Sosa, Clemens, Martinez among missing for All-Star game

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez are out. Hideki Matsui, Jamie Moyer and Brendan Donnelly are in.

Twenty-nine of the 63 players picked Sunday for the new-look All-Star game are first-timers. It was the most new All-Stars since 30 were chosen for the 1988 game in Cincinnati.

Also among the first-timers were Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, Hank Blalock, Mark Mulder and Vernon Wells. But there wasn't room for rookies Dontrelle Willis and Rocco Baldelli.

Fresh faces aren't the only thing giving the All-Star game a new look. Following last year's messy 7-7, 11-inning tie in Milwaukee, baseball decided to give the league that wins the game home-field advantage in the World Series.


"In the past, the game has been an afterthought," seven-time All-Star Alex Rodriguez said. "A lot of times, by the sixth or seventh inning, the guys were showered, packed up and on their way back home. Hopefully, this year, the fans are going to get a much better game with a lot more intensity."

Players, managers and coaches also had a say in the teams for the first time since 1969, and rosters were expanded from 30 to 32 per league.

Seven players were picked for their first All-Star starts, including Marcus Giles, Troy Glaus, Javy Lopez and Edgar Renteria. Two Boone brothers -- Cincinnati's Aaron and Seattle's Bret -- also were picked for the game.

Sosa, who had been on the last five NL All-Star teams and six overall, was second among NL outfielders in totals released last Tuesday with 894,156 votes, trailing Barry Bonds (1,157,384) and ahead of Gary Sheffield (811,239) and Albert Pujols (793,109).

But after the final rush of voting, Pujols led with 2,030,702, followed by Bonds (1,919,116), Sheffield (1,533,278) and Sosa (1,390,355).

"Sometimes when this kind of situation happens, it happens for a reason," Sosa said. "I'm very happy for him. ... I'll be there next year."

NL manager Dusty Baker, Sosa's manager on the Cubs, decided to bypass his top star.

"Since Sammy wasn't voted by the players or by the fans ... I think it might be a good idea that Sammy use this break and go underground," Baker said.


None of the big milestone players made it: Clemens got his 300th win and 4,000th strikeout, and Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro hit their 500th homers.

"Making those kinds of considerations is one of the hardest parts of doing this," AL manager Mike Scioscia said when asked why he bypassed Clemens, Martinez and David Wells. "I think what we have is a pretty good representation for the league. It doesn't mean they aren't good."

Several big names won't be at the game because of injuries -- Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, Mike Piazza, Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman.

Also not selected were slumping stars Derek Jeter, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and reigning AL MVP Miguel Tejada.

Matsui was a nine-time All-Star in Japan.

Atlanta led the NL with seven players and St. Louis had five. Seattle had the most AL players with five, one more than Oakland.

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