Ortiz top vote-getter as BoSox, Yanks dominate All-Star voting
This year's All-Star Game will be held at Yankee Stadium, and fans will likely get to see plenty of hometown heroes ... but more guys from the enemy.
Red Sox and Yankees players dominated early voting for the American League squad in the July 15 contest.
Jason Varitek gave the Red Sox another top vote-getter at catcher.
Will it be awkward for Red Sox manager Terry Francona to lead all these rivals into Yankee Stadium as the home team while managing the AL?
"I was going to say 'better,'" Francona joked with a chuckle, a few hours before Boston tried to reclaim the AL East lead in Seattle.
"No, it will be an unbelievable All-Star Game to be at. Think of it: the last All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium. I can't think too many fans will be excited with a lot of us being in their dugout, but they will do it up right.
"Nah, I'm looking forward to it. It will be pretty special."
Youkilis, who leads Justin Morneau of Minnesota by about 202,000 votes at first base, was out of the lineup for the second consecutive day because of a sore his right hand that first began paining him Sunday night after a game at Oakland. As Francona predicted Monday, Sean Casey made his 18th start of the season at first base Tuesday against Seattle's Miguel Batista.
Youkilis said he had X-rays Monday then proclaimed they showed "nothing." His status is day-to-day.
He and Pedroia, the 2007 AL Rookie of the Year, would be first-time All-Stars.
"There's no getting around it: the Red Sox are popular," Francona said, knowing at least half of the crowds for the first two games of this series have been for the team from the other end of the country.
Hundreds of screaming fans wearing red and blue swarmed the areas along the railing around Boston's dugout in search of pictures and autographs during batting practice Tuesday.
"Our fans are unbelievable. I don't feel I need to apologize for it," Francona said of the voting. "We have good players and passionate fans. With that combination, you are going to see some guys leading All-Star voting."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.