Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Longoria, Bartlett, Crawford, Zobrist are Tampa Bay Rays All-Stars; Pena could be too

Tampa Bay Rays 3B Evan Longoria will be the American League starter, and teammates LF Carl Crawford, SS Jason Bartlett and INF/OF Ben Zobrist will join him for the July 14 All-Star Game in St. Louis.

1B Carlos Pena could join them as he is one of five players on the Internet ballot for the final spot on the roster, competing with Chone Figgins (Angels), Brandon Inge (Tigers), Ian Kinsler (Rangers) and Adam Lind (Blue Jays). To vote, go to mlb.com.

LHP J.P. Howell was not named to the 13-man pitching staff. Ex-Ray Edwin Jackson was, voted in by the players.

"I think it is all well deserved obviously,'' Rays/AL manager Joe Maddon said. "I'm in agreement with all the people that were voted in and I felt, I'm looking at everybody else that was available or eligible and I just felt that zobrist's numbers stacked up really well. And you have to be careful, you want to be fair to everybody else but then you cannot be unfair to your own group at the same time. I just looked at the whole thing and I felt Ben definitely belonged on the team also.''

While Longoria was elected by the fans (finishing with 4,315,210 votes, third overall in the AL behind Derek Jeter, who had 4,851,889, and Joe Mauer, 4,335,739). Bartlett and Crawford were voted in by the players - which means they were the next highest votegetters if the players voted for the same starters as the fans. Crawford was fourth on the players' ballot (behind Jason Bay, Torii Hunter and Ichiro Suzuki); Bartlett second (behind Derek Jeter). Zobrist was one of three position players chosen by Maddon.

Longoria, who was one of a then-record three Rays representatives last year (with Dioner Navarro and Scott Kazmir), said he welcomed the company.

"I'm really excited to see Zobrist go, I definitely think he deserved it,'' Longoria said at the team hotel in Arlington, Texas. "He didn't get the at-bats he needed at the beginning of the year, but you saw when he got the at bats his abilities. And obviously Bartlett should have been a shoo-in from the beginning, hitting .360 through the first half is not an easy thing to do.

"Last year it was kind of a whirlwind experience. ... it was a little different experience because you kind of get lost in New York, but I think it'll be a better experience this year with the whole staff there.

Crawford has made two previous All-Star appearances, in 2004 and 2007, but is having what may be his best season yet. He leads the majors with 40 stolen bases and ranks third with 104 hits (one of only four players in AL history to reach the 40-100 mark before the All-Star break). He is fifth in the AL with a .318 average.

Bartlett will make his first All-Star appearance. Bartlett, who spent three weeks on the DL, has been having a tremendous offensive season, including a team-record 19-game hitting streak, and has a .362 average that would rank second in the league if he had enough plate appearances to qualify.

Zobrist, who began the year as a reserve, is in the midst of a spectacular breakout season, with 16 home runs and a 1.015 OPS that is best in the AL. This will be a thrilling trip for him as he grew up relatively near St. Louis in Eureka, Ill., as a huge fan of Cardinals star Ozzie Smith.

Longoria was voted onto last year's All-Star team as the fans' choice for the final spot, but this year has been battling Yankees Derek Jeter for the overall AL lead. He has cooled after a sizzling start, slowed in part by a left hamstring strain, though is still third in the AL with 63 RBIs.

Longoria was honored at his election. "I think it shows a lot about the steps that the team has taken, as far as the fans' eye,'' he said. "And it's definitely a huge honor, obviously with the caliber of third basemen there are in the American League, to be the leading vote getter is just a tremendous honor."Evan Longoria will be the starting third baseman for the AL in the July 14 All-Star Game.

The other elected AL starters are C Joe Mauer (Twins), 1B Mark Teixeira (Yankees), 2B Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox), and SS Derek Jeter (Yankees).

The NL starters are C Yadier Molina (Cards), 1B Albert Pujols (Cards), 2B Chase Utley (Phillies), SS Hanley Ramirez (Marlins), 3B David Wright (Mets), OFs Carlos Beltran (Mets), Ryan Braun (Brewers) and Raul Ibanez (Phillies). B.J. Upton's brother, Justin, was chosen as an NL reserve.

Longoria won the fan voting as expected, ahead of the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez. The annoucement is being made live on TBS from 1-2.

Rays manager Joe Maddon will manage the AL team. The starters were elected by the fans, then eight of the 13 pitchers and eight reserves were chosen by a vote of the players. Maddon got to fill out the rest of the team, though following the requirement that every team be represented.

The team announced today includes 32 members, with a 33rd to be chosen from five candidates in Internet voting over the next five days.

Longoria was voted onto last year's All-Star team as the fans' choice for the final spot, but this year has been battling Jeter for the overall AL lead. He has cooled after a sizzling start, slowed in part by a left hamstring strain, though is still third in the AL with 63 RBIs.

Longoria, Bartlett, Crawford, Zobrist are Tampa Bay Rays All-Stars; Pena could be too 07/05/09 [Last modified: Friday, July 10, 2009 4:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Storm routs Cleveland

    Storm

    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  2. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  3. Rowdies shut out Charleston

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  4. Rays journal: Former closer Sergio Romo acquired from Dodgers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays made a move to help the bullpen Saturday night when they acquired RHP Sergio Romo, who had been designated for assignment last week by the Dodgers.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi (23) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 7, 2017.
  5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. backs wife's "not worth risk'' opinion on Daytona

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Saturday defended his wife's Twitter post — and blamed himself for putting her in a position where she believed she had to speak out and upset some of his fans.

    Amy Earnhardt worries about Dale Jr.’s concussions.