No Yankees were named in 2001 All Star fan voting. Joe Torre was asked to defend his selection of Derek Jeter
- Until 1999, separate AL and NL presidents assisted in All Star selections.
"When push comes to shove, I'm going to take my own players," he said, "although I think it's the first time I've picked seven."
Torre and Bobby Valentine, manager of the New York Mets and the National League All-Stars, both came under scrutiny after selecting pitchers and reserves for the 72nd All-Star Game on Tuesday at Safeco Field.
After no Yankees were selected by the fans as starters, Torre penciled in Yankees pitchers Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Mike Stanton, along with shortstop Derek Jeter, outfielder Bernie Williams and catcher Jorge Posada.
Regarding the selection of Jeter, who has missed games with injuries and is having, for him, a subpar year, Torre said, "Jeter, if I'm not mistaken, did pretty well in the voting, he's hitting close to .300 (.294) and he's a pretty good player.
- I can't think of anything else to say."
Torre said he picked Stanton over the Mariners' Jeff Nelson, in part, because it would be Stanton's first All-Star Game, and that Pettitte got the nod over Minnesota's Brad Radke because Torre didn't want to pick three Twins starters.
Torre received input from American League executive Phyllis Merhige, while National League executive Katy Feeney helped Valentine with his selections. The AL and NL presidents played a role in the process
- until baseball eliminated the positions in 1999.
"I don't mind the responsibility (of choosing)," Torre said. "You know you're going to take criticism, but I'd still like to be able to have some influence on who's picked."
Torre mentioned Boston pitcher Tim Wakefield, Kansas City shortstop Rey Sanchez, Cleveland first baseman Jim Thome, Oakland pitcher Mark Mulder and Toronto outfielder Shannon Stewart as deserving players who failed to make the cut.
Valentine, who counted Florida outfielder Cliff Floyd and pitcher Brad Penny, Philadelphia closer Jose Mesa, Colorado shortstop Neifi Perez and Houston second baseman Craig Biggio among his toughest omissions, said baseball should consider allowing the NL to carry two more All-Stars than the AL because it has two more teams.
"I like the responsibility," Valentine said, "but I wish we had some kind of equitable system."
Valentine is waiting to hear from Arizona manager Bob Brenly about whether Schilling will be available, but said that his teammate, ex-Mariners lefty Randy Johnson, who pitched Wednesday and would be rested, "is a candidate, absolutely."
- Torre did not address the issue of the AL's starting pitcher, a spot that appears to belong to Clemens if he wants it."