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DODGERS

Dodgers' Jonathan Broxton, Chad Billingsley and Orlando Hudson selected for All-Star Game

Outfielder Matt Kemp is among five candidates who could be chosen by Internet vote. The game will be played July 14 in St. Louis.

July 06, 2009|Dylan Hernandez

SAN DIEGO — It might be time to stop referring to Chad Billingsley and Jonathan Broxton as kids. And it might be time to stop talking about the surgically repaired wrist of Orlando Hudson.

Billingsley, Broxton and Hudson will be in St. Louis for baseball's All-Star game on July 14.

For Billingsley and Broxton, the All-Star selections were the first of their careers. For Hudson, it was his third.

The team with baseball's best record has a chance at adding a fourth representative in Matt Kemp, who is one of five "Final Vote" candidates. "Final Vote" ballots can be cast at mlb.com until Thursday at 1 p.m. PDT. The other four candidates are Pablo Sandoval of San Francisco, Cristian Guzman of Washington, Shane Victorino of Philadelphia and Mark Reynolds of Arizona.

Broxton was the first of the Dodgers to learn of his nod, as he was summoned to Manager Joe Torre's office in the morning and asked whether his wife would be able to travel to St. Louis if he made the All-Star team. When the closer told the manager that she would, Torre said, "Congratulations, you made it."

"It's a great honor," Broxton said. "I put in a lot of hard work this off-season and it paid off."

For Hudson, the selection marked a return from a wrist injury that made it tough for him to find work as a free agent over the winter. Torre said he hoped the news would perk up Hudson, who is mired in an 0-for-22 slump.

"I'm in a trying time right now," Hudson said. "I got a flat tire. I can't call the tow truck. He doesn't want to come. I got myself in it. I have to get myself out of it."

Kemp said he also wants to go to St. Louis.

"You can have a vacation when the season's over," he said. "It's something you dream about doing when you're a kid."

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Young: Manny a cheater

Manny Ramirez wasn't welcomed back with open arms by everyone at Petco Park.

There was a particularly strong voice of dissent in the San Diego Padres' clubhouse, that of pitcher Chris Young. Young said Sunday that he "absolutely" considered Ramirez a cheater.

"How else can you view it?" Young asked. "There's no black and white."

Young, who is on the disabled list, said he was particularly disappointed with the ovations Ramirez received over the weekend.

"I think it sends the wrong message to kids," Young said. "Juan Pierre should be the one getting those ovations, in my opinion."

Asked if he thought fans were becoming increasingly indifferent toward the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, Young replied, "If so, there may be a problem. It speaks to the severity of the illegal drug use in the game. I think that if fans have become desensitized to it, it shows how severe the problem was. It should be something that still has that shock value. It should still be considered an extremely negative and immoral thing. It shouldn't be accepted."

Ramirez, who was out of the lineup on Sunday to rest his sore legs, dismissed the criticism.

"If they say that, go ahead," he said. "I'm just here to play the game."

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DeWitt called up; Milton to the DL

The resting of Ramirez left the Dodgers with a short bench and prompted them to call up infielder Blake DeWitt from triple-A Albuquerque. The Dodgers cleared a roster spot by moving Eric Milton to the disabled list because of what was called a strained back muscle. The injury was the same one that conveniently sidelined Milton last month when the Dodgers didn't need a fifth starter.

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dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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