Cougar Great & White Sox Reliever Jesse Crain Tabbed a MLB All-Star
July 7, 2013
Courtesy of MLB.com
Notes: Cougar Great Jesse Crain ('02) became the fifth Cougar all-time to be named a MLB All-Star. This was his first year being honored to participate in the Midsummer Classic and second straight University of Houston has had a former player named to the team as Michael Bourn was honored in 2012 with the Atlanta Braves.
Joining Crain as all-stars and representing UH are Bourn (2012, 2010), Woody Wiliams (2003), Doug Drabek (1994) and Tom Paciorek (1981).
ST. PETERSBURG -- A phone message was left for Jesse Crain by White Sox director of team travel Ed Cassin sometime Saturday afternoon.
Crain, who didn't journey to Florida with the team because he has been temporarily shut down from working out after going on the disabled list Wednesday with a shoulder strain, wasn't quite sure what the message was about.
"When Ed gave me the news, I was close to tears," said Crain in a Saturday night phone interview, after being selected as an All-Star for the first time in his decade-long career. Crain was voted in by the players and will be joined by teammate Chris Sale, the losing pitcher in Saturday's 3-0 setback to the Rays, whose second straight All-Star appearance came via a selection by American League and Detroit manager Jim Leyland.
"He deserved it more than anybody honestly," said Sale of Crain. "The All-Star Game is for the best players to go. He's hands down the best reliever this year without a doubt."
Because of the shoulder injury, Crain won't be eligible to participate in the actual All-Star Game and was replaced by Minnesota closer Glen Perkins on the active roster. That inactivity won't prevent Crain from attending the All-Star festivities in New York and relishing the rare honor for a setup man.
It was just one month ago when Crain told MLB.com that reaching the All-Star Game would probably be an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity because of his setup role. He also joked about players sometimes rushing through their personal All-Star ballot and hoped that they paid attention to everybody.
American League roster
Clearly, the 32-year-old Crain's franchise-record 29 straight appearances without allowing a run, breaking J.J. Putz's previous mark of 27, and 31 straight games without allowing an earned run made an impact. The same can be said for his 0.74 ERA entering the All-Star break and 46 strikeouts over 36 2/3 innings.
Crain's vote total of 156 trailed only Mariano Rivera's top vote of 288 among the players. Crain checked in 30 votes ahead of Rangers closer Joe Nathan, another player-elected All-Star.
"Hearing that … I'm speechless on that," Crain said. "I play the game because I love it, and I try to take it day by day and pitch by pitch and just go out there and do my job. For everyone to vote that way, they obviously respect what I do out there and that means a lot.
"You don't get many opportunities. I had a little bit of everything. I had luck and put together a good year. It's good for all the guys who pitch the innings I do, in the seventh and eighth, it gives everyone a chance to make it. You could probably count on one hand the times in the last 10 years a non-closer made it."
From Saturday, July 6 to Thursday, July 11, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by freecreditscore.com for the final player for each League's All-Star roster.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 16. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
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