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White Sox reliever Jesse Crain ‘blown away’ by All-Star support

Updated: August 10, 2013 6:34AM

White Sox setup man Jesse Crain admitted feeling ‘‘speechless’’ after
being selected to the American League All-Star team Saturday and receiving the second-highest vote
total from players. New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was the highest vote-getter among relievers.

‘‘When I was told that, I was speechless,’’ Crain said Monday. ‘‘Rivera deserves being first [in votes] because he’s the best and in his last year. But especially being a setup guy, who wouldn’t be blown away by that?’’

Crain wasn’t with the Sox on their road trip when the All-Star team was announced,
remaining in Chicago on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder. He won’t pitch in the All-Star Game next Tuesday at Citi Field in New York, but he will be there and take part in the festivities.

‘‘I think it still hasn’t sunk in,’’ he said. ‘‘It’ll sink in when I’m in New York, but it’s pretty awesome. I’ve gotten so many texts since Saturday. I’m disappointed I won’t have a chance to throw, but being voted in by the players is amazing. It’s something I’d never miss.’’

Crain will go to the game with Sox left-hander Chris Sale, who made the team for the second consecutive season.

‘‘He’ll be a veteran at this before he’s done,’’ Crain said.

Crain suffered a similar injury last season before the All-Star break.

‘‘I tried to toss through it, and it didn’t get better,’’ he said. ‘‘I took five or six days off, and that’s when it responded.’’

Crain’s situation this
season is more precarious because the Sox’ poor play has made them sellers as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches. He might be the Sox’ most valuable trade commodity as one of the best setup men in the majors. He could
return to pitch after the All-Star break and before the July 31 deadline.

‘‘I’d rather be here with these guys and turn things around and win,’’ Crain said. ‘‘I just have to concentrate on getting healthy now. Whatever happens down the road, you don’t know, but I’d like to be with these guys.’’

Crain said lefty reliever Matt Thornton might be a sought-after man among contenders.

‘‘Everyone wants a good lefty,’’ he said.

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