Brian McCann is the reigning MVP of the All-Star game; now he'll get to start it.
The Braves catcher became an All-Star for the sixth time in six full major league seasons Sunday when the team was announced, but he's now a starter for the first time.
McCann won the fan vote at catcher over the Cardinals Yadier Molina by 1,726,052 votes.
"To get recognized by the fans to start is definitely a special honor," McCann said. "You always want to shoot to start the game; now I finally have a chance to do that."
He'll be joined in Phoenix on July 12 by teammates Jair Jurrjens and Jonny Venters, who will make their first ever All-Star appearances, and Chipper Jones, who was named as a reserve to his seventh career All-Star game. Jurrjens, Venters and Jones were all player selections.
Jones hasn't played in the All-Star game since 2008 when he was voted in as a starter on his way to winning the National League batting title.
These days, the 39-year-old is coming off left knee surgery and playing with a torn meniscus in his right knee. He was hitting only .257 entering Sunday's game again but was second in RBI among Braves behind McCann with 44. He's been one of the Braves' best clutch hitters, hitting .400 (26-for-65) with runners in scoring position entering Sunday.
He was voted in by players for the first time in his career, and it gave him a pleasant surprise.
"I was shocked," said Jones, who called it a "tremendous honor." "Fredi (Gonzalez) called me into his office. He told me and I was like 'All right, where's the hidden camera.' Guess I better cancel my vacation now."
Jurrjens is leading the National League in ERA (1.89) and is tied with Roy Halladay for the NL lead in wins with 11. He was second to Halladay on the player vote.
"It will be an honor just to share a locker room with a bunch of superstars," said Jurrjens, who had the ERA to make it in 2009 (2.91) but not the run support (7-7 record).
Jurrjens has at least a shot to start the game for the National League, though many expect Giants manager Bruce Bochy to go with the more veteran Halladay, a two-time Cy Young award winner, or Cliff Lee, who's won one.
McCann tabbed All-Star starter, Jurrjens, Venters, Jones named as reserves
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Jul 4