CLEVELAND -- The Indians may have had more candidates that were also worthy of selection to the American League All-Star team, but no one can put up much of an argument about the choice Sunday of closer Bob Wickman.
"The sad thing is not everybody can make it," Wickman said. "Travis Hafner, Grady Sizemore, Arthur Rhodes and Cliff Lee, all have gripes about it. They have had real good years also."
From the start of the season, Wickman has been the glue that has held together the Indians bullpen, which entered Sunday leading the Majors in ERA at 2.76. He entered Sunday with 22 saves, and his performance represents his full recovery from Tommy John surgery in 2003.
For Wickman, this will be the second time he's been selected to play in the All-Star Game. He made the National League team in 2000 while a member of the Brewers.
Wickman will be one of five closers on the AL team, joining Mariano Rivera (Yankees), Joe Nathan (Twins), former Indians reliever Danys Baez (Devil Rays), and part-time Oakland closer Justin Duscherer.
The All-Star Game is Tuesday, July 12 at 8 p.m. ET in Detroit's Comerica Park. FOX Sports will televise the ballgame nationally, and Major League Baseball International will televise it around the world.
ESPN Radio will provide exclusive, national radio coverage; MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage; and MLB Radio will provide exclusive, play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet.
In selecting Wickman for the game, American League manager Terry Francona will be getting as dogged a competitor as anybody else in the game. After sitting out the early part of '04, Wickman returned to action for the Indians in July and went on to save 13 games with a 4.25 ERA.
He's been even better in 2005 for the Tribe, which had five players selected for the All-Star team last season.
"I had no idea [I would make it]," he said. "For a couple of years, I had pretty good years and didn't make it."
Justice B. Hill is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.