NOTEBOOK All-Star Game

No perks for Tigers: Many All-Star managers use the opportunity to reward their own players with spots on the roster and plum assignments for the game. Jim Leyland isn’t one of them. The AL manager listed his three All-Star starters in the sixth, seventh and eighth spots of the lineup. “I put all of the Tigers down at the bottom of the order so nobody could say that I was favoring the Tigers,” Leyland said Monday. “I actually wanted to hit them one, two, three, but I didn’t think I could get away with it.” The Tigers players trust their manager’s instincts, even if some of them might have wanted more prominent roles. In the lineup, Leyland batted Magglio Ordonez sixth, followed by Ivan Rodriguez and Placido Polanco, giving the more glamorous spots to players on other teams.
Missing legends: Craig Biggio got his 3,000th hit in the first half of the season. Sammy Sosa hit home run No. 600 and Frank Thomas hit his 500th. But all three are missing at the All-Star game, once again raising the question if baseball should have some sort of career achievement award for this game. NL manager Tony La Russa said he would have liked to have Biggio on his team but it’s too tough with the rosters at their current size of 32.
No Manny: One side of the room was lined with Red Sox: David Ortiz, Jonathan Papelbon, Hideki Okajima, Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. There was one empty table though, as Manny Ramirez didn’t show up for the media availability. “I just made sure he got to San Francisco,” Ortiz said. “After that, I have no control.” Ramirez usually skips the Monday media availability so this was no surprise.
Canceled vacation: Milwaukee pitcher Ben Sheets had a nice vacation planned for this week on the beach in Gulf Shores, Ala. “When I got it I was playing terrible at the end of the first month,” Sheets said. His wife, however, was more encouraging. “She’s like, ‘Honey, you might go. You never know.’ I’m like, ‘Go look at the stat page. Be honest with yourself,’ ” he said. It turns out Julie Sheets was right. After going 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in April, Sheets turned things around and went 9-2 with a 3.03 ERA the rest of the second half.

Associated Press

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