Pudge, Guillen selected to All Star team

Early Monday, the Tigers got some good news, much needed news after being swept by the Colorado Rockies over the holiday weekend. Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez will be the American League's starting Catcher - the first Tiger to start an All Star game since manager Alan Trammell did so in 1988, and SS Carlos Guillen also was named to the team as a reserve - giving the Tigers 2 players on the All Star team for the first time in more than 10 years.

The selection of Ivan Rodriguez came as no surprise. One of the most popular players in all of baseball, Rodriguez won the voting in a landslide. But despite his popularity, Rodriguez is still very deserving of the award. Through Sunday's game, Rodriguez was hitting .377 with 10 Home Runs and 57 RBI. The 57 RBI is tied for the team lead (with Carlos Guillen), while he is easily leading the league in batting average - currently the closest to him is Barry Bonds at .352.

The selection of Carlos Guillen on the other hand was a slight surprise, although his performance was certainly deserving. Guillen, again through Sunday's game, is hitting .324 with 11 Home Runs and 57 RBI. The 11 Home Runs and 57 RBI both tie him for the team lead. His performance certainly wasn't in question, but rather the competition at the position was thought to be the problem. Besides starter Derek Jeter, there was Miguel Tejada, Michael Young and Nomar Garciaparra to consider for the team. Tejada and Young seemed like virtual locks, and both made the team. But Yankee manager Joe Torre elected to carry 4 Shortstops on the roster, selecting Guillen to his first ever All Star team.

The selection of Guillen is reward for him for the beginning of a career year - a year in which he's already surpassed his career high in Home Runs and RBI, as well as redemption in showing the Seattle Mariners what they gave away when they traded him to the Tigers for Ramon Santiago and Juan Gonzalez this past offseason. Guillen had originally planned to go home to Venezuela for the 3-day vacation, but will happily place those plans on hold to participate in the All Star festivities.

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