Red Sox, Cubs dominate All-Star rosters

Monday, July 7, 2008

NEW YORK -- Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez and Cubs leadoff man Alfonso Soriano will see lots of familiar faces at the All-Star game.

A record seven Chicago Cubs were joined by seven Boston stars when rosters were announced Sunday for the July 15 event at Yankee Stadium.

The New York Yankees will be well represented, too, for the game at their own ballpark: Top vote-getter Alex Rodriguez, captain Derek Jeter and reliever Mariano Rivera were picked.

The Tampa Bay Rays, with the best record in the majors, did not have a single player elected to start. Pitcher Scott Kazmir and catcher Dioner Navarro were added to the AL squad.

There was only one change in the final week of fan voting for starters -- Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun overtook Ken Griffey Jr. in the NL outfield. Griffey finished fourth and was left off the team.

Outfielders Kosuke Fukudome and Soriano and rookie catcher Geovany Soto were chosen to start for the Cubs, who own the best record in the league. Soriano has been out with a broken left hand, but may return in time to play.

Cubs pitchers Kerry Wood and Ryan Dempster and third baseman Aramis Ramirez were chosen by NL players, and pitcher Carlos Zambrano was picked by NL manager Clint Hurdle of Colorado.

Ramirez, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis were elected by fans from the World Series champion Red Sox. Ortiz has an injured wrist and AL manager Terry Francona of Boston said that Texas' Milton Bradley would take over as the designated hitter.

Boston outfielder J.D. Drew, catcher Jason Varitek and closer Jonathan Papelbon were picked by a vote of AL players.

Rodriguez, the Yankees third baseman, received the most votes overall with 3,934,518. Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley led the NL with 3,889,602.

St. Louis had no starters elected but first baseman Albert Pujols and outfielder Ryan Ludwick were picked as reserves.

"It's unreal," Ludwick said. "I'm still kind of shocked about the whole thing. I've been through a lot and my goal is to try and help the team win and have fun doing it."

Ludwick, who turns 30 on July 13, is in his first full year of starting after years dogged by injuries. He was a second-round draft pick in 1999 by the Athletics, but has twice been a minor league free agent.

He already has career bests in home runs (17) and RBIs (58).

Pujols was named for the seventh time in his eight seasons. He leads the team in RBIs.

Cardinals pitcher Kyle Lohse was among those left out despite a 10-2 record and 3.61 ERA. A pair of Cubs nine-game winners, Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster, and Diamondbacks eight-game winner Dan Haren are on the 12-man staff.

"It would have been nice, but it's not the ultimate goal," Lohse said. "The goal is to win it all. Individual stuff is cool and all that, but that's not why I'm here."

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