Baseball

Brewers’ Hoffman trades fishing trip for trip to All-Star Game

Trevor Hoffman was supposed to take his sons fishing. Instead, they’re all headed back to the All-Star Game.

The career saves leader was a late addition to the National League squad, joining Pittsburgh pitcher Zach Duke and Tampa Bay first baseman Carlos Peña as players picked Sunday to replace All-Stars unable to participate Tuesday night.

Hoffman, in his first season with the Milwaukee Brewers, will substitute for Los Angeles Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton, who has an injured toe.

“You relish the opportunity,” Hoffman said. “You don’t know how often these come along.”

The 41-year-old reliever said his sons — Brody, Quinn and Wyatt — didn’t mind dad’s sudden change of All-Star break plans from fishing for three days in Wisconsin to a jam-packed trip to St. Louis.

“My kids are really excited. They’ve gotten older and been to quite a few, but they’re starting to understand the dynamics that are part of it,” Hoffman said. “It was a pretty easy sell.”

Duke also was added to the NL staff. He replaces San Francisco starter Matt Cain, who took a line drive off his right arm Saturday night.

A Giants spokesman said X-rays of Cain’s pitching arm showed no significant damage and the injury was diagnosed as a bruise

Peña takes the AL roster spot of Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia, elected by fans to start. His wife, Kelli, is seven months pregnant and has been in the hospital since Monday with complications.

American League manager Joe Maddon of the Tampa Bay Rays said Toronto’s Aaron Hill will start at second in place of Pedroia, last year’s league MVP.

The addition of Peña means Tampa Bay’s entire infield is on the team, including third baseman Evan Longoria, shortstop Jason Bartlett and second baseman Ben Zobrist.

The last club to put four infielders in an All-Star game was the 2002 New York Yankees, with first baseman Jason Giambi, second baseman Alfonso Soriano, shortstop Derek Jeter and third baseman Robin Ventura.

The Philadelphia Phillies, who beat Tampa Bay in the World Series last year, are sending all three outfielders to the Midsummer Classic: Raul Ibañez, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth.

Maddon chose Peña over Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, left off the All-Star team despite excellent statistics.

Peña was leading the league with 24 homers. He will take part in the Home Run Derby tonight, rounding out an AL field that also includes Minnesota’s Joe Mauer, Detroit’s Brandon Inge and Texas’ Nelson Cruz.

“I would have to believe that anyone leading the league in hitting home runs normally belongs in the All-Star game,” Maddon said. “The fact he hadn’t been on the team yet was bothering me just a little bit.”

Swinging for the Busch Stadium fences from the National League will be four powerful first basemen: St. Louis’ Albert Pujols, Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard, Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder and San Diego’s Adrian Gonzalez.

Ducats at a discount

All-Star tickets are a bargain at Busch Stadium, at least in comparison with prices for last year’s game at the original Yankee Stadium.

Tickets for Tuesday night’s All-Star Game are priced at $100 to $360, down from $150 to $725 in New York last year. Today’s workout and Home Run Derby go for $75 to $335, a drop from $100 to $650.

At AT&T Park in San Francisco two years ago, tickets were $75 to $285 for the All-Star Game and $50 to $225 for the Home Run Derby.

About 1,340 tickets for Tuesday night were available on StubHub.com Sunday afternoon, with asking prices of $475 to $11,999. FanSnap.com, an Internet search engine that finds tickets on resale sites, said 2,452 tickets were available starting at $471, the inventory leaving room for prices to drop leading up to the game.

Star catcher

Cardinals star Albert Pujols will catch the ceremonial first pitch from President Barack Obama before the All-Star Game.

Obama will be greeted by six living Cardinals Hall of Famers: Stan Musial, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Red Schoendienst, Bruce Sutter and Ozzie Smith.

Obama will use a special glove manufactured by Wilson Sporting Goods with “Obama 44” in script and an American flag. The glove will go to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

  Comments