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Garciaparra nips Jeter in last week for All-Star start
Posted: Wednesday July 07, 1999 11:35 PM
NEW YORK (AP) -- Nomar Garciaparra, backed by Boston's high-tech campaigning, was elected to the All-Star Game on Monday. Four Cleveland Indians benefited from more traditional methods to gain their starting spots.
"I'm probably as shocked as you guys," Garciaparra said. "It's an honor. It's nice when it's at home."
Paul Beeston, baseball's chief operating officer, said last Thursday none of the Internet votes had been counted until the last week. Fans were allowed to vote 22 times on the Internet -- the average number of home games for each team during the balloting.
Garciaparra apparently benefited from Boston's aggressive campaigning on-line. Garciaparra, who trailed Jeter by 30,655 votes last week, finished with 1,089,974. Jeter was second with 1,069,528 and Vizquel was third with 1,038,362.
"The fans are going to vote for who they want to see," Jeter said. "I don't think you can go wrong with a number of shortstops in our league."
Thome (1,364,692) will be at first base, Alomar (2,793,891) at second. Lofton (1,676,595) and Ramirez (1,898,430) join leading vote-getter Ken Griffey Jr. of Seattle in the outfield.
"I want to go out there and have some fun, enjoy a little time off," Lofton said. "It's a mental break from the action of the season."
Griffey is the leading All-Star vote-getter for the fourth straight year and seventh time overall. Elected to start for the 10th consecutive time, he got 2,918,055 votes.
"I've come full circle," said Canseco, who made the team for the first time since 1992. "I went from being the best baseball player in the world, hands down by far at one point, to more or less almost an outcast."
Six of the nine starters also started last year's game. Ramirez took the place of Texas' Juan Gonzalez, who said he won't play this year because he is not starting, and Garciaparra made it ahead of Seattle's Alex Rodriguez. There was no DH last season.
Ripken will make his 17th consecutive All-Star appearance and 16th straight start. Ripken, who led balloting in 1992 and '95, ties Rod Carew as the only players elected to start 15 times -- in 1988 Alan Trammell was elected but got hurt and Ripken started in his place.
"There was a lot of uncertainty at the start of the year, with my father passing away and a major injury," Ripken said. "I was able to heal up physically, and it looks like I was able to heal up mentally."
Rodriguez will make his eighth straight All-Star appearance and Alomar was elected for the eighth time.
Shortstop was the most competitive position, with the three teams actively campaigning. Yankees manager Joe Torre argued Jeter's case through the media, the Red Sox stumped for Garciaparra on the Internet and the Indians flashed nightly scoreboard messages at Jacobs Field urging fans to push Vizquel over the top.
In the end, it was the modern technique, and Garciaparra's performance, that won out. Garciaparra is hitting .366, with 14 homers and 57 RBIs.
Entering Monday, Jeter was second in the AL with a .377 average and has 14 homers and 58 RBIs. Vizquel is batting .336 average with two homers, 35 RBIs and 17 stolen bases.
"Who's to say who should start," Garciaparra said. "When I look at Derek, looking at what he's doing this year, it's unbelievable. If you ask me, I believe he deserves to start."
The Yankees will have no starters for the second straight year. Torre will manage the AL team.
"It's just that different cities do different things," Torre said. "I think they do more politicking and lobbying in other ballparks."
Griffey gets $100,000 bonus for getting elected and having the most AL votes, and will get an additional $25,000 if he's the major league leader. Ripken also gets a $100,000 bonus.
Alomar, Garciaparra, Canseco, Lofton, Ramirez, Rodriguez and Thome each get $50,000.NL starters will be released Tuesday and reserves for both leagues will be announced Wednesday.
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