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On day Padres' Young becomes All-Star, pitcher decides to start suspension

7/5/2007 - MLB Chris Young San Diego Padres + more

SAN DIEGO -- What a day it was for Chris Young, who began a
five-game suspension for his part in a brawl, then found out about
three hours later that he was an All-Star.

Chris Young

Young

Starting Pitcher
San Diego Padres

Profile

The San Diego Padres' right-hander beat out four other pitchers
for the last spot on the NL All-Star team on Thursday in the online
Final Vote, which started Sunday night. The 6-foot-10 Young will
join teammates Jake Peavy and Trevor Hoffman at Tuesday night's
game in San Francisco.

The Padres organization, including Hoffman and Peavy, heavily
promoted the online voting that made Young an All-Star for the
first time.

"Obviously I don't want to be serving a suspension," Young
said. "I don't want to take away from my team. But all in all, I
think it's a good day, for the most part. I wish we had won our
game."

Because he can't be in the dugout or clubhouse during a game,
Young (8-3, 2.00 ERA), watched from the press box as Peavy and the
Padres lost 3-2 to the Florida Marlins.

Young had been appealing his suspension for his part in a
bench-clearing brawl at Chicago on June 16, which started when
Young hit the Cubs' Derrek Lee with a pitch.

Lee, convinced that Young was throwing at him on purpose, had
words with the pitcher as he walked to first base, then threw a
punch. Young swung back and the benches emptied.

Young will sit out the last four games before the break and the
first game after it.

He made his final start before the break on Wednesday night,
striking out nine and holding the Marlins to five hits in seven
innings of a 1-0 win. He didn't get the decision, but lowered his
ERA to 2.00, tying Brad Penny of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the
best in the majors.

Hoffman and Peavy were the unofficial campaign managers for
Young. The franchise pitched it by promoting the vote, even setting
up computers on the concourse at Petco Park so fans could vote.

Hoffman, baseball's all-time saves leader with 506, said he's
pretty much computer-illiterate, but was able to vote 50 to 75
times for his teammate.

"It's not an easy process for me," Hoffman said.

"I think it would have been different had C.Y. maybe been a
borderline nominee," Hoffman said. "The fact that his numbers
stand up against anybody's in the National League warrant him
going. I think this sends, really, a stronger message than anybody
could say in publicly rallying for him."

Peavy said Young was a better pitcher in the season's first half
than the players he beat out -- Chicago's Carlos Zambrano, Arizona's
Brandon Webb, Pittsburgh's Tom Gorzelanny and Houston's Roy Oswalt,
who was named to replace injured Atlanta pitcher John Smoltz.

"I thought it was big for the city to get behind him," Peavy
said. "The whole city should give themselves a pat on the back
because we beat out some pretty big-market teams. I know we went
hard at it and campaigned hard for him and it was well deserved.
I'm proud that this city is going to have another representative
with that Padre jersey on."

Young received more than 4.5 million votes. His winning margin
wasn't immediately available.

Young said he didn't vote for himself because he didn't want to
get distracted. He also was on the ballot last year, when he said
he did vote a few times for himself.

"This year I really tried to block it out and not worry about
it," Young said. "I think Trevor and Jake took it upon themselves
to just be active and really reach out and be vocal about it. That
just means so much to me.

"It might be even greater that just being elected without all
this," he said. "It's been really special.