Four Tampa Bay Rays were named to the American League All-Star game roster on Sunday, July 5, and fans had a chance to send one more to the July 14 event at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
But when the votes were tallied at the end of the Final Vote Thursday afternoon, Rays first baseman Carlos Pena came out in fourth place in the race for the last spot on the American League All-Star team.
Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge was the winner, followed by Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, Angels third baseman Chone Figgins, Pena and Blue Jays designated hitter Adam Lind.
Rays’ third baseman Evan Longoria is the only Tampa Bay representative named to the starting team. Three others will go as reserves. Ben Zobrist made the team via a manager's selection. Zobrist, described as a "super utility man,” has been playing second base since Akinori Iwamura was injured in late May. Short stop Jason Bartlett and fielder Carl Crawford were selected by players' balloting.
Sending four players to the All-Star game is a team record making the Rays the first team since 2005 when the White Sox sent four players under the age of 30 to the game.
The trip will be Crawford's third appearance. Crawford also made the team in 2004 and 2007. Longoria is making his second trip. Longoria was the voters’ pick during the 2008 Final Vote. Bartlett and Zobrist will be making their first appearance as All-Stars.
In total, the Rays will be sending 11 to the 80th annual All-Star game. Rays manager Joe Maddon will be heading up the American League team, accompanied by his six-man coaching staff, bullpen catcher Scott Cursi and at least four players.
The group will travel to St. Louis right after the Sunday, July 12, home game against Oakland.
The 80th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m.