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 won't need favoritism to place multiple players on this year's All-Star team

MIAMI — Having five players on last year's American League All-Star squad was considered a crowning moment for the previously downtrodden Rays franchise.

But this year's show in Anaheim actually could be more impressive.

Last year, 3B Evan Longoria was voted by the fans to start (but couldn't play due to a finger issue), and SS Jason Bartlett and LF Carl Crawford were chosen by the players. The other two were named by Rays/All-Star manager Joe Maddon — INF/OF Ben Zobrist to an open spot, 1B Carlos Peña as a late injury replacement.

And not that there's anything wrong with that — "A spoils-go-to-the-victor kind of thing," Maddon said. "I think every manager under the same circumstances would try to do the same thing." — but those choices can be viewed with an asterisk.

This year, four Rays appear to have fully earned their way west.

Longoria is going to be voted to start again (and in his hometown, no less) and will be the first Ray to actually do so, and Crawford will be elected by the fans (for the first time) or the players.

Deserving to join them, if not by the player vote then added by Yankees manager Joe Girardi (which means it might not be the lock it should be), are LHP David Price, who leads the league with 10 wins and a 2.31 ERA, and RHP Rafael Soriano, who is 16-for-17 in saves (third most) with a 1.52 ERA.

Even more interesting, Price — barring any rainouts or Maddon reversing plans to not skip any starters — happens to be on schedule to start the July 13 midsummer classic, set to pitch today, Saturday, July 2 and July 7.

"I wouldn't be opposed to that," Maddon said. "That would be great for him, and those are the kind of experiences that could really catapult somebody."

Price is already planning to be in the L.A. area to attend the day-after ESPY awards, "hooked up" by Longoria ("My connection for everything," he said). And if he were to happen to be working the night before, well, that would be okay, too.

"It would be cool to have that experience," Price said. "But I haven't really given too much thought to it. I just want to continue to have fun. … But that would be awesome."

Tampa Bay Rays won't need favoritism to place multiple players on this year's All-Star team 06/19/10 [Last modified: Sunday, June 20, 2010 10:59am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Raging Bull' boxer Jake LaMotta dies at 95


    Jake LaMotta, the former champion boxer whose life was immortalized by Robert DeNiro in the 1980 film Raging Bull, died Tuesday at age 95.

    Jake LaMotta and his fiance Denise arrive for the world premier of the critically acclaimed boxing drama "Ring Of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story" at the Beekman Theater in New York in 2005. LaMotta, whose life was depicted in the film "Raging Bull," died Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, at a Miami-area hospital from complications of pneumonia. He was 95. [Associated Press]
  2. J.R. Sweezy shows what Bucs were missing


    By Greg Auman

    TAMPA —- Sunday's season-opening win against the Bears saw the debut of 13 Bucs, a mix of rookies and free-agent veterans.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive guard J.R. Sweezy (73), seen at center, runs through drills during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, July 31, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  3. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Vikings features a battle of top rookies


    Greg Auman looks at how much the Bucs have changed since the last time they played the Minnesota Vikings in 2014 in our latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) makes a reception as Chicago Bears free safety Eddie Jackson (39) tackles him Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Late Holy Names swimmer Cailin Cannella was a fighter until the end

    Swimming Preps

    At swim meets, Cailin Cannella would race side-by-side with her breastroke competitors, their heads bobbing in near unison.

    Holy Names swimmer Cailin Cannella, here at age 13, still was practicing last year after finding out she had osteosarcoma (bone cancer). [Times 2016]
  5. Gators roundtable: Was that really a Hail Mary?


    Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks' last-second heave beat Tennessee Saturday in Gainesville, but was it a Hail Mary, typically a pass made in desperation with little chance of success? The Times' college football coveage team weighs in:


    Feleipe Franks #13 of the Florida Gators celebrates with his teammates after he threw a 63-yard pass at the end of the game to defeat the Tennessee Volunteers 26-20 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)