're doing, so it's a good competition. It's kind of friendly. With all the guys, you pull for them. It's pretty special.''

Buchholz, who is 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA in 12 starts, hasn't pitched in a month because of ongoing shoulder and neck injuries. He won't take part in the game, but he was gratified to be selected.

He was also selected in 2010, and like this season, missed that game because of injury.

"It's absolutely an honor to be named to it,'' said Buchholz."It seems like the last couple of years, June hasn't been a good month for me. But it's an honor to be part of it and to be around the guys who are the best in the league.

"I'm excited about it and wish I was healthy and able to pitch. But I'm going to try to get ready for the second half and help this team. But it will be exciting to be part of it and be around the guys who've been doing it for a long time. It's a fun and exciting time. There's a lot of great players who never get to be part of it. I'm fortunate that this will be No. 1 for me. It's an honor to named, but I wish I could be healthy and actually face the competition. But I'm going to have fun with it.''

Uehara is 2-0 with a 1.95 ERA with five saves. He'll need to beat out New York's David Robertson, Toronto's Steve Delabar, Tanner Scheppers of Texas and Detroit's Joaquin Benoit.

"I'm of course happy,'' said Uehara, "but it's not like I've already been chosen. When I get actually chosen, I'll probably explode with excitement.''

Now in his fifth season in Major League Baseball, Uehara was surprised to be included.

"I didn't think I'd be in position to even be chosen to be considered,'' he said, "so I don't know what to feel.''

Japanese players have often fared well in the Final Vote balloting with strong support for Hideki Okajima and Hideki Matsui in the past.

"In the past that has been the case,'' said Uehara. "But I'm not sure if that's going to be the case for me. I'm not popular.''

The honor caught him off guard, as he jokingly told reporters that he had already "booked some tee times'' for the break.

"I'm taking him with me no matter what,'' cracked Ortiz of the veteran reliever. "That's my boy.''

Ortiz joked that Uehara's habit of enthusiastically high-fiving teammates after a successful relief appearance might catch some of his A.L. teammates by surprise.

"He might get into a fight because he might slap somebody in the face,'' he said."He always comes in swinging all over the place. He got me once.''

Since the Final Vote spot was introduced in 2002, four Sox players have been part of the balloting: Johnny Damon (2002), Jason Varitek (2003), Okajima (2007) and Kevin Youkilis (2010).

All but Youkilis ended up winning the roster spot.