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Wolf named to NL All-Star team
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07/06/2003  6:37 PM ET 
Wolf named to NL All-Star team
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    PHILADELPHIA -- Randy Wolf can stop talking about making the All-Star team in hypothetical terms.

    The 26-year-old has officially been named to the 2003 National League All-Star squad, and will head to U.S. Cellular Field to play in the 74th Midsummer Classic. He was the lone Phillie selected.

    This is Wolf's first selection to the All-Star team in his fifth year in the Majors. In November he participated on a barnstorming tour through Japan with selected Major Leaguers.

    "He's one of the best left-handers in the league that nobody knows anything about," said Dan Plesac, a three-time All-Star with the Brewers. "He's absolutely terrific. He's the entire package. He's smart, he's fiery, he's a bulldog and a competitor and won't ever give in. He has some great pitches and a great idea how to pitch. He's just very impressive."

    2003 All-Star Game

    2003 All-Star Game information >

    Wolf spent the weeks leading up to his selection in a state of guarded optimism. Sure, he wanted to make it, but couldn't -- or wouldn't -- commit in his head that he had arrived as an All-Star.

    Instead he went out and was the Phillies most consistent starter this season, going 9-4 with a 3.40 ERA. He had a rough outing on Sunday against the Marlins.

    That caused him to be a bit subdued.

    "It's an amazing feeling. "I wish I could feel it right now," he said. "It's certainly an honor and it's going to be a lot of fun, but right now I'm upset about the way I pitched today. I'm a realist. After today, I'm not going to fold my season up and say I'm bad. I wish I could feel it now (getting selected).

    The left-hander most certainly will feel it, likely on the plane to Montreal. A historian and fan of the game, Wolf understands that not every player gets a chance to play in such a game.

    "I think it's great for him," said manager Larry Bowa. "Your first All-Star Game is something you never forget."

    Bowa was disappointed that Jim Thome, Mike Lieberthal, or some members of his vaunted bullpen -- specifically Rheal Cormier and Turk Wendell -- weren't selected. No Phillies were named as one of the five Final Vote candidates, so Wolf will be it.

    A lone Wolf, if you will.

    Last season the Phillies had three representives. Scott Rolen and Jimmy Rollins were voted in, and Vicente Padilla was named as a replacement. He was the pitcher in the 12th inning when the game was declared a tie.

    For Jim Thome, a trip to Chicago would have been his fourth All-Star Game, and first since 1999. Lieberthal would have been making his third appearance.

    "I had planned not to make it," said Lieberthal. "I wanted to make it, but at least I had a chance. I knew Randy was going to make it. It would have been nice if Thome made it. He's a fan favorite (Thome grew up near Chicago). It's a little surprising to have one guy from our team.

    "I've been to two before and they were awesome. And my boy Randy is going, so we would have had a lot of fun. I'll tell him what to look out for. He'll be a little nervous the first time. I'm excited for him. He'd better make sure he brings me back something, a T-shirt or a hat."

    Thome too, was disappointed to be sitting this one out.

    "There are a lot of great players and that's the way you have to look at it," he said.

    "Cherish it," said Thome. "You never know when you're going to go again, so you should enjoy it and let your family enjoy it."

    Ken Mandel 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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