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Fielder shrugs off Chase Field boos in HR Derby

POSTED July 12, 2011 12:11 p.m.

PHOENIX (AP) — When Prince Fielder came to the plate in the Home Run Derby, he was showered with boos.

The big Milwaukee Brewers slugger, the 2009 Home Run Derby champion, insists he was not offended. He picked the other three members of the NL team and left off Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton. Among Fielder’s choices, Brewers teammate Rickie Weeks, his friend since childhood.

“It’s one of their players. You expect that,” Fielder said. “That means it means a lot to them.”

Weeks got the same reception, and was a bit bewildered.

“I finally kind of figured it out,” he said.

One who wasn’t so forgiving were young sons Jadyn and Haven, on hand on the field in replica All-Star uniforms.

“They were mad. They wanted to fight,” Fielder said. “I had to tell them to calm down. It wasn’t personal.”


YANKEE PRIDE: Without Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Alex Rodriguez around, someone had to carry the Yankee Pride at All-Star weekend. Robinson Cano’s booming victory in the Home Run Derby fit the bill just fine.

That fact was not lost on Cano.

“I was sad when I heard they are not coming, because you always like when you’re teammates are here, because you feel like you’re in the clubhouse,” he said. But I know they have their reasons and I hope fans understand that it’s not that they don’t want to come. There was a reason and I know nobody else wants to be here more than them.”

He had a special thanks for pitcher CC Sabathia, who started on Sunday and thus was not eligible to throw in Tuesday’s All-Star game, even though he leads the majors with 13 wins.

Cano said Sabathia told him, ‘You’re going to win it, don’t worry, be relaxed.”

Some key Yankees weren’t with Cano, but their support was.

“It’s always great to have people around you like that,” he said. “Not like, ‘Oh, this guy is going to go, don’t care if he doesn’t win.”


JOSH’S PLANS: Josh Hamilton says he plans to reach out to the family of Shannon Stone, the firefighter who tumbled to his death trying to catch a ball tossed by the Texas Rangers’ outfielder.

“I haven’t thought it all the way through yet,” Hamilton said. “Obviously, I want it to be personal, face to face. I’d love to know what kind of man Mr. Stone was and just meet his wife and his little boy and see where it goes from there.

“The memorial fund, my wife and I plan to do something with that and try to do everything possible.”

But he knows he can never do enough.

“Nothing we can do is going to bring him back,” Hamilton said. “But the organization can take care of the family and see that everything is going in the right direction.”

Two nights after Stone’s death, Hamilton hit a winning, ninth-inning home run for the Rangers, a release of sorts for a man who recovered from drug addiction and lives with an abundance of Christian faith.

“It helps me handle life,” Hamilton said, “and this is life, this tragedy. There’s things that happen that you have no control over and you don’t understand them and you will never understand them until you stand in front of your maker.”


BELTRAN WANTS TO WIN: Carlos Beltran left no doubt about his desire to play for a winner, and he would be willing to approve a trade to a contending team if the New York Mets want to deal him before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.

“The Mets know,” the NL All-Star said. “I have made clear to them, that I’m willing to listen if they want to trade me. All I want to be is on a team where I have a chance to go to the playoffs.”

Would the Boston Red Sox be a good destination?

“They’re in first place,” he said. “It’s a no-brainer.”


GIO ON JETER: New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has taken some heat for skipping the All-Star game to rest a sore calf that’s been called a questionable escape clause since he was well enough to play in his quest to reach 3,000 hits.

Oakland Athletics left-hander Gio Gonzalez, making his first All-Star appearance, thinks everyone should back off the Yankees’ captain.

“The guy just got his 3,000th hit, so give him a break, seriously,” Gonzalez said. “He’s coming off the DL, played a bunch of games, he deserves a little bit of rest to get his body right and I think everybody should respect that.”


POLANCO SHOWS: A bad back kept Philadelphia third baseman Placido Polanco from playing in the All-Star game.

It couldn’t keep him from showing up to watch it in person.

Saying he felt obligated to be in Phoenix after being voted in by the fans, Polanco was in the desert for media sessions on Monday and will be at Chase Field for Tuesday night’s game.

“It’s not normal to be here and be voted in by the fans, so to not be able to play makes me a little bit mad, but at the same time it’s hard to get too mad around all these superstars and the good time you’re having here,” he said. “Sometimes you have to support, be here for the fans and do all the stuff, the appreciation for what they did. I wanted to play, but it was in the best interest of the team for me not to.”


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