Infante gains surprise selection

When we awoke this morning, I think it’s safe to say most of us expected Jason Heyward, Martin Prado and Tim Hudson to be named to this year’s All-Star team.  There was also little shock when the players provided Brian McCann his fifth consecutive All-Star selection.

But the biggest surprise and thrill of the day came when it was learned Omar Infante was granted his first All-Star selection.  It’s obvious that the Braves aren’t the only ones who have recognized the value he brings with his dependable versatility as a utility player. 

“I’m so happy for him,” Hudson said. “I was just thrilled when I learned that he made it.  That’s just great.”

The fact that Infante has hit .353 against the Phillies this year likely aided his cause when Phillies manager Charlie Manuel began looking at options to strengthen his bench.

The .345 batting average Infante has compiled with runners in scoring position since the start of the 2008 season ranks fifth among all Major Leaguers who have compiled at least 200 plate appearances in this situation. 

“We feel like we got a good player there, who  is a contact hitter, who can handle the bat,” Manuel said during TBS’s Selection Show.

Making his third All-Star selection and first since 2004, Hudson said he is looking forward to taking his son Kade down on the field to be surrounded by the game’s other greats during the Home Run Derby on July 12.

Prado will start at second base in place of the injured Chase Utley.  Heyward has said that his injured left thumb will likely keep him from playing. 

The five All-Star selections are the most the Braves have totaled since sending seven players to the 2003 Midsummer Classic.

UPDATED:  Billy Wagner is part of the Final Vote Ballot.  You can help the veteran closer make his final All-Star appearance by casting your votes through Thursday at 4 p.m. ET.    
 

24 Comments

As much as I love Wagner, I can’t help but feel Votto deserves this spot… see, I’m not biased.

Soccer Player.

Soccer Player. I voted for Wags 50 times already.

All right, Omar.

Marlins telecast is already quacking about Omar being an all star selection.

Way to go Braves and on another note congrats to the Minor league players for making the Futures Game. Mike Minor and Julio Terehan.

Melky the choke strikes again. This is a 0 tool guy. No speed, below avg glove, lousy career avg, no power and doesn’t hit well with RISP. I would rather have Schafer playing everyday than have Melk in the lineup. He just doesn’t bring anything special to the party.

Bill maybe that “Red ***” over the Melkman will be soothed by Wren signing Willy Taveras to a minor league Contract.

Yeah David, maybe we can get Pendleton to give him some hitting instruction, yeah, that’s the ticket.It’s a good thing he’s headed to the minors, I think we have excellent instruction down there.

I dont think that Taveras will be signed but who knows the Braves need help.

Better wake up ncbrave he’s(Taveras) already signed to a minor league contract. He played tonight for Gwinnett.

Just think of all the fun you will have with trade proposals with Taveras.

When Infante received a call at 8:30 am and the caller ID said Frank Wren, Omar says he thought for sure he had been traded.

Quote of the day, Tom Glavine on the Brave’s telecast. When asked by Joe Simpson where he would like his number placed on the wall of Turner Field among the other hall of famers, without hesitation he answered “why, somewhere on the outside corner, of course.”

Kenshin Kawakami, Jesse Chavez, Willy Taveras, and Nate McLouth for Randy Wolf and Corey Hart.

C’mon, it’ll work…
Had a nc moment…
And I don’t ever remember being a soccer player as being insulting? How do you even remember that? Seems a bit odd you remember that.

A soccer player who didn’t know who Pele was, you have some picture of a homemade letter jacket and supposedly your number is painted on a field somewhere. I remember everything. It is why I am the Great and Mighty Reef. Well about the Soccer Player thing. If you go to a poker game and you can’t pick out the sucker………..

Thanks Barry for the quotes, I had to listen to Fish Fancier announcers whine all afternoon about why Uggla and Cantu didn’t make the AS team and Omar did. IT”S BECAUSE YOUR 8.5 OUT YOU MORONS.

Willy Taveras is a depth move. I’m being Captain Obvious but he may produce in Atlanta. Have being released on three or four different occasions isn’t good, again Capt. Obvious. I hope it’s not an attitude problem and just performance issue.

I knew who Pele was and his famous chip, but I didn’t know when he played and who he played for. As I’ve said before, I played for the baseball and soccer team. I grew up playing both, but baseball has always been the thing I was most interested in, professionally and playing wise. I even played basketball in the winter to give me something to do between the 2 seasons, want to quiz me on basketball too? Turns out I don’t know s*** about it either, besides the rules. I don’t need to know what percentage of free throws Derrick Rose makes or what his contract status is to know that he is a good player. Don’t need it in baseball either, but I have the luxury of knowing that anyway, and if you’re telling me a guy with a .312/.412/.572 line, leading the league in OPS, and is second with 19 homers(5 more than Troy Glaus ) and 57 RBI’s (1 more than Troy Glaus), and playing for a first place team doesn’t deserve this All-Star spot, than you are stone cold f*** nuts, and nothing more than a biased fanboy. I hate the Mets and David Wright, but he deserves to start. Does Votto deserve it more than Wagner? Tough to say. Wagner’s year has been phenomenal, and it would be a great way to send him out, but, like the regular voting, it will be a popularity contest. Do we need another position player or another pitcher more? It should be about what the manager needs, but I digress. I don’t think Gonzalez or Zimmerman should make it, but Bell has done a pretty outstanding job for the Padres and I’ve already explained Votto. I believe both Votto and Wagner should have made the original list, but now it’s in the hands of biased fanboys, like yourself. You just better pray to your Pagan God Cincinnati doesn’t have tons of people like you.

Heyward is the second-youngest Major Leaguer to ever be elected to start an All-Star Game. He is two months and 12 days younger than Ken Griffey Jr., who became the youngest elected player in 1990.

Can you help me make sense of Mark’s statement? Thanks.

Frank Robinson is the yongest all star, not Ken Griffey.

I must admit, I do not think that Omar should have been inserted into the AS lineup, but its basically an exhibition game so in the end, I don’t really think its worth a great debate. Even though Selig had a brain fart and decided to put home field advantage of the WS to the winner, this game still doesn’t mean anything. This is an exhibition where fans get to see great players from each league play each other…..

Should have read:

Heyward is the second-youngest Major Leaguer to ever be elected to start an All-Star Game. He is two months and 12 days younger than Ken Griffey Jr was in 1990, when he became the youngest elected starter.

Dr. Doom:
Frank Robinson was the youngest NL starter. But he wasn’t elected through the fan vote.

Mark, wouldn’t that make Heyward the “youngest” starter ever elected? If he is two months and 12 days younger than Griffey was when he was elected? By the way, either the guys on FOX or the Marlin’s broadcasters said Heyward would be the “youngest”

I was wrong again. If I keep trying this my batting average will be McLouthian.

Anyhow, should have read “older”.

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