Yo’ Adrian: ‘Unbelievable’ Beltre earns All-Star berth
|07.05.10 at 1:48 pm ET|
He may have finished fourth in fan balloting among third baseman for the American League All-Star team but Adrian Beltre‘s season was recognized Sunday when it mattered.
The 31-year-old was voted onto the A.L. squad by his peers for having a career season with the Red Sox and helping his team overcome an avalanche of injuries to stay right on the heels of the Yankees in the A.L. East and record the second-highest victory total in MLB.
Beltre is batting .341 with 12 homers and 53 RBIs for the Red Sox after assuming the everyday job at third base this season.
“His season’s unbelievable,” fellow All-Star Dustin Pedroia said. “He’s hitting .350. he’s doing an unbelievable job, especially his first year in this atmosphere. It’s been fun to watch.”
“It feels good,” Beltre said of his Sunday selection. “It’s my first one so hopefully it’ll be good for me. I want to go and see how it’s like and it will be my first experience.”
[Click here to listen to Adrian Beltre's reaction to his first All-Star selection.]
Beltre has a home in Southern California so this will be an added treat for him as he gets to play in the Midsummer Classic and stay in a comfortable bed.
“It means a lot,” he said. “It’s nice to have those three days off but for me, as a first-timer, I want to enjoy it and see what it’s like. Hopefully, I can take my family and they can enjoy the time over there.”
When the Red Sox started slow in April, Beltre was one of the few Red Sox batters who was putting up consistent numbers.
“We started the season a little slow, like everybody knows and we battled some key injuries so hopefully when those guys come back, we can do a lot better,” Beltre said.
Fellow All-Star David Ortiz has had the best seat in the house, watching his former neighbor in the Dominican carry more than his fair share of the weight for the Red Sox during several key stretches through the first half.
“No question man, if there’s one guy in this clubhouse who should be part of the All-Star Game, it’s Adrian,” Ortiz said. “Adrian has been doing an unbelievable job for this ballclub and I think he’s earned it. He earned it.”
Beltre said earning the honor for the first time in the pressure-cooker that is Boston baseball is great for the fans but he’s just happy to be going after 13 seasons in the bigs.
“It means a lot but if you’re going to be an All-Star, it doesn’t matter where you’re at. It helps that the fans here are into the game,” he said. “My goal this year was to be healthy and help this team get to the playoffs and see how far we can and after that, whatever comes was going to be extra. So, I’m real excited to be in the All-Star Game.”
And when he gets to Southern California next week, he’ll enjoy the company of some familiar faces as five other Red Sox players will be going and maybe a sixth, in Kevin Youkilis.
“It’s cool, it’s cool,” he added. “It’s going to be like I’m here. Everywhere I go, I’m probably going to see one of those guys. It’s probably going to be a good time.”
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