Ortiz selects players for Home Run Derby team

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Ortiz selects players for Home Run Derby team

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox InsiderFollow @sean_mcadam
HOUSTON -- David Ortiz stayed close to home in selecting his American League Home Run Derby team, stacking the squad with a teammate and at least one other player from an A.L. rival

Ortiz got commitments from teammate Adrian Gonzalez and Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista and was waiting to hear from New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira.

Teixeira wasn't selected for the All-Star game, though that wouldn't preclude him from taking part.

Under a new format devised by Major League Baseball, Ortiz was named captain of the A.L. squad by virtue of having won the derby at the 2010 game in Anaheim. The N.L. team is headed by Milwaukee's Prince Fielder, who won the derby in 2009.

Bautista led all of baseball in 2010 with 54 homers and went into Sunday with 26 homers this year, the most in either league.

Teixeira was second with 25 homers. Gonzalez had 16 while Ortiz himself had 17.

"It's going to be fun,'' said Gonzalez, who took part in 2009, but hit just two homers. "Hopefully, I can do better the second-time around. But I'm going to enjoy it just like I did the first time and try my best.''

Some players have declined to take part in the past, claiming that the event can negatively impact their swings for weeks after the break.

"There's always times in BP that I try to hit home runs anyway,'' shrugged Gonzalez. ''Hitting home runs in BP is just part of being a ballplayer. I can see why people say it affects their swing but I don't see it affecting my swing.''

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

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