ATLANTA—Noting how important it is to make a good first impression, Pittsburgh Pirates rookie first baseman Josh Bell told reporters before Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Braves that he’s still nervous about chatting with opposing baserunners.
BOSTON—As the polls close on the first month of All-Star voting, the race to represent the American League at third base is a dead heat with the Yankee's Alex Rodriguez leading Boston's Mike Lowell in the popular vote by a 2-to-1 margin, but Lowell edging Rodriguez with two-thirds of the crucial, if controversial, MLB superdelegates. "This is exactly what I've been warning people about for years—a few hundred people in the American League National Committee have more influence on the All-Star game than thousands of fans, and that's not right," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "And look who these highly placed American League figures are—Peter Gammons, who never saw a Sox infielder he didn't like. And Terry Francona, for God's sake, their manager! I thought baseball was supposed to be a democracy." Girardi said that he was prepared to take his grievance all the way to the office of AL National Convention chairman George Steinbrenner.