When the fan voting was released each week, the dig followed. I would remind Carlos Gonzalez that maybe someday he'd crack the top 10.

He'd respond with a smile and an expletive. There will be no curse words necessary Sunday as the Rockies outfielder finally makes his first all-star team. Unlike in 2010, when National League manager Charlie Manuel passed over CarGo for Omar Infante — yeah, nothing says Midsummer Classic like a utility infielder — the 26-year-old will take his rightful place among the game's greats.

Quibble all you want about CarGo's splits (.454 on-base percentage at home, .329 on the road). He's a top-five player in the National League. The only issue, at times, is his motor. Can he play at a red-line level more often? Sure. But that's like complaining about Cindy Crawford's mole.

Gonzalez can contend for the triple crown this season. His flight to Kansas City, however, figures to be solo. Unless reliever Matt Belisle sneaks onto the team, no other Rockie figures to make the National League squad. CarGo is trying to become the first Rockie to hit 40 home runs since the humidor was installed in 2002. Possible? Yes, because he's crushing left-handed pitching again (.306 average, five home runs).

"He hit his stride quite some time ago. It's not just where he plays," said TBS analyst and former Braves star John Smoltz. "He'd be doing this in any ballpark."