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New faces dot lineups for 2005 All-Star game



Published: Tue, July 12, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Red Sox and Cardinals dominate the starting lineups.

DETROIT (AP) -- Derrek Lee knows the All-Star game has a whole new look this year.

Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Ken Griffey Jr. are nowhere to be seen. Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi aren't around, either.

Instead, there's a whole bunch of new kids on the block for tonight's game at Comerica Park.

There's Lee and Brian Roberts, who lead their leagues in batting average.

And there's Chris Carpenter and Mark Buehrle, the starting pitchers.

Twelve of the 20 players in the lineup have never started an All-Star game before, including seven in the American League.

"It could be the next wave," Lee said before Monday's workout. "It has to happen at some point. Guys can't play forever."

Veterans present

Of course, there are some exceptions. Roger Clemens, a month shy of his 43rd birthday, was picked for the 11th time. Given permission to arrive Tuesday, Clemens played in his first All-Star game in 1986, when Lee was just 10.

And then there's 40-year-old Kenny Rogers, who received the most attention at the All-Star media availability, held at the hotel in suburban Dearborn where the players are staying. He was suspended July 1 for 20 games and fined $50,000 for an outburst that sent a television cameraman to the hospital and prompted a police investigation. Because the players' association appealed, Rogers can't be penalized until after a hearing and a decision by commissioner Bud Selig.

He spent 45 minutes answering and avoiding questions.

"I figured everyone would be at this table. I'm sure the rest of the guys love this, because they don't have to worry about it," he said. "I'll take whatever shots people give me, and at the end, I'll still be standing."

1971 memories

So is Tiger Stadium, about two miles away. The site of the famous 1971 All-Star game, where Reggie Jackson hit the light tower, is shuttered these days, with no determination made on what the future will hold for the corner of Michigan and Trumbull.

Comerica Park, which replaced hitter-friendly Tiger Stadium in 2000, is one of the few pitchers' parks to open in the bandbox era.

Atlanta's John Smoltz, a Detroit native, recalled his first All-Star trip, to Anaheim in 1989.

"I was so fish-out-of-water," he said. "I didn't know if I was coming or going."

La Russa's Cardinals have four players in the starting lineup for the 76th All-Star game, with Carpenter joining center fielder Jim Edmonds, shortstop David Eckstein and designated hitter Albert Pujols -- it would have been five if third baseman Scott Rolen hadn't pulled out because of a sore right shoulder.

Red Sox lead

Boston, which swept St. Louis in the World Series, also has four starters: left fielder Manny Ramirez, center fielder Johnny Damon, designated hitter David Ortiz and catcher Jason Varitek.

No team had placed that many players in the starting lineup since the 1976 Cincinnati Reds had five, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Terry Francona earned the right to manage the AL team because he led Boston to its first World Series title since 1918.

"After 86 years of passion, frustration, fanatical fans and a lot of genuine love for their team, I'm very excited and honored," he said.

For the third straight season, the league that wins the All-Star game gets homefield advantage in the World Series. The AL has won the last seven All-Star games played to a decision, and the Red Sox started their Series sweep last year with two wins at Fenway Park.

"I think that if we had started the series in St. Louis, maybe we would have lost in five," La Russa joked.




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