Tejada flying solo as O's only All-Star

Shortstop is reserve

Ryan, J. Lopez, Mora are left off


July 05, 2004|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

PHILADELPHIA - By signing shortstop Miguel Tejada as a free agent last winter, the Orioles knew they were getting a legitimate run producer for the third spot in their lineup, a leader in the infield, a player with uncanny durability.

Yesterday brought another realization: They also had an All-Star.

Tejada will be the Orioles' lone representative for the July 13 game in Houston after American League manager Joe Torre selected him as a reserve.

"I know I've been playing pretty good," Tejada said, "but I guess I'm surprised because there are so many good players at that position."

After going 1-for-4 with a double yesterday, Tejada is batting .315 with 15 homers and 69 RBIs. He ranks third in the league in RBIs.

The double extended Tejada's hitting streak to 19 games. He has also played in 672 straight, most in the majors and the 17th longest stretch all time.

Tejada finished fourth among AL shortstops in fan voting behind Derek Jeter, Nomar Garciaparra and Michael Young. No Orioles placed higher.

Roger Clemens, a nine-time All-Star in the American League, was among five starting pitchers voted to the National League team by major league players, managers and coaches. Clemens, 41, joined by Arizona's Randy Johnson and Cincinnati's Barry Larkin as 40-plus All-Stars, is 10-2 in his first season with his hometown Astros, and is likely to start.

Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr. and Sammy Sosa were elected to start in the NL outfield, the first time three players with 500 home runs will start.

Bonds was voted to his 13th All-Star team and 11th start. Griffey is a 12-time All-Star, elected to start in all of them.

Three St. Louis Cardinals infielders were elected to start for the NL: Third baseman Scott Rolen was the top NL vote-getter at 3.19 million and was joined by first baseman Albert Pujols and shortstop Edgar Renteria.

"This year, I didn't think I was going to make it. There are too many guys who do a great job," said Tejada, who went 1-for-2 with a run scored in the 2002 game. "I'm playing good this year because I want to help this team. I just want to win. I love to win."

Melvin Mora, who is ranked second in the AL with a .347 average, was excluded from the All-Star team. So were reliever B.J. Ryan, probably the top left-handed setup man in baseball with a 1.84 ERA in 44 innings, and catcher Javy Lopez, who's batting .318 with 11 homers and 39 RBIs.

Mora's hamstring injury might have prevented him from playing anyway.

"I think Mora and B.J. Ryan should have made it," Tejada said. "There are a lot of guys who have done a good job. Javy is another guy. He should make it, too. But that happens sometimes. You can't do anything about it."

Relievers who aren't closers often get neglected, but Torre chose the Yankees' Tom Gordon and the Anaheim Angels' Francisco Rodriguez.

Ryan never allowed himself to consider the possibility.

"It's hard for a middle reliever to make it," he said. "You've got to throw up gaudy numbers and pick up a lot of wins along the way. It's a tough spot, but you've just got to go out there and do your job and help your team.

"It would have meant a lot. That's what everybody wants to do, be an All-Star somewhere along the line in their career. But there will be another shot. I've got a couple more years to go."

Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli advised Torre to consider Ryan and Lopez if injury replacements are needed.

"I told him to keep them in mind," Mazzilli said.

Five other Yankees were included on the AL team: starters Jason Giambi, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, outfielder Gary Sheffield and closer Mariano Rivera.

Texas Rangers second baseman Alfonso Soriano led all AL players in votes with 3,466,447. Vladimir Guerrero, who rejected the Orioles' contract offers last winter and signed with Anaheim, will start in the outfield along with Manny Ramirez and Ichiro Suzuki.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

All-Star starters


C Ivan Rodriguez, Detroit

1B Jason Giambi, New York

2B Alfonso Soriano, Texas

3B Alex Rodriguez, New York

SS Derek Jeter, New York

OF Manny Ramirez, Boston

OF Vladimir Guerrero, Anaheim

OF Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle


C Mike Piazza, New York

1B Albert Pujols, St. Louis

2B Jeff Kent, Houston

3B Scott Rolen, St. Louis

SS Edgar Renteria, St. Louis

OF Barry Bonds, San Francisco

OF Ken Griffey, Cincinnati

OF Sammy Sosa, Chicago

Complete rosters and voting, Page 7C

NL Roster


Player, Team Avg. HR RBI R


Piazza, N.Y. .309 16 40 34

First baseman

Pujols, StL .303 21 57 70

Second baseman

Kent, Hou. .293 10 52 46

Third baseman

Rolen, StL .344 18 78 54


Renteria, StL .283 4 34 47


Bonds, S.F. .352 22 46 64

Griffey Jr., Cin. .246 19 55 45

Sosa, Chi. .276 14 33 30


Player, Team Avg. HR RBI R


Casey, Cin. .352 15 54 55

Helton, Col. .352 15 53 61

Thome, Phi. .299 27 58 55

Loretta, S.D. .320 6 34 55

Larkin, Cin. .296 4 30 40

JWilson, Pitt. .339 8 34 45

Lowell, Fla. .300 19 51 50


Alou, Chi. .287 19 49 49

Berkman, Hou. .304 16 59 48

Cabrera, Fla. .294 20 55 55

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