Konerko, Ethier back home for All-Star Game - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Konerko, Ethier back home for All-Star Game

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Posted: Monday, July 11, 2011 3:03 pm | Updated: 10:18 pm, Mon Jul 11, 2011.

Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko went to Chaparral High and lives in Scottsdale.

When he wasn't an original All-Star selection, Konerko was trying to decide whether to take his time off in Arizona or at his beach house in Del Mar, Calif.

The fans made the decision easy for him.

Konerko was the winner of the MLB Final Vote, beating out Baltimore's Adam Jones, Detroit's Victor Martinez, Kanas City's Alex Gordon and Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist for the final spot on the American League roster.

He is batting .319 this season with 22 home runs, 67 RBIs and an OPS of .954.

While 16 players withdrew from the game for various rules, Konerko was thrilled with the selection.

"The next time an All-Star game comes through Arizona, I'll be long (retired) by then," Konerko said during Monday's media session before the Home Run Derby. "It's kind of cool to say in my career that the one time they had it here, it worked out. This is where I live, and this is where I'll always live. It (will be) nice to say I played in that game (in Arizona) 20 years ago."


Homecoming II

Andre Ethier was also a late addition to the game.

He was on the National League's Final Vote list but was beaten out by Philadelphia's Shane Victorino. However, Victorino has since been placed on the disabled list, and Ethier was chosen as his replacement.

Ethier said he often dreamed of making the big leagues and an All-Star game as a youngster growing up in Phoenix, but he had to work through some disadvantages.

Ethier said he played baseball on concrete basketball courts growing up, and then on a baseball diamond at St. Mary's that didn't have infield grass.

He said he relishes playing in the major leagues at a place like Dodger Stadium, which has a picture perfect field.

"It's a long way from Perry Park (in Phoenix) and practicing on all-dirt softball infields," Ethier said.

The former Arizona State star is hitting .311 this season with nine homers and 44 RBIs. He had a 30-game hitting streak early in the year.


Good News

Miguel Montero had one thought when he was called into the manager's office on Sunday: "What'd I do this time?"

But this was good news for the Diamondbacks catcher.

Montero was chosen for the final National League All-Star game spot after a first half that saw him hit .272 with 10 homers, 45 RBIs and a .796 OPS.

N.L. All-Star manager Bruce Bochy said he liked having a third catcher and another left-handed bat when explaining his decision.

It is Montero's first All-Star game selection.


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