Youkilis Named To All Star Team, Replaces A-Rod
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BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis will take the spot of Yankee Alex Rodriguez in Tuesday night’s MLB All-Star game.
The Yankees announced Rodriguez would be absent because of a sore knee.
Youkilis will join Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz, Josh Beckett and Jacoby Ellsbury in representing the Red Sox.
On the other end, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and the Philadelphia Phillies Shane Victorino also joined the list of All-Star scratches, further threatening to turn baseball’s big show into the All-Scar game.
Jeter pulled himself Friday to rest an injured calf.
That made it three Yankees who won’t play for the American League on Tuesday in Phoenix. Longtime closer Mariano Rivera will sit out to heal his right triceps.
“Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go,” Jeter said before Friday night’s game against Tampa Bay was rained out.
Jhonny Peralta will replace Jeter on the roster, the first All-Star selection for the Detroit shortstop. Cleveland’s Asdrubal Cabrera will move into the starting lineup.
Andre Ethier of the Los Angeles Dodgers will replace injured Shane Victorino of the Philadelphia Phillies in a switch of NL outfielders.
New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes previously was excused because of a hamstring problem that put him on the disabled list.
Los Angeles Angels rookie closer Jordan Walden is replacing Rivera. More roster changes are expected, too, with some pitchers starting this weekend and other players nursing injuries.
Among those hoping to get in: St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols, who recovered much quicker than expected from a broken wrist.
Jeter is two hits shy of 3,000, and the 12-time All-Star was elected by fans to start. He came off the disabled list this week after recuperating from his calf problem.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said it was totally Jeter’s decision to skip the All-Star game. Jeter talked it over with Girardi, general manager Brian Cashman and trainer Gene Monahan.
“It’s probably best not to push it because it’s most important to be ready for the second half. That’s where my focus has to be,” Jeter said. “It’s unfortunate because you know how much I enjoy going to All-Star games.”
“I’m trying to be smart about it. I know I can be stubborn a lot of times with injuries,” he said.
Rodriguez was getting an MRI for knee trouble that had seemingly sapped his power. The 14-time All-Star was elected to start at third base.
Shortly before the decision was announced, Girardi said it was up to Rodriguez.
“Alex has to make that choice. Would the rest help him? Probably,” Girardi said. “He’s banged up, he’s played a lot.”
Ethier, who had a 30-game hitting streak earlier this season, finished second to Victorino in online fan voting for the last player added to the team. Victorino is on the disabled list because of a strained thumb ligament.
“Sometimes you default into things and it’s a good thing to default into,” said Ethier, who will be playing in his hometown of Phoenix. “It’s an honor to get selected by an opposing manager.”
Ethier, who started for the NL in last year’s game, is hitting .313 with seven home runs and 42 RBIs. His streak is the longest in baseball this season.
Ethier said some of his friends and family had purchased All-Star tickets anticipating he would make the NL team. After he lost the online fan vote, he said they asked for his help in selling the tickets.
“I’m not a broker,” he said, smiling. “Hopefully, they didn’t sell.”
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)