ARLINGTON -- Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish is going to the All-Star Game.Darvish is the American League's winner of the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Firestone (#FinalVote), having beaten out White Sox starter Jake Peavy, Orioles starter Jason Hammel, Royals reliever Jonathan Broxton and Angels reliever Ernesto Frieri. Voting ended at 3 p.m. CT on Thursday. "I feel very good," Darvish said after the Rangers' 2-1 loss to the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on Thursday. "I know the way that I got selected was a vote by the fans, so I appreciate all the fans who voted for me. I'm looking forward to it."
Darvish is the first Rangers player to win the Final Vote competition. He will join teammates Matt Harrison, Joe Nathan, Mike Napoli, Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton for the All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium."I always thought he was an All-Star, and the fans proved that," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "'I'm very happy for Yu. He's come over here under some tough conditions and he's worked hard to be where he is, and he deserved the right to be an All-Star. "I never really knew what the results were going to be. I just had a feeling that he would have the opportunity to become an All-Star if we put him in that voting part of it, and it worked out to our advantage as an organization, to Yu as a person in our organization -- a very good pitcher in our organization." Darvish said last Friday that he didn't think he deserved to be an All-Star. The fans decided otherwise. "I know I mentioned that last week, but now I am selected," Darvish said. "So I think what is asked of me now is, 'If I am available to pitch and if I do get in the Game, I'd like to display the best performance I can for the fans to enjoy.' Do I still think I'm worthy or not? Personally, I voted for Peavy." Darvish is the ninth Japanese player to be selected to the All-Star Game and the second starting pitcher. Hideo Nomo was also selected as a rookie in 1995 and ended up starting for the National League in its 3-2 victory over the AL at Rangers Ballpark. Darvish is currently 10-5 with a 3.59 ERA in 16 starts. He also has 119 strikeouts in 102 innings, and opponents are hitting .227 off him. He last pitched on Sunday against Oakland, and the Rangers are planning not to pitch him again until after the All-Star break. "Just the first time -- I don't really have the knowledge of the atmosphere or the mood of the All-Star Game," Darvish said. "Are these pitchers going to throw all fastballs or going to mix it up, or are they going to go after it? Those are things I still haven't experienced yet, so I'll absorb that before I do anything. "Some of the players, I've already seen and met. I don't know where I stand amongst the team. I think I just want to stay quiet, stay out of the way of the players, not be a burden to them. I'll have Matt Harrison act as my older brother, and I'll just hide behind him all day." The Rangers acquired Darvish this past offseason by posting a winning bid of $51.7 million to the Nippon Ham Fighters. Texas then signed the right-hander to a five-year, $56 million contract. The AL starting pitcher for the All-Star Game will be announced on Monday by Washington. Both Darvish and Harrison, who pitched eight innings on Wednesday, will have more than enough rest.
"But that's awesome for us as an organization to have eight guys going," Harrison said. "He's done a great job, and he deserves it."The 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. Pregame ceremonies begin at 6:30 p.m. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
Fans will also have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the 2012 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on MLB.com.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.