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Wright, Reyes back in All-Star Game for Mets

Wright, Reyes back in All-Star Game for Mets

WASHINGTON -- By the time it ended, the 2009 season had become easily the most exasperating in the careers of Mets stars David Wright and Jose Reyes. Wright's power all but disappeared as he adjusted to his new home, Citi Field. And Reyes, after a slow start and a seemingly minor early-season injury, missed the final four months with a torn hamstring tendon.

Both began this season with much to prove. Both stumbled out of the gate.

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Now, both are All-Stars.

Wright was named the National League's starting third baseman on Sunday, after a remarkable late surge in fan voting. Reyes made the team as a backup shortstop.

"It never gets old," Wright said. "It's a tremendous honor. Obviously, I'm very grateful for the fans that came out late that pushed me and got me the opportunity to start. I'm very grateful for that. I take a lot of pride in that. To be mentioned amongst some of the great players in the game is an incredible honor."

For Wright, a fifth All-Star selection and fourth start are acknowledgments that his 2009 struggles are officially behind him. For Reyes, his third career All-Star selection is an affirmation of his health.

One season after hitting a career-low 10 home runs, Wright needed until only June 5 this year to match that total. He now ranks fourth in franchise history with 155 homers.

"He's amongst the league leaders in average, RBIs, he's playing very well at third base -- extremely well at third base," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "You'd almost have to talk about him as MVP of the first half for the league."

The 81st Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and Le Reseau des Sports and around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.

Fans, having already decided the starters and this week the final player on each team, once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevy via the 2010 All-Star Game MVP Vote sponsored by Sprint on MLB.com during the All-Star Game.

Though Wright trailed Placido Polanco of the Phillies in fan balloting nearly every step of the way, his hot June allowed him to vault past Polanco in the final week of voting. Helping his cause was the fact that the Phillies placed Polanco on the disabled list Tuesday with a bone spur in his left elbow. But Wright, who hit .404 with a Major League-leading 29 RBIs in June, may have passed him anyway.

"It's good to go to the All Star Game," Wright said, "but it's more important that we're right in the middle of this race, and we've been able to accomplish what we've accomplished so far."

The renaissance of the Mets, to which Wright referred, has coincided with the renaissance of Reyes. After missing the start of the season due to the aftereffects of a thyroid imbalance suffered in Spring Training, Reyes has since rebounded from a slow start to rank among the league leaders in triples and stolen bases -- his specialties.

"I feel good about it," Reyes said. "All the things I've been through the past year and a half, and now I'm selected to the All-Star Game one more time, that's huge for me. That's a big step for me, so I really appreciate that. I'm going to enjoy it."

Reyes finished second to Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki in player balloting, but made the team due to Tulowitzki's injury.

Reyes, too, is a bit banged up, missing five consecutive games this week with a sore right oblique. But he plans to return to the Mets' lineup Tuesday, and Manuel said he would certainly allow Reyes to play in the All-Star Game.

"It's still a week away, so let's see what happens," Reyes said Sunday. "I'm going to play before that -- I think."

Heading into All-Star selection Sunday, most around the club figured the Mets would have two All-Stars: Wright and Mike Pelfrey, who leads the team with 10 victories. But it was Reyes who made the cut, and Pelfrey who became one of several notable snubs from the NL team.

"The biggest thing was I would have liked to have gone and sit there and watched the Home Run Derby with my kid," Pelfrey said. "Buy hey, it was a tough decision. There were a lot of guys who were qualified."

Last year in St. Louis, the Mets had four All-Stars: Wright, Johan Santana, Francisco Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran, who did not play due to injury.

Anthony DiComo 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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