Las Vegan Harper not voted onto NL All-Star team


Las Vegan Bryce Harper apparently won't make baseball history next week.

Harper, the 19-year-old rookie sensation for the Washington Nationals, was not voted onto the National League team for Tuesday's All-Star Game in Kansas City, Mo. Fans voted in St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese for the NL and Texas Rangers rookie pitcher Yu Darvish for the American League.

A former Las Vegas High School and College of Southern Nevada standout, Harper finished behind Freese and Atlanta Braves center fielder Michael Bourn in online voting that ended Thursday for the final spots on the teams.

Harper would have been the youngest positional player to make an All-Star Game and the youngest player since pitcher Dwight Gooden in 1984.

Harper still could make the team if NL manager Tony La Russa picks him because of an injury to one of his players. One possibility is Harper could replace Florida Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who is day to day with a knee injury.

The news didn't seem to upset Nationals manager Davey Johnson. When told by a Washington Post reporter before Thursday's game against the San Francisco Giants that Harper was trailing in the voting, Johnson quickly said, "Good. ... He could use the time off to catch his breath."

Johnson added that he would have allowed Harper to go if he was elected because, he said, the All-Star Game is an honor.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told the Post he wished Harper had made the team.

"We would have had no problem with Harp going to the game, playing the game," Rizzo said. "It would have been an honor for us to have another National in there. Who knows? A couple injuries and maybe he will be. I think he'd aid the National League in winning the game. I think he can do some things that help you win a game. When the game counts, that's important nowadays. Him having the four days off doesn't bother me one bit, either."

Harper has played in each of the Nationals' 60 games since he was called up April 27. He is hitting .283 with eight home runs, 25 RBIs and eight stolen bases.

Darvish is the eighth Rangers player on the AL team managed by Texas' Ron Washington. He beat out four other pitchers: the Chicago White Sox's Jake Peavy, the Baltimore Orioles' Jason Hammel, the Kansas City Royals' Jonathan Broxton and the Los Angeles Angels' Ernesto Frieri.

"I know the way that I got selected was a vote by the fans, so I appreciate all the fans who voted for me," Darvish said through an interpreter.

Darvish has made a smooth adjustment to the major leagues after the Rangers committed more than $107 million to bring him to the United States. The 25-year-old right-hander got a guaranteed $56 million, six-year contract, and Texas also paid a record $51.7 million posting bid to his team in Japan.

Darvish responded by going 6-1 with a 2.60 ERA in his first eight starts. The rookie leveled off a bit but is 10-5 with a 3.59 ERA.

Freese, the World Series and NL Championship Series Most Valuable Player last season, joins teammates Carlos Beltran, Rafael Furcal, Yadier Molina and Lance Lynn on the NL roster. Freese is hitting .285 with 13 homers and 50 RBIs.

"Thank you, Cardinal Nation. Unbelievable support from friends, family and Cardinals fans," Freese said.

 

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