07/04/2004 7:00 PM ET
Bonds, Schmidt: All-Stars again
Giants headed to Houston as part of NL squad
By Rich Draper / MLB.com
|Jason Schmidt was last year's starting pitcher for the National League All-Star team. (M. Spencer Green, Pool/AP)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds was considered a lock to be selected for his 13th All-Star Game, slated for July 13 at Houston's Minute Maid Park.
Millions of fans were the key to that lock, overwhelmingly voting to send the Giants slugger to the 75th annual Midsummer Classic. Bonds received 2,952,237 votes in final balloting announced Sunday, good enough for second in the National League to the 3,187,710 tally received by St. Louis' Scott Rolen.
San Francisco pitcher Jason Schmidt was also named to the Senior Circuit rotation for the second consecutive season through voting by Major League players, coaches and managers.
Bonds, a six-time Most Valuable Player Award winner, has been named to his fifth straight All-Star Game, and he said he's looking forward to playing in the NL outfield with fellow 500-homer hitters Sammy Sosa and Ken Griffey Jr.
"Yeah, it's going to be fun playing with Junior," said Bonds. "The All-Star Game is great, just seeing everyone, guys you'll probably never play with in your lifetime. It's fine. It's nice."
Bonds said he isn't sure if he'll compete in the Home Run Derby.
Schmidt won 17 games last season and was the Cy Young Award runner-up to Dodgers closer Eric Gagne in 2003. He started and pitched two innings in last year's All-Star Game at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field, striking out three batters and hitting another.
"It's an honor more than anything," said Schmidt, who felt Houston pitcher Roger Clemens deserves to be the NL starter. "Just a tribute to what he's done in the game -- that speaks for itself."
What surprised Schmidt was being voted second to Clemens on the Player Ballot. Oddly enough, he said he never got a ballot.
"That is interesting," commented Schmidt. "The most important thing is your peers and how they judge you. That's awesome. That's how I would have done it, too, if I had a vote sheet. I never saw it.
"Just getting there is the big thing and I'm just happy to be there and all the other cliches I can think of. The best moment last year was when I pitched my two innings and I got to sit back there and watch everybody else pitch, knowing I got out of there without too much damage."
Schmidt said he felt more nervous at the All-Star Game than in the World Series.
Bonds has played in 11 All-Star games -- he didn't play in 2000 at Atlanta due to an injury -- and over 27 at-bats hit his lone homer in Milwaukee two years ago.
The 39-year-old megastar is having yet another fabulous season. After Sunday's 9-6 loss to the A's, he was batting .352 with 22 homers and 47 RBIs. In that game, he also broke Rickey Henderson's all-time walks record with two free passes for a career total of 2,191. Earlier this year, he established an NL record with eight homers in seven straight games.
"He certainly is a guy that has the numbers every year to be elected," said Giants manager Felipe Alou. "It's not only because of what he has done over the past year, it's what he's doing now.
"As long as he plays, he'll probably be in the All-Star Game," added Alou. "As many years as he'll play, he'll be there."
Regarding Bonds' first half, Alou called it "tremendous. He has scored over 60 runs."
Schmidt is a different matter. He's slated to pitch the Sunday before the All-Star Game, and Alou admitted "it worries me" having his ace pitcher compete in the classic, although he called it "the most important exhibition game of the year.
"There has always been a little confusion or controversy about them pitching in the game. But I believe it's up to the pitcher how he feels. I won't be managing him, Jack McKeon is the one."
Schmidt is 10-2 with a 2.61 ERA and has struck out 112 batters in 107 innings.
Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.