ST. LOUIS - Charlie Manuel looked at his all-star roster and saw only one everyday centerfielder - Shane Victorino. So the manager awarded his player a surprise all-star start.
"We have seven outfielders on our team," Manuel said. "I saw [Colorado's Brad] Hawpe play center field, and since he's had an injury he's been playing all right field. I looked at Victorino, I wanted a guy that had played center field and was a true centerfielder. And that is how I made my decision."
Victorino, a first-time all-star, was elected as a reserve by a special fan vote after the initial rosters were announced. He is replacing the injured Carlos Beltran as the starter.
The starting pitchers
American League manager Joe Maddon said he selected Toronto's Roy Halladay to start the game over Kansas City's Zack Greinke not only because of this season, but because of Halladay's experience. "It's very difficult to actually pick that one guy," Maddon said.
"There are so many qualified pitchers among the group, but based on the body of work, also, I think Doc, over the last couple of years, has demonstrated that he is possibly the best pitcher in the American League."
San Francisco's Tim Lincecum, last year's Cy Young Award winner, will start for the NL. He is 10-2 with a 2.33 earned run average this year. Halladay is 10-3 with a 2.85 ERA.
The all-star rosters include two players who have been linked to performance-enhancing drugs in the past, Houston's Miguel Tejada and St. Louis' Ryan Franklin.
In February, Tejada pleaded guilty to lying to Congress. He admitted that he withheld information about a teammate's use of steroids and human growth hormone. He also admitted to purchasing HGH, though not to using it.
Franklin, a former Phillies reliever, was suspended in 2005 for failing a drug test.
Who are those coaches?
Maddon made the non-traditional choice of selecting two relatively unknown managers, Kansas City's Trey Hillman and Seattle's Don Wakamatsu, as his coaches. Maddon, himself an obscure skipper until the Tampa Bay Rays reached the World Series last year, wanted to help increase the profiles of Hillman and also of Wakamatsu, whom Maddon has known since 1982.
"I believe he's very talented, and I thought it was important to get him out and create a little bit more exposure for him at the onset of his career," Maddon said.
President Obama will throw out tonight's ceremonial first pitch, which will be caught by hometown favorite Albert Pujols.
Ibanez is ready
Phillies leftfielder Raul Ibanez said he was 100 percent healthy and ready to play for as long as needed tonight.
Ibanez was activated from the 15-day disabled list last week after recovering from a strained groin.
Wright on Pedro
New York Mets third baseman David Wright has mixed feelings about the situation of Pedro Martinez, who is nearing a deal with the Phillies.
"I'm happy for Pedro, because I know he wants to pitch. I consider Pedro a tremendous teammate and a good friend of mine. So I somewhat wish him luck, but not really, I guess," Wright said.
"You can never count a guy like Pedro out because he's just got a certain competitiveness to him and a fire to him that not too many pitchers have."