WASHINGTON -- Pressed to defend his election to start the All-Star Game, a development over which he had no control, Pablo Sandoval heaped praise Tuesday upon the third baseman many think is more deserving, New York Mets third baseman David Wright.
Leading the chorus of complaints about Sandoval's selection was Wright's boss, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, who used Twitter to take aim at Giants fans -- whose late voting surge generated the stunning result -- and their third baseman.
"A city of 8 million was outvoted by a city of 800,000," read the first tweet from Alderson, the former Oakland A's GM who may have forgot that the Giants draw fans from the nine-county Bay Area. Said Alderson's second tweet, "ASG election of 'Kung Fu Panda' shows the value of a cute nickname. Surprised Giants fans didn't elect a 'ball dude' to start at third base."
Sandoval avoided escalating the war of words. "I have nothing to say," he said. Referring to Wright, he added, "I'm happy because both we made it. We're on the same team, so I hope we help the team win to start the World Series in the National League."
Sandoval reiterated both his surprise upon being elected and his respect for Wright.
"He's a great player. He's having a great season," Sandoval said. "The fans did all the work. I'm happy for my fans."
A reporter pointed out to Sandoval that, in 2009, he outperformed Wright, who was the fans' choice to start.
"That's baseball," said Sandoval, who out-hit Wright .333-.324 and out-produced him with 15 homers and 55 RBIs to five homers and 44 RBIs in the first half of 2009.