Torre picks four Yanks; Bochy chooses 16 first-timers
Posted: Thursday July 08, 1999 03:07 PM
NEW YORK (AP) -- This year's All-Star Game will have a decidedly new look.
Twenty-three players will make their All-Star debuts next Tuesday, many taking the place of familiar names who have been slowed by injuries and ineffectiveness.
AL manager Joe Torre and NL manager Bruce Bochy picked their pitchers and reserves Wednesday, with Torre selecting four of his Yankees and seven newcomers.
Bochy will bring Padres pitchers Andy Ashby and Trevor Hoffman with him to Fenway Park, along with 16 players who are used to getting three days off midway through the season.
Roger Clemens, Mo Vaughn, Alex Rodriguez, Greg Maddux, Barry Bonds and Kevin Brown will have a rare break before starting the second half. Bonds has been an All-Star seven straight years and Maddux has for the last five.
"Every year, you're going to have one or two deserving guys out, and that's unfortunate," said Rodriguez, who was beaten out by New York's Derek Jeter and Cleveland's Omar Vizquel for the backup shortstop spots. "I'm going to take those three days and rest my knee."
Three of the eight players who signed contracts worth more than $40 million this offseason -- Vaughn, Brown and Albert Belle -- won't be making the trip to Boston.
In their place are a bunch of newcomers, like Baltimore's B.J. Surhoff, whose 855 RBIs in 13 seasons were the most by an active player not to make an All-Star team.
"I had a couple of opportunities before, but they didn't work out," Surhoff said.
Or Texas middle reliever Jeff Zimmerman, who sent faxes to all 30 teams two winters ago just for the chance to try out. The Rangers were the only team to bite and Zimmerman has made the risk pay off, going 8-0 with an 0.89 ERA as a rare All-Star middle reliever.
"His numbers are so great that it's really hard to ignore what he's done," Torre said.
Zimmerman is joined by three teammates, first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, closer John Wetteland and starting catcher Ivan Rodriguez. A fifth Ranger, Juan Gonzalez, said he wouldn't play if he wasn't a starter and the AL honored his request.
The Indians, who lead the majors in wins, led both leagues with six All-Stars. Vizquel and right-hander Charles Nagy joined four starters: first baseman Jim Thome, second baseman Roberto Alomar and outfielders Kenny Lofton and Manny Ramirez.
Nagy replaced Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who turned down his bid to tend to personal business at home in Panama.
The World Series champion Yankees, snubbed by the voters for the second straight year, still have Jeter, outfielder Bernie Williams and pitcher David Cone.
The second-year Diamondbacks also have four All-Stars, followed by Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia and San Diego with three each. The Padres' Tony Gwynn was elected by the fans but will miss the game with a calf injury.
Neither Clemens nor Vaughn, two prominent former Red Sox who left Boston as free agents, were selected. The Red Sox should have two starters, shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, the fan's choice, and Pedro Martinez (15-2, 2.02 ERA), the likely starting pitcher. Second baseman Jose Offerman was selected as a reserve.
"I was surprised," Offerman said. "It's a nice feeling, especially with it in Boston."
More than half of the 30-man NL squad will make its All-Star debut next week, with 16 players suiting up for the first time.
Six of the 11 pitchers are All-Star rookies: St. Louis' Kent Bottenfield, Philadelphia's Paul Byrd, Atlanta's Kevin Millwood and Houston's Jose Lima, Mike Hampton and Billy Wagner.
"It's every kid's dream who grows up playing baseball to be an All-Star and certainly, I was one of those kids," said Bottenfield, who leads the NL with 13 wins.
Arizona's Randy Johnson and Philadelphia's Curt Schilling were also picked for the NL staff. San Francisco's Robb Nen was selected but will miss the game with a callous on his right thumb.
Bochy said he will pick another reliever, with Los Angeles' Jeff Shaw, the Mets' Armando Benitez and Cincinnati's Scott Williamson as possibilities.
The rest of the NL reserves are catchers Mike Lieberthal of Philadelphia and catcher Dave Nilsson of Milwaukee; infielders Jeff Bagwell of Houston, Sean Casey of Cincinnati, Alex Gonzalez of Florida, Jeff Kent of San Francisco and Ed Sprague of Pittsburgh; and outfielders Jeromy Burnitz of Milwaukee, Luis Gonzalez of Arizona, Brian Jordan of Atlanta and Gary Sheffield of Los Angeles.
Of the reserves, only Sheffield and Bagwell have been All-Stars before.
The other AL reserves are Detroit catcher Brad Ausmus; infielders Ron Coomer of Minnesota, Tony Fernandez of Toronto, and John Jaha of Oakland; and outfielders Shawn Green of Toronto and Magglio Ordonez of the White Sox.
The rest of the pitchers are Kansas City's Jose Rosado, Tampa Bay's Roberto Hernandez, Baltimore's Mike Mussina and Anaheim's Troy Percival.
The other AL starters are Seattle outfielder Ken Griffey Jr., Tampa Bay DH Jose Canseco, and Baltimore third baseman Cal Ripken Jr.St. Louis' Mark McGwire and the Cubs' Sammy Sosa headline the NL starters. The lineup also includes Arizona's Matt Williams at third and Jay Bell at second, New York catcher Mike Piazza, Cincinnati shortstop Barry Larkin and Colorado outfielder Larry Walker.
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