CLEVELAND (AP) — C.C. Sabathia will have some company at the All-Star game.
Cleveland’s ace left-hander along with Indians catcher Victor Martinez and outfielder Grady Sizemore were named to the American League squad Sunday.
Sabathia will have plenty of family and friends at the game, too. He grew up in Vallejo, Calif., about 25 miles from where the July 10 game will be played in San Francisco. He now lives 40 miles away in Fairfield, Calif.
“I’ll buy tickets for a lot of people, but won’t be able to get nearly enough for everybody,” Sabathia said. “My mom’s pretty excited. Me too. At least I’ll be able to sleep in my own bed.”
Sabathia’s 12 wins lead the majors. Both Martinez and Sizemore believe he deserves to be named the AL starter by Detroit manager Jim Leyland.
“Numbers don’t lie, so I think C.C. should start,” said Martinez, hitting .323 with 14 homers and 63 RBIs. “He’s got the most wins, pitched the most innings, and has been great all year.”
“I do think C.C. should start,” he said. “He’s just been so consistently good.”
Sabathia (12-2), who has 116 strikeouts and just 17 walks in 129 1-3 innings, has one more start before the break — against Leyland’s Tigers on Thursday.
“It’s up to me to make a good impression,” he said. “I don’t really think about it. You do that, you lose focus on what your job is. That’s to win games for the Cleveland Indians.”
Indians manager Eric Wedge thinks Sabathia has a shot at becoming the first Cleveland pitcher to start an All-Star game since Charles Nagy in 1996.
“C.C. has been tremendous,” Wedge said. “It isn’t for me to say if he should be the starter. There’s multiple people deserving, including him.”
Sabathia was selected in 2003, but did not play. He gave up three runs in one inning of relief in the 2004 game, when Martinez went 0-for-1.
Sizemore was 0-for-2 in his All-Star debut last year.
“I was more nervous than anything,” said Sizemore, hitting .285 with 13 homers, 41 RBIs and 23 stolen bases this season. “I probably didn’t say two words the entire time.
“I was the only guy from our team. This time, it should be fun sharing the experience with two guys who really deserve to be there.”