Jose Abreu, Alexei Ramirez named to All-Star team; Chris Sale needs your vote
BY TONI GINNETTI For Sun-Times Media July 6, 2014 7:02PM
Updated: July 6, 2014 10:52PM
For the White Sox, Minnie Minoso always has been the most heralded Cuban native. But he has competition now from fellow Cubans Jose Abreu and shortstop Alexei Ramirez, who were named as reserves on the American League team.
Abreu, who is tied for the AL home-run lead and is third in RBI, is the first Sox rookie to be selected since 1983, when eventual Rookie of the Year Ron Kittle made it.
Ramirez, who is hitting .286 with eight homers and 41 RBI in a bounce-back year, is the first Sox shortstop selected since Ozzie Guillen in 1991.
The Sox have a potential third representative in pitcher Chris Sale, a two-time All-Star, who is on the ballot for the final AL roster spot to be determined by fan vote.
The Sox have had two former players win that election — Scott Podsednik in 2005 and A.J. Pierzynski in 2006.
‘‘I think the right two guys are going,’’ Sale said. ‘‘I think [being on the ballot will] be fun. It’s an honor to be thought of in any way. I’m not much of a self-promoter. I’ll let my teammates have fun with it.’’
Abreu and Ramirez already were, showing off caps with ‘‘I love Sale’’ printed on them.
‘‘I’m still in shock,’’ said Ramirez, 32. ‘‘It’s a recognition of the hard work I’ve put in here and we’ve put in as a team. It’s a great honor. I’m extremely happy I’m going with Jose. His first year in the league, and he’s setting records. But it’s not just the two of us, but everyone [from Cuba], whether it’s National League or American League.’’
Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers and Aroldis Chapman of the Reds made the NL team.
‘‘I’m happy our Cuban baseball, our level of baseball, is being recognized here,’’ Ramirez said.
‘‘It’s really a gift from God to have the privilege to play in the All-Star game,’’ said Abreu, 27, who signed a five-year, $68 million free-agent deal after leaving Cuba in October. ‘‘Alexei has helped me a lot, but it makes me really happy to be going to the game with him.’’
Abreu said he still hasn’t decided whether he will take part in the Home Run Derby.
‘‘The one thing I am thinking about is we have seven more games to play before the All-Star game,’’ he said.
Manager Robin Ventura said both are deserving.
‘‘You can tell they’re excited and it’s a feather in the cap you take forever,’’ he said. ‘‘If they have a big lefty bat coming up for the National League, I know who I’d want pitching [Sale].’’