Young tabbed as Rangers' lone All-Star
Shortstop to be joined by Washington in San Francisco
BOSTON -- On the recommendation of manager Ron Washington, Michael Young is going to the All-Star Game for the fourth straight year.Young was named to the American League All-Star team as reserve on Sunday by Tigers manager Jim Leyland and will be the only Rangers player going to San Francisco. The All-Star Game is Tuesday, July 10 at AT&T Park. "It's obviously a very humbling honor," Young said. "I absolutely love going to the All-Star Game. I recognize I haven't had my strongest first half, but I still want to represent the club well. I'm looking forward to the game and I'm looking forward to the second half even more." Young went into Sunday's game hitting .291 with 45 runs scored, four home runs and 48 RBIs. He was hitting .341 with runners in scoring position. Young was elected by the players in each of the last three seasons. But this year, the Yankees' Derek Jeter won the fans' vote as the starting shortstop and the Tigers' Carlos Guillen was elected by the players as the reserve shortstop. Leyland added Young as a reserve after talking to Washington about it during the Rangers' visit to Detroit last week. "That would have been my choice," Washington said. "He's certainly been our All-Star. He's certainly shown how to deal with adversity and shown the work ethic and bringing the best attitude to the ballpark under adverse conditions. He deserves it." The 2003 season marked the introduction of the Player Ballot to the All-Star selection process. Each league's players, managers and coaches elect eight position players and eight pitchers from their league. Catchers and infielders who finish in the top two at their position on the Player Ballot, and outfielders among the top six, are assured of making the All-Star Team. In instances where the winners of the Player Ballot are also fan-elected starters, the player with the next highest amount of votes on the Player Ballot makes the All-Star Team. Eight pitchers -- five starters and three relievers -- become All-Stars through the Player Ballot. The manager of each World Series team from the prior season -- in this year's case, Leyland and St. Louis' Tony La Russa -- then fills the remaining slots on their respective teams, ensuring that one player from all 30 clubs is named to the All-Star Game.
Young was the Most Valuable Player in the 2006 All-Star Game in Pittsburgh when he hit a two-run triple in the top of the ninth inning off of reliever Trevor Hoffman to give the American League a 3-2 victory over the National League. Young won a Chevrolet truck that he gave to his father.He is not expecting to be the first player to win MVP honors in two straight All-Star Games. "Everything has to line up right for that," Young said. A Rangers shortstop has been selected to the All-Star team for seven straight seasons, including Alex Rodriguez, who went in 2001-03. But this is the first time since 2002 that the Rangers are sending just one player to the All-Star Game.
"I recognize one player has to be chosen from each team," Young said. "As much as I want to make the All-Star Game knocking down the door rather than sneaking in the back way, I still want to represent the team well."A slow start hurt Young's chance to win either the players' or the fans' vote. He hit just .216 in April, but came back to hit .296 in May and .361 in June. "I feel like I'm getting close to being myself," Young said. "I'm not there yet, but I'm getting close." The 78th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 7 p.m. CT. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage. XM will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage of the XM All-Star Futures Game.
Young first went to the All-Star Game in 2004 in Houston and he is 2-for-5 over three games. Young is now tied with Buddy Bell for the second-most All-Star appearances in Rangers history. Ivan Rodriguez leads with 10 appearances."The All-Star Game is a great experience," Young said. "Major League Baseball does an incredible job. I love going every year. The first one was fun just to be there and last year was obvious. Now I know most of the guys and I'm looking forward to hanging out with them. "I love when the game gets started. The festivities are great and the players let their guard down. They enjoy batting practice and they enjoy the Home Run Derby. But once the game starts, that's when we do what we do best." Young will be joined by Washington, who was selected by Leyland to be one of his coaches on the American League team. "I'm looking forward to it," Washington said. "I'm going to go out there and enjoy myself."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.