BOSTON (AP) – Another Big Red Machine will have a large presence at the All-Star game.

Four Boston Red Sox were elected Sunday to start for the American League at the July 12 game in Detroit. It’s the most starters for one team since the 1976 Cincinnati Reds had five, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Catcher Jason Varitek, outfielders Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez, and designated hitter David Ortiz all topped their positions in fan balloting. Ortiz had the most votes of any player, 4.14 million.

“I’m the man,” he said, wearing sunglasses after Boston’s 5-2 loss to Toronto.

“I think it’s great because last year there was nothing but Yankees in the clubhouse,” he added, jokingly.

Ortiz, Damon and Varitek were elected for the first time, and Ramirez was elected for the seventh straight season.

“Its definitely an honor for myself,” Damon said. “For the other guys, too. I think our team has some horses.”

Varitek was selected to the 2003 team but didn’t get into the game.

“It’ll be nice to actually get into the game and play and enjoy it,” he said.

Boston’s first World Series title since 1918 probably was a factor in the voting.

“I think a lot has to do with playing in the playoffs and winning the World Series,” Varitek said.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona didn’t select any of his players as reserves, leaving off starting pitcher Matt Clement, who is 9-2, and reliever Mike Timlin, who has the top ERA on the team at 1.59.

“It crushed me. I’m not very happy about it,” Francona said. “The whole process has weighed on us a lot. I think in respect to the game it should.”

He also thought Ortiz’s key hits against the Yankees increased his national visibility.

“When you play in the postseason, you get the publicity,” Francona said. “You couple that with his personality, that infectious smile.”


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