July 2, 2007


All-Star voters on Bonds’ side


Associated Press/Ben Margot
San Francisco Giants’ Barry Bonds will be the starting All-Star left fielder for the National League.

By The Associated Press
NEW YORK — They go together this year: the All-Star game and Barry Bonds.
As much a fixture in San Francisco as cable cars and the Golden Gate Bridge, Bonds will be in his usual left-field spot when All-Stars take over his dazzling home ballpark by the bay on July 10.
The Giants star overcame a 119,000-vote deficit in the final days of balloting and finished 123,000 ahead of the Chicago Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano on Sunday to claim the third and final starting outfield spot for the National League.
“I’m at a loss for words right now,” Bonds said. “It just means more ‘cause I’m at home. This is my town. This is my house. You can’t say enough about being at home. It’s great.”
At 42, Bonds will be the oldest player to start an All-Star game. He tops Roger Clemens, who was 41 years, 11 months at the 2004 game in Houston, his hometown.
“This is the one I’ll remember all time. This is the one I’ll remember forever,” Bonds said.
Bonds, heading to his 14th All-Star game and 12th as a starter, was the lone Giants player chosen for the game — his first trip since 2004. Five home runs from tying Hank Aaron’s record of 755, Bonds is beloved in San Francisco but booed in most other cities following years of suspicion that he used performance-enhancing drugs.
“One guy will be a lot bigger than everybody else. It’s his hometown,” said Cincinnati’s Ken Griffey Jr., the top NL vote-getter. “He gets to have all the fun stuff and the press conferences. I just get to play.”
With the game in his home park, Bonds figures to be the focus all week. He could be one of the sluggers picked to participate in Monday night’s Home Run Derby.
“I don’t think so. I don’t have anything to prove in that,” Bonds said.
Soriano wasn’t bothered that fans voted Bonds to start over him. Soriano still made it as a backup.
“Going to the All-Star game means a lot to me, especially my first time with the Cubs,” he said.
The Boston Red Sox and AL champion Detroit Tigers led all teams with five players selected. Boston is sending first baseman David Ortiz, third baseman Mike Lowell, outfielder Manny Ramirez and pitchers Josh Beckett and Jonathan Papelbon.
Detroit had three players (second baseman Placido Polanco, outfielder Magglio Ordonez and catcher Ivan Rodriguez) elected to start for the first time since 1983. Pudge, a 14-time All-Star, was voted in for the 12th time. Polanco is a first-time All-Star.
Detroit’s Justin Verlander, who pitched a no-hitter this season, was picked for the AL staff, and shortstop Carlos Guillen is a reserve.
The Red Sox or Tigers could gain a sixth, with Boston reliever Hideki Okajima and Detroit starter Jeremy Bonderman among five players on the Internet ballot for the final AL spot.
The New York Mets (center fielder Carlos Beltran, shortstop Jose Reyes, closer Billy Wagner and third baseman David Wright) tied the Milwaukee Brewers (closer Francisco Cordero, first baseman Prince Fielder, shortstop J.J. Hardy and pitcher Ben Sheets) for the most players picked in the NL. The Brewers hadn’t had four All-Stars since 1983.
Fans elected the starters, except for the pitchers, and a record 18.5 million votes were cast before Thursday’s deadline.
Alex Rodriguez, with 3.89 million votes, led fan voting for the first time. A-Rod was picked for his 11th All-Star appearance, his 10th as a starter.
“It’s hard to think about that right now,” Rodriguez said Sunday after the Yankees lost for the ninth time in 11 games. “But it’s a pretty neat experience. It never gets old.”
Griffey jumped past Beltran in the final days and topped the NL with 2.99 million votes, the eighth time Griffey has led his league. Griffey is going to his 13th All-Star game, all as a starter.
The rest of the AL starting lineup has the Yankees’ Derek Jeter at shortstop, A-Rod at third, and the Los Angeles Angels’ Vladimir Guerrero and Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki in the outfield.
Fielder and Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Russell Martin were elected as first-time All-Stars in the NL. Philadelphia’s Chase Utley topped voting at second base.
While fans picked the starters, player voting determined eight reserves and eight pitchers in each league. St. Louis’ Tony La Russa and Detroit’s Jim Leyland, the All-Star managers, each chose four position players and three pitchers.
Some of the more notable snubs included NL MVP Ryan Howard of the Phillies, Atlanta shortstop Edgar Renteria and New York Mets pitcher John Maine. In the AL, Detroit’s Curtis Granderson and Gary Sheffield missed out despite excellent numbers.
Several perennial All-Stars will be absent because of subpar performances this year, such as Yankees closer Mariano Rivera and Braves center fielder Andruw Jones.



