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Three's company for Blue Jays
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07/06/2003  6:21 PM ET 
Three's company for Blue Jays
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Roy Halladay will make his second straight All-Star Game appearance. (Duane Burleson/AP)
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    BALTIMORE -- The All-Star ballots are in, and one thing is clear: The Blue Jays have earned a resounding measure of respect. Toronto will have three players -- Carlos Delgado, Roy Halladay and Vernon Wells -- representing their league at the All-Star Game. The Jays haven't had more than that since 1994, the season following their second World Series.

    Toronto manager Carlos Tosca was pleased with the final results and proud of his players that made the team.

    "I think it's well-deserved for those three guys. They're having fantastic years, and they're going to represent the American League in the best way," he said. "We had another guy that I know was talked about a lot, and that's Greg Myers. We could've possibly had four guys."

    A few players echoed that comment, adding that Frank Catalanotto also deserved some consideration. Halladay, who was Toronto's lone All-Star in 2002, went to the wall for his teammates.

    "You always feel like you should have a lot of guys in there. We have a lot of guys that have done a great job for us," he said. "Sometimes those things are out of your control. It's an improvement from last year, and hopefully next year we'll have some more."

    As it is, three equals Toronto's All-Star output from 2000, Delgado's only other All-Star year. In that season, Delgado finished fourth in the MVP balloting. This time, at the season's midpoint, he's a trendy choice to sweep the postseason awards.

    The slugger leads the AL in home runs (28), RBIs (92) and slugging percentage (.644), and he's second in runs (72) and extra-base hits (51). As a reflection of that success, Delgado was elected to start the game, and he said that makes a tremendous difference.

    "It's a great honor. It's a lot of fun, and we're all looking forward to it," he said. "When you see fans across the country realize that you've done a good job, it's a little more flattering."

    Wells also received some flattering news. The Jays' center fielder finished second in player balloting, trailing only Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki. At 24 years old, he already has established himself as one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball.

    Still, this season, it has been his offense that has turned some heads. Wells is in the AL's top five in home runs (21), RBIs (80), runs (69), extra-base hits (50) and total bases (207). That's why his peers showed him the ultimate respect, and Delgado said Wells earned it on the field.

    "I think that's great. The fans didn't give him enough credit," he said. "This kid has put together a phenomenal season, and it's great that he gets the recognition. It's well-deserved, and I'm very happy for him."

    Wells is well-known for being steady and modest, but he seemed excited to reach All-Star status for the first time. Despite his gaudy statistics, he said that he didn't know what to expect. When asked about the player balloting, he admitted that he was proud his peers held him in high regard.

    "It's definitely a compliment. Hopefully, I won't let them down in the second half of the season," he said. "You never expect anything. I've been pretty blessed this season, and I'm just happy to be a part of it."

    Halladay, who has won 12 straight decisions, will start two more games before the break. That may keep him from pitching in the game, but he wasn't worried about that on Sunday. Last year, he gave up a home run to Barry Bonds. This time, he's not making any predictions.

    "It's a different situation, going in and playing with guys you've never played with before," he said. "It's an escalated atmosphere, but it was fun and I enjoyed it. I'm going to go and try to do my best again this year."

    Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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