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Hunter to represent Halos in All-Star Game

Hunter to represent Halos in All-Star Game

ANAHEIM -- The one and only Torii Hunter will represent the Angels on the big stage in the Midsummer Classic.

The three-time reigning American League West champions and host team for the 2010 Major League All-Star Game at Angel Stadium on July 13, the Angels will be represented by their center fielder, in a reserve role on the AL squad.

Prominent among those not selected was Angels ace Jered Weaver, the Major Leagues leader in strikeouts, as the choices were announced on TBS on Sunday.

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Hunter's selection, which came from the players' balloting, is his fourth. The Angels had no starters selected in the fans' voting.

The Yankees and Red Sox lead the AL roster with six selections apiece. The Rangers had five players chosen. Each of those three teams has a player involved the Final Vote. The Angels were blanked.

Hunter made a dazzling All-Star Game debut in 2002 for the Minnesota Twins, robbing Barry Bonds of a home run in the first inning at Milwaukee.

A Rawlings Gold Glove winner for nine consecutive seasons and a Silver Slugger award winner last season, Hunter also appeared in the 2007 All-Star Game in San Francisco. He was named to the AL team last season but couldn't play because of groin injuries related to crashing into outfield walls.

"When you're voted in by your peers -- guys who play the game and know the game -- that really means something," Hunter said. "I just feel bad that Jered Weaver and Howie Kendrick won't be with me. Weav definitely belongs in the game, and I thought Howie had a really good chance with Dustin Pedroia on the disabled list. Howie's got 50 RBIs, and he's played good defense all season."

Weaver has been one of the league's dominant starters with an 8-3 record and 2.82 ERA to go with his 124 strikeouts in 108 2/3 innings.

Hunter leads the Angels with 53 RBIs and is batting .288 with 12 homers. He is slugging .498 with a .370 on-base percentage and is playing his customary stellar defense while serving as the clubhouse leader.

Fans, having already decided the starters, once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevy via the 2010 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint on MLB.com during the All-Star Game.

The 81st Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and Le Reseau des Sports, and around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 5 p.m. (PDT). ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.

Hunter's satisfaction in making the AL squad was muted by the absence of teammates he considered worthy.

"To see that Weaver didn't make it, that was kind of weird," Hunter said. "I found out when I got up at about 10 o'clock and one of my friends called me. The first thing I asked was if Weaver made it. I mean, he's leading the league in strikeouts with a really good ERA. So that's pretty weird -- especially with the team hosting the All-Star Game.

"I've seen a lot of guys get snubbed in my day, and he's one of them. That surprises me a lot."

Weaver's 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings lead the AL, and he's tied for ninth with teammate Joel Pineiro for fewest walks allowed (2.2) per nine innings. His .217 batting average against is fourth-best in the AL.

Fellow starter Joe Saunders was dumbfounded by Weaver's omission.

"He had two kind of bad starts [out of 17] and other than that it's been quality start after quality start," Saunders said. "I don't know personally how a guy who leads the league in strikeouts and has a sub-3.00 ERA doesn't make it. That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

"Nothing against Kinsler," Saunders added, regarding the second base All-Star selection, "[But] I think Howie has better statistics than Kinsler. I don't know man."

Currently running second behind Texas in the AL West race, the Angels have won the division five times in the past six seasons and were two wins away from reaching the World Series last October, falling to the Yankees in six games in the AL Championship Series.

"Weav is worthy," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, echoing Hunter's sentiments. "No doubt he's an All-Star. He put himself in a great position. I wouldn't say I'm surprised. I'd say disappointed.

"Kendrick also is a guy we thought should have gotten consideration -- and he did. We'll look forward to Torii hopefully having a good game. Torii's been really, I think, quietly the glue of our lineup.

"There's been a lot said about what happened on our team. Certainly some high-profile players are hurt or haven't played to their capabilities. Kendry [Morales] would have been on the team if he was healthy and kept going. Torii's been there all season. It's a great honor that he deserves."

Weaver is scheduled to start on the final Sunday of the first half and would be ineligible to pitch in the All-Star Game if that happens. He could have been named to the team and participated in the festivities, with a replacement chosen to fill out the staff.

"Making an All-Star team is something I've dreamed about since I was 9 years old," Weaver said. "I was a little disappointed I didn't make it last year, so I didn't want to get my hopes up too high.

"I didn't make it again. It is what it is."

AL manager Joe Girardi of the Yankees made CC Sabathia one of the managerial additions to the pitching staff, joining fellow Yankees starter Phil Hughes.

Among the five Rangers named to the All-Star team was former Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero. He was selected as the designated hitter in the fans balloting. Angels DH Hideki Matsui finished second in the balloting.

Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler, playing 24 fewer games than Kendrick this season, was chosen to replace Boston's Dustin Pedroia who is injured. Kendrick's 50 RBIs through Saturday were second among all second basemen to the AL starter Robinson Cano of the Yankees. Kinsler has 26 RBIs.

"Naturally, I wanted to make it," Kendrick said, "but I'm happy for Torii. The person I really feel bad for is Jered Weaver. He should have been on the team. He's leading the league in strikeouts with a sub-3.00 ERA. How many pitchers are having a season like he is?"

The Rangers have outfielder Josh Hamilton in the starting lineup, voted in by the fans. They'll also be represented by shortstop Elvis Andrus and pitcher Neftali Feliz along with Guerrero and Kinsler.

According to Scioscia, who served as the 2003 AL All-Star manager following his team's World Series triumph, managers don't have as much latitude in their selections as popularly believed. He said he had only one selection in '03.

The league is involved in the process, Scioscia said. It is his belief that not all teams necessarily should be represented in the game, that, instead, all roster spots should go to the most deserving players.

"I think there's something wrong with the selection process," Scioscia said. "I feel that if, in a given year a team doesn't have a player worthy of being an All-Star, what's wrong with skipping them that year? It probably brings the All-Star honor to a higher level because the player knows he's chosen because he deserves it and put up a better season against the best players in the world."

Hunter finished eighth in the fans' balloting and sixth in the players' voting. Hamilton, the Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki and the Rays' Carl Crawford are the starters.

Three Yankees -- Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner -- and the Rangers' Hamilton and Nelson Cruz finished higher in the fans' balloting than Hunter.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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