Post 465 ‘Springs’ back to grab split

The Homer Post 465 American Legion baseball team split a pair of games with visiting Union Springs Sunday, losing the opener 10-8 and winning the second game 10-7.
The opener was a see-saw game, visiting Union Springs rolling to a 6-0 lead before Homer came back with two runs in the fourth and six in the fifth to take an 8-6 lead. A four-run top of the seventh by Union Springs closed out the scoring.
Chris Querns went 4-for-4 an RBI and a run for the winners, while Justin Persaile (triple, two RBIs, two runs) and Pat Montgomery (RBI) both went 2-for-4. Reliever Mike Sheets was the winning pitcher. Andy Pagan went 2-for-4 and scored a run for Homer, while Matt Murphy had a triple and drove in three runs.
Nick Biondi and Matt Murphy led a 12-hit Homer attack in the second game as both went 3-for-5, Biondi with a triple, double, four RBIs and a run scored and Murphy with an RBI and a run. Anthony Brevetti (home run, two RBIs, two runs) and Pagan (run) both went 2-for-4, and Ricky Newman doubled and scored a run. Ryne Austin, the second of three Homer pitchers, got the win, and Brevetti earned a save.
For Union Springs, which was the home team in the nightcap, Mike Miskell went 4-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and two runs, while Querns (two runs) and Montgomery (RBI) both went 2-for-4.
Homer (5-6) visits Candor Post 907 Tuesday before opening play in the Al Registro Wooden Bat Tournament against Horseheads at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Corning Babe Ruth Complex. The Elmira-area event continues through Sunday.
CORTLAND POST 489 was slated to play twice at Watertown on Saturday, no results available.




Wasted Talent prevails

DRYDEN — Peter Whitmore did not squander his abilities for Wasted Talent in the Duke Erickson Coed Slow Pitch League on Saturday, sparking a 25-11 softball victory over Cayuga Press.
Whitemore had a home run, two triples and a double while going 5-for-5 in the victory. Cayuga Press was a 29-6 winner over Freeville Fire Department as Blaine Olmsted and Bill Harvey both homered twice.
Derek Fiene had a perfect 10-for-10 day leading Elm Tree Inn to a pair of wins, hitting a home run and six doubles in a 15-7 victory over the Omega Athletics and a 27-6 romp past the Freeville Fire Deparment.
Wasted Talent 25, Cayuga Press 11: White Whitmore had his perfect day at the plate, Ken Morgan drove home six runs with two triples and a double. Tim Mark was 3-for-3 with a home run and a triple in the victory, while Olmstead had two home runs including a grand slam for Cayuga Press. Harvey and Tim Harding had three hits apiece in the loss.
Cayuga Press 29, Freeville FD 6: Harvey and Brandon Frost each hit for the cycle in the romp, Olmstead collecting seven RBI overall. Michelle Phillips, George English and Harding had four-hit success in the win. Mike Hall homered twice and doubled for the Firemen, driving in five of the six runs scored by the squad.
Elm Tree Inn 15, Omega Athletics 7: Fiene and G. Talbot both homered in the win over the Athletics. Talbot and Mike DuBrava were both 3-for-4, Talbot adding a triple and DuBrava two doubles. Eric P. (no last name reported) was 3-for-3 with a home run for the Athletics.
Elm Tree Inn 27, Freeville FD 6: While Fiene went 6-for-6, DuBrava (4x5) and J. Marks (2x2) also were part of a 32-hit effort.