Torii Hunter plans to stay in game
Center fielder sees himself as a GM after retirement
Being an All-Star is not enough for Torii Hunter. After his career, he'd like to become a general manager.
"I would like to build my own team, show that I have a little talent for scouting, picking great athletes, putting a team on the field," Hunter told the Los Angeles Times.
"I love baseball," Hunter said. "That's all I know. I've been around baseball my whole life. Why would I want to give it up just because I retire?
"I'm still learning about the game."
Travis Wood gets high praise from Halladay: Travis Wood took a perfect game into the ninth inning on Saturday night before a leadoff hit ended the Reds rookie's dream. The opposing pitcher was Roy Halladay, who earlier this year threw a perfect game against Florida -- and nearly had one when he, too, was a rookie.
"He was working quick, and we didn't get a lot of good swings off him," Halladay told MLB.com. "Usually that's not a good sign. We didn't square up a lot of balls, so you definitely know you'll have to work for it. He did a great job."
Added Halladay: "I thought he located a lot better than I did when I came up. I got away with some stuff and overpowered guys at times. I was impressed with the way he located the ball and pitched inside extremely well."
Rhodes off to All-Star Game for first time: Brandon Phillips is particularly happy to see Reds teammate Arthur Rhodes going to his first All-Star Game.
"He's like Benjamin Button -- he's getting better with age," Phillips told the The New York Times. "But he's always been good, and he's always approached the game the same way. Everybody says they've never seen him smile, but hey, that's just how his personality is. When he's on the mound, he's all about business."
Damon creates a pair of special blasts: Johnny Damon recorded his 2,500th career hit on Tuesday night, but it was hit number 2,501 that he'll likely remember just as much -- a walk-off home run in the same game.
"The ball from my 2,500th hit is going in the trophy case, but No. 2,501 is the one I'm going to remember for a long time," Damon told the Detroit Free Press. "Hitting a homer in a situation like that never gets old."
Billy Butler a fan of the Home Run Derby: Billy Butler will be tuned in to tonight's Home Run Derby, and says he even got to participate in one when he was in the Minors.
"I was in one in [Class A], the California League, and I got beat by Nick Markakis. But it's just fun, it's fun for the fans. You just go up there and try to show some raw power. This is the one time you can try to hit the ball out of the park every time," Butler told MLB.com.
"I like watching because if somebody does something like Josh Hamilton did a couple years ago, no one can do that, no matter what. It's just impressive that somebody can put on a display like that and hit the ball out of the park on every swing. It's unbelievable."
Chris Young ready to make memories in Anaheim: Chris Young, who has 15 home runs, is excited to be a part of the Home Run Derby and other All-Star festivities.
"It's a great opportunity," he told the The Arizona Republic. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance, probably, maybe for a guy like me, and I'm excited about it.
"A home run derby, used to seeing Barry Bonds and Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard and those guys, so I'm going to go out and have a good time with it."
Beltran set to make debut on Thursday: After missing the first half of the season, Carlos Beltran will make his 2010 debut when the Mets resume play on Thursday. Beltran will start in center field and hit fourth in the lineup.
"I'm happy to be back, looking forward to being with the guys," Beltran told the New York Daily News. "I'm happy to be back and be part of the team, try to help accomplish our mission, [which is to] try and win a division and try to be in the playoffs."
Swisher could bring added touch to Derby: Nick Swisher won the fan vote to earn the final spot on the AL All-Star team and will compete for the AL in the Home Run Derby.
"I used to do this in the backyard when I was 6 years old," Swisher told the New York Daily News. "Now I get to actually do it on the big stage? I'm excited, man."
Swisher, who has 15 home runs, is going to use his "special" swing for the contest, said hitting coach Kevin Long.
"He said he's going to use the 'Swish Swing,'" Long said. "I assume that's the swing he's used all year, and he'll keep it there. He promised me he wouldn't add on and do some crazy stuff."
Garza turns back the clock with performance: After starting last Monday and then earning a save on Wednesday for the Rays, Matt Garza allowed only one hit in six innings on Saturday to lead the Rays to a 4-0 win.
"It's a very emotional week," manager Joe Maddon told the St. Petersburg Times, "and very unusual these days. You might have seen that in 1957 possibly, or maybe 1948, but it's rare to see it in 2010."
Garza threw 88 pitches in his six innings of work and retired the final 13 hitters he faced.
"I had more intensity," he said. "I had my eye set on a goal. I knew where my limitations were, and I had to stay under control to get that done."
Wagner OK with recognition from teammates: Billy Wagner was picked to be a replacement for the All-Star Game but turned down the honor.
"It's a great honor any time, but I need to be ready to finish this season and get in the playoffs," Wagner told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I don't need to worry about pitching in the All-Star Game."
"He's been awesome," teammate Eric O'Flaherty said of Wagner. "He has a great personality, and everything he says has a lot of merit to it. When he talks, you listen. And also, just knowing that if we find a way to get him a lead in the ninth inning, it's pretty much over."
Uggla will be watching Ramirez at Derby: Dan Uggla is happy teammate Hanley Ramirez decided to participate in the Home Run Derby.
"I just told him to make sure he gets at least one and to take his time," Uggla, a Home Run Derby participant himself two years ago, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on his advice for Ramirez. "Most importantly, just have fun and enjoy it. It was one of the most fun times I've had. It's a really cool experience, and I'm really happy he gets to do that."
"I think he's going to do great," Uggla said. "Hanley's got power to all fields so he doesn't have to pull every one of them ... I've seen him take BP for 4 1/2 years now. It's fun to watch."
Capps influenced heavily by late father: Matt Capps wishes his father, who died before the season, could have shared in his first All-Star Game appearance.
"It's part of life," Capps told the The Washington Post about the loss of his dad. "I'm moving forward and doing what I want to do. That would make him proud to know. By going out and playing and working hard off the field, preparing every day, that's the best way of remembering and representing the name that I carry."
Kuo makes All-Star history for Taiwan: Hong-Chih Kuo is the first player from Taiwan to be selected to play in the All-Star Game.
He was selected to take the spot of Jason Heyward, who is out with a sore thumb. Originally, the spot was going to Billy Wagner, but the veteran reliever turned down the offer.
"It's a surprise," Kuo told the Los Angeles Times. "I never thought about it. It's a new experience."
Gimenez expecting long-term stay: After spending the last four months of the 2009 season with the Indians, Chris Gimenez is back in the Majors. This time, he'd like to make a stronger impression that he did a year ago.
"I can't go anywhere but up," Gimenez told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I just tried to do way too much and got out of my whole game plan. I let it beat me. ... I hope I can say I learned from it and improve. Or I might not be here very long."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.