As expected, David Ortiz was voted via fan balloting as the American League's starting designated hitter. It marks the eighth time he has been picked to play in the midseason showcase. But he won't have company July 10 in Kansas City unless one of his teammates is chosen as an injury replacement.
"This is my first time going to the All-Star Game by myself. Hopefully it doesn't turn out boring," Ortiz said. "I always like to hang out with my boys. Now I'm going to carry a lot of stuff coming back from the All-Star Game. When we go as a group, everybody gets a piece of it. Now I've got to carry all the stuff. Another challenge for Papi."
Ortiz has carried the Red Sox for most of the season. After Sunday's series finale at Safeco Field, he's batting .302 and slugging .607 with 24 doubles, 21 homers, 54 RBI and a .390 on-base percentage. He's also one home run shy of reaching 400 for his career.
"I'm happy that we have David," manager Bobby Valentine said. "He's played like an All-Star. He got selected to that team. It's fitting. Maybe it's fitting he's the only All-Star because he's played so consistently well the entire time that he could get the notice, get the spotlight."
Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a chance to make the All-Star team, but he was bypassed in voting by players and AL All-Star manager Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers. Texas catcher Mike Napoli was voted to start in the fan balloting, while Baltimore's Matt Wieters and Minnesota's Joe Mauer were named as reserves.
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia's chances of making the All-Star team were sabotaged by a right thumb injury that dropped him in a deep slump last month and has left his average at .265 with a .728 OPS after Sunday. Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, the runner-up in the AL MVP voting last season, hasn't played since April 13 because of a partially dislocated right shoulder.
"You don't see this ballclub having just one player going," Ortiz said. "But it's been a lot of injuries and a lot of stuff that we've been dealing with. That's a major reason why. Because we have a lot of All-Star players that through the years are always going to be representing this ballclub. We always go as a group. Hopefully this is the last time one player is going."