Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays' Carl Crawford hopes fans vote him as All-Star Game starter

MINNEAPOLIS — LF Carl Crawford already has made three All-Star appearances and earned MVP honors in last year's game.

But Crawford, 28, acknowledges that this year could be extra special if he's voted in by the fans, which would give him his first start. Crawford was holding on to the third outfield spot by just more than 150,000 votes (ahead of Texas' Nelson Cruz) in last week's tally. Voting ended Thursday night with the announcement coming Sunday.

"That's one of the best things that could happen to you besides winning a championship or MVP or something like that," Crawford said. "Getting voted into the All-Star Game is huge. I've worked hard enough to get to that position. So I'd definitely accept it with open arms."

Crawford was voted in by the players twice (2004, 2009) and selected by manager Jim Leyland in 2007. But Crawford said, "It is different when you get the fans to do it. It just means you've got a whole new following paying attention to you now. I've put up numbers every year. But to have the fans realize it now is special."

Crawford has said he's not a good "self-promoter," letting his play on the field do the talking. But he altered his approach this year, appearing in a national commercial. Crawford said he went out in the public eye more, attending the ESPY's and Super Bowl functions, adding he enjoyed the experience.

"It's kind of cool hanging out with the A-listers," he said.

Crawford said he has reaped some rewards of the popularity of 3B Evan Longoria, one of the American League's top vote-getters.

"I never got that attention until after Longoria showed up," Crawford said. "I don't think if he wasn't around I'd probably be getting this much attention. Whatever works. I don't mind riding Longo's coattails to the All-Star Game."

MOVING DOWN: For a second time in a month, manager Joe Maddon has moved struggling 1B Carlos Peña down from the cleanup spot to seventh in an effort to "lighten his load."

Maddon said he could sense the frustration brewing in Peña, who entered Friday hitting .199, pointing to how he tossed his bat after a strikeout Thursday. Maddon had a lengthy, closed-door meeting with Peña, who emerged smiling and seemed to understand the decision.

"It seems like he's adding a little bit more to his plate than he needs to," Maddon said. "So I wanted to take a little bit off."

Maddon hopes Peña responds like he did when he was dropped in early June. He set a club record by hitting homers in six straight games.

MEDICAL MATTERS: Maddon said he expects CF B.J. Upton will return to the lineup today. Upton hadn't started the past four games (three of which because of a sore right quad) but felt a lot better after running in the outfield and around the bases before Friday's game. He was available to pinch hit.

STEPPING IN: Maddon said Willy Aybar, who hit cleanup Friday, will be back in the lineup today at DH. Though Maddon would like to get Aybar in the lineup more, he likes having the switch-hitter available off the bench like Thursday, when he delivered the go-ahead single in the 10th.

"It's a love-hate relationship," Maddon said. "I know how valuable he is to us and what he's done for us.

"I think if you really parcel Willy out properly, he can be very productive."

MISCELLANY: The Rays have signed 15th-round pick LHP Brandon Henderson and 18th-rounder LHP Jimmy Patterson. They have now signed 23 of their 53 picks. … C Dioner Navarro hit his first homer for Triple-A Durham on Thursday.

Joe Smith can be reached at

Tampa Bay Rays' Carl Crawford hopes fans vote him as All-Star Game starter 07/02/10 [Last modified: Saturday, July 3, 2010 12:46am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day


    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 17:  Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attempts a pass during a preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 17, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) 700069805
  2. Florida starter under center still under wraps


    GAINESVILLE — With two weeks before Florida opens its season against Michigan, the Gators' three-way quarterback battle remains wide open.

    Luke Del Rio, right, is in the mix to start against Michigan in the season opener … as is Malik Zaire and Feleipe Franks.
  3. Jones: What Bucs need in final preseason games, more or less


    That's it. Let's start the season. Start it right now.

    Tom Jones wants to see less of Jameis Winston playing hot potato with the football and throwing it up for anyone to catch. [Getty Images]
  4. Barts Mr Peabody the likely favorite in Derby Lane's T.L. Weaver finale


    ST. PETERSBURG — Rick and Rhonda Bartley have a date Saturday night. It may turn into a date with destiny.

  5. Rays series preview: Who are the Mariners?


    The Rays are back home again, duking it out with another club in the American League Wild Card chase — the Mariners, who have a slight advantage over Tampa Bay. Here's the information you need to know about Seattle before the action kicks off.

    Record: 61-61, third in AL West

    Starter Erasmo Ramirez will face the Rays after they traded him to the Mariners in July.