Sale, Konerko, Dunn get All-Star nods for White Sox; Castro, LaHair lead Cubs
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN and TONI GINNETTI Sun-Times Media July 1, 2012 11:28PM
White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko was named to his sixth All-Star team Sunday. He is hitting .335 with 14 home runs and 40 RBI. | Charles Rex Arbogast~AP
Sox lose to Yankees for series split; Cubs sweep Astros. 37
Updated: August 3, 2012 6:28AM
NEW YORK — Chris Sale, Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn made it to the American League All-Star team. A.J. Pierzynski did not. And Jake Peavy still has a shot.
That’s how Sunday’s All-Star proceedings shook out for the White Sox. Sale, who is 9-2 with a 2.27 ERA in his first season as a starting pitcher, was named for the first time. Konerko is now a six-time All-Star first baseman and Dunn is a two-time All-Star who also made the National League team with the Cincinnati Reds in 2002.
Peavy, like Dunn a candidate for Comeback Player of the Year, is a Final Vote candidate. He was most happy for Sale, a 23-year-old left-hander who responded to handshakes and hugs from teammates with an ear-to-ear smile.
‘‘It’s awesome,’’ Sale said. “It’s something I’ve honestly thought about for a long time since I was a kid, playing baseball, being a fan of baseball. I was kind of speechless. It was just crazy.’’
Sale is 6-0 with a 1.73 ERA over his last six starts. He leads the AL in ERA and is second with a 0.97 WHIP (walks and hits to innings pitched) and opponent batting average (.198).
‘‘It’s been an incredible ride,’’ Sale said. ‘‘I wish I could sit here and tell you I did this all by myself, but I’ve had two catchers behind the plate; the defense is behind me, scoring runs when I’m out there.’’
Konerko is batting .335 with 14 homers and 45 RBI. Dunn is .210 with 24 homers and 58 RBI.
‘‘You never think it’s not a big deal, no matter how long you play or how old you are,’’ Konerko said.
Dunn was disappointed for teammates who came up short, calling the honor “bittersweet.’’
‘‘It’s huge,’’ he said. ‘‘You get voted in by your peers — that’s the highest honor you can have.’’
Peavy (6-5, 2.96) needs fan votes by 3 p.m. Central time Thursday. The Kansas City Royals’ Jonathan Broxton, the Texas Rangers’ Yu Darvish, the Baltimore Orioles’ Jason Hammel and the Los Angeles Angels’ Ernesto Frieri, all pitchers, are his competition.
Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro worried when he didn’t find out immediately Sunday if he had made the All Star team.
But when manager Dale Sveum called a meeting and told the whole team, the bigger surprise was who was joining Castro—long time minor leaguer Bryan LaHair.
“It’s one of those things as a manager that you get that’s a special time,’’ Sveum said. “You tell a kid who’s (29) he’s an All-Star after so many years in the minors. That’s what we live for in this game, those special moments.’’
Both Castro and LaHair were selected by player balloting. It is the second consecutive year Castro was chosen, but the first for LaHair, who had been in the minors since 2008.
“This is amazing,’’ said LaHair, who ironically has lost the first base job to Anthony Rizzo. LaHair now plays the outfield.
LaHair is in his first full season, hitting .284 with 13 homers and 28 RBI. He appeared in 45 games with the Seattle Mariners in 2008 but had been in the minors since then.
For Castro, 22, it’s his second straight All-Star game. He’s hitting .297 and is the only National League player to have started all his team’s games.
The pair gives the Cubs their first multiple All Stars since 2008 when eight players made the team.