SEATTLE -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia had left little doubt that he was hoping to be chosen to the American League All-Star team, so when he failed to make it Sunday, there was some obvious disappointment.
"It's tough,'' acknowledged Saltalamacchia. "I definitely wanted to make it. I felt like I deserved it. But at the same time, A.J. (Pierzynski of the Chicago White Sox, who wasn't chosen) deserved it as well. You look at that and see that and it's tough, you know. But it's not the end of the world.
"We've still got a lot of the season left. (I'll have) four days of relaxation and then hit it hard in Tampa (where the Red Sox resume the second half of the season).''
Mike Napoli of the Texas Rangers was voted as the American League starter behind the plate while Joe Mauer and Matt Wieters were chosen as extras.
Saltalmacchia leads all major league catchers in homers (15) and leads American League catchers in slugging and extra-base hits. For him, just to have the numbers for consideration is gratifying.
"I think the biggest honor for me is the fact that my teammates are walking around telling me, 'Hey, man, you should have made it,' '' said Saltalamacchia. "That means more to me than anything because those are guys who see what I go through on a day-to-day basis and go to war with every day.''
Saltalamacchia said he won't treat missing out on the team as extra motivation to prove people wrong, since he believes that can be counter-productive.
"I've been there, done that with my time in Texas,'' he said. "I'm over all of that. I think I'm going to try to keep the same approach I had in the first half and I think I'm going to be alright.''
Going to the All-Star game would have been nice, but the success he's enjoyed in the first half is its own reward.
"Where I was at three years ago and where I'm at now,'' he said, "it's a complete turnaround. I'm happy and I'm proud of myself. Like I said, it means more to me that my teammates recognize what I do, rather than fans or other teams. They don't see what I go through and what we all go through together.''
"I hope he's not disappointed; I hope he's proud of the way he's played,'' said Bobby Valentine. "I hope he's ready to build on it. He's played like an All-Star. That you don't get selected is just a number's game. He's taken a step in this first half and I hope he can continue to improve on that.''