Ortiz will be in HR Derby, pick 3 others

July, 1, 2011
HOUSTON -- As the defending champ and recently dubbed captain of the American League contingent for the Home Run Derby, David Ortiz has been given the task of choosing three AL players to take part in the contest July 11 as part of the All-Star festivities at Chase Field in Arizona.

Ortiz, though, was not spilling the beans Friday as to whom he might select. The truth is, he doesn’t know yet, and doesn’t have to pick a team until later next week, after the All-Stars have been announced on Sunday.

But he does have one candidate in mind, and he happens to wear number 34 and play for the Red Sox.

“I’ll be in it, of course,” said Ortiz with a big smile before Friday night’s game in Houston.

Ortiz will be asking AL home-run hitters to beat an NL squad of bashers selected by Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder. Ortiz (2010) and Fielder (2009) were tabbed by MLB to pick the teams because they are the last two players to win the contest.

Ortiz has been tweeting, asking for input from the fans, he said. He also will be sending text messages and calls to players he would like to represent the American League.

Will he ask Red Sox teammate Adrian Gonzalez, who has 16 homers, to participate?

“We’ll see. I’m thinking about it. I have three guys in mind. I have to talk to them. I’ll let you guys know later,” Ortiz told the media.

How about the Jays’ Jose Bautista, who is tied for the league lead in homers after bashing 54 last year?

“That’s a good pick. I’ll think about it,” said Ortiz.



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