Last year, Robinson Cano was given flak he felt went over the line when he did not select Kansas City designated hitter Billy Butler for the Home Run Derby.
Cano is the captain of the AL group for the second year in a row, but did not have to worry about controversy for two reasons. One, the event is in New York at Citi Field and two, Butler was not named to the All-Star team.
About an hour before first pitch on Monday, Cano announced his choices on ESPN. His first pick was Detroit slugger Prince Fielder. Fielder won the event last year and in 2009, making him and Ken Griffey Jr. the only two-time winners of the event.
He also named Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis, who led the fan balloting and leads the majors with 33 home runs and 85 RBIs.
Cano’s final pick will be announced Tuesday.
Ishikawa becomes 43rd Yankee this season
By the final week before the All-Star break, the Yankees envisioned a corner infield of Mark Teixeira at first base and Kevin Youkilis at third. Instead it’s Travis Ishikawa giving Lyle Overbay a day off at first and Luis Cruz at third.
Those are the most recent in-season acquisitions for the Yankees, who added the two after they were designated for assignment. Cruz was the 42nd player on the team this season when he joined last week in Minnesota and Ishikawa was the 43rd when he started at first base Monday.
“They shouldn’t be surprised if they read the papers around here or follow the box scores,” manager Joe Girardi said. “You get here, you play. That’s the bottom line. We’ve acquired so many people over the course of the season out of need and usually when you do that you need them to play.”
Of those 43 players, 13 have been infielders and, not including Teixeira, seven were not on the team when the season began.
Ishikawa joined the Yankees after being claimed off waivers from Baltimore where he was 2-for-18 in six games.
“As soon as I found out, I went to church, came back home, started packing as quick as I could,” Ishikawa said. “I had most stuff packed but I had to get some final touches down. [I] caught a red-eye flight last night, took a little nap, shaved my goatee and here I am.
Rookie David Adams was sent down to the minors. Adams was with the team since May 15 but batted .190 with 32 strikeouts and since he was not going to play every day, the Yankees felt it was pointless to let him sit on the bench.
“It’s always hard because everyone wants to be here, that’s the bottom line.” Girardi said. “But the way we saw it this kid is someone that we expect to be a player here for a while and for him not to play every day didn’t make sense to us. We wanted him to go play and be ready to help you when we need him.”
Yankees begin community service initiative
For the fifth straight season, the Yankees are holding HOPE Week and it began Monday as the team reached out to Rockaway Special Athletes, a group that provides weekly recreation for disabled children.
The group is currently headquartered at St. Rose of Lima School after Hurricane Sandy destroyed the original headquarters at St. Camillius.
On Monday, Ivan Nova, Zoilo Almonte, Adam Warren, Adams and Alberto Gonzalez paid a visit and played games with the children. Afterward, participants and their families were invited to Yankee Stadium to watch batting practice from the field and be part of pregame on-field ceremonies.
Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.