Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau named All-Star starters; Delmon joining too?
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Mauer, the leading vote-getter overall, collected the third-most votes in All-Star balloting history with 5,372,606, behind Ken Griffey, Jr. in 1994 (6,079,688) and Albert Pujols last summer (5,397,374). Mauer will make his fourth All-Star appearance and third start.
"It's a really cool honor just to make an All-Star team, but to be voted in by the fans as the leading vote-getter is pretty special," Mauer said.
"It's a great event. I keep telling them as long as they'll have me, I'll keep coming back."
Morneau, who will make his fourth All-Star appearance and first start, edged out fellow first basemen Miguel Cabrera and Mark Teixeira in the voting, which ended Thursday night exclusively online.
This marks the first time the Twins have had two starters in the All-Star game since 1968, when Harmon Killebrew started at first base and Rod Carew at second base.
"It's going to be pretty cool," Morneau said. "You never know what the lineup's going to be, but it'd be pretty sweet if they were hitting us 3-4."
Regarding Mauer being the leading vote-getter, Morneau said, "It shows you how far we've come here as far as the fanbase going outside of Minnesota, because that's not just people voting from Minnesota and Twins territory -- it's all across the country."
Delmon Young was announced as one of the five "Final Vote" finalists for the American League, along with Paul Konerko, Nick Swisher, Michael Young, and Kevin Youkilis. The Final Vote will run until 3:00 p.m. Thursday on MLB.com.
Young said he was caught off-guard by the news.
"I'm just surprised and honored to even be mentioned," Young said.
"Just because you're not trying to think about anything like that -- especially when the Tigers just came in here and boat-raced us the first game. The last thing on your mind (when) you're trying to catch a playoff spot."
Mauer and Morneau plan to make t-shirts for Young, with the slogan, 'DY: Because he deserves it.'
Pat Neshek was the last Twins player chosen to be apart of the Final Vote in 2007. Boston reliever Hideki Okajima wound up winning the roster spot.
Mauer also led the MLB.com home run derby poll as of last week, despite having only three home runs. Even so, he has yet to be officially invited to participate in the contest, which is probably a good thing for a guy who has been banged up for the majority of the first three months of the season.
"Yeah, I guess I haven't had three days (off) in awhile," Mauer said, "but we'll get that last day and take some time away from the field and then get back and try to make a run at this thing."
Morneau, the 2008 derby champ, said he was recently asked to participate again this year, but hasn't made up his mind.
"I've been kind of struggling with it," Morneau said. "I want to do it, but I know what's best for me and (that's) taking a day off."