Utley was the second-highest vote getter overall with more than 3.5 million votes. The Phils second baseman celebrated his fourth All-Star selection Sunday by taking Mets’ ace Johan Santana yard for his 18th homer of the season.
Ibanez was also named a starter as the top vote getter among NL outfielders. It still remained unknown if Ibanez will actually play in his first All-Star game as he remained on the disabled list with a groin injury.
Both Utley and Ibanez were expected to make the All-Star squad – the same can’t be said for Howard.
Phils’ skipper Charlie Manuel (who will manage the NL) picked Howard as a fourth first baseman for the NL team. The big guy deserved to make his second All-Star appearance as he was seventh in the NL in homers (20) and third in RBI (60).
But, the picking of Howard does reek a bit of favoritism as a guy like San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval (.333 avg., 23 doubles, 12 homers and 44 RBI) could easily contribute to the NL squad.
Manuel explained his choice.
“I picked Ryan Howard because I feel like he deserves to go," said Manual. “He’s my player... and our players are why I’m managing in the All-Star Game in the first place.”
One more of Manuel's guys could still make the NL squad. Outfielder Shane Victorino was battling Sandoval, Los Angeles’ Matt Kemp, Washington’s Cristian Guzman and Arizona’s Mark Reynolds for the All-Star Final Vote.
Fans have until 4 p.m. Thursday to vote for the Flyin’ Hawaiian -- so vote people!