Boone pushing for Reds duo to make MLB All-Star Game

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 22, 2003

CINCINNATI - The Major League All-Star votes are being cast, traditionally via ballots placed throughout the league's ball parks, or electronically on the internet.

Cincinnati Reds manager Bob Boone doesn't care how the votes are cast, he just hopes two of his players find their way into the starting lineup.

And as long as the votes aren't counted like the presidential ballots in Florida, Boone thinks outfielder Austin Kearns and third baseman Aaron Boone have a legitimate chance.

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Kearns probably has the best chance to start. Kearns had 14 home runs and 57 runs batted in, tied for fifth best in the National League which puts him on a pace to drive in 131.

Kearns had 15 home runs and a .287 batting average to go along with the RBIs.

Manager Boone admits that his son Aaron may be a stretch. Part of the reason is how Aaron Boone was listed on the ballot. He began the season at second base, but moved back to third base when Brandon Larson struggled early and was shipped back to the minor leagues.

Boone is hitting .276 with 15 home runs and 45 RBI. He has 11 stolen bases in 12 attempts.

His case could also get a boost since he has been named the NL Player of the Week on two occasions.

"Aaron would probably be on the bubble. If he has a couple of weeks like he had last week (when he batted .556), he'd be legitimate," Bob Boone said.

Although not on the ballot, the elder Boone said outfielder Jose Guillen could make a case for himself to be added to the team as a backup. Guillen has started 37 of 71 games, is among the top 10 hitters in the league with a .341 batting average - he doesn't have enough at-bats to qualify - and has 35 RBIs in 170 at-bats.

Guillen hit his 13th home run and drove in three runs during Friday night's 6-5 loss at Arizona.

Guillen and Kearns both have outstanding throwing arms.

Outfielder Adam Dunn, an All-Star last year, leads the majors with 22 home runs and has 45 RBIs, but he has a lowly .202 batting average which ruins his chances.

The All-Star Game is scheduled for Tuesday, July 15, at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field which is the home stadium of the Chicago White Sox.