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Despite not playing, Cabrera relishes All-Star experience

ST. LOUIS -- Everth Cabrera may not have had an opportunity to play in his first All-Star Game, but the Padres shortstop is banking on a return trip to accomplish that goal.

"That's the motivator for me," Cabrera said. "I didn't play this year, but I want to be there as the starting shortstop next year. I've got to keep working hard. I want to be there again."

Cabrera is having the best season of his short big league career, batting .291 and leading the National League in stolen bases with 34. He is second in the NL only to the Cardinals' Pete Kozma in fielding percentage at .984.

Cabrera, 26, said he savored the opportunity to learn from some of the game's best players in New York this week.

"It's a great moment to be out there, see those guys, like Carlos Beltran, Yadier Molina, Marco Scutaro, Buster Posey, guys like that," Cabrera said. "They told me a lot of stuff to be a better player and better person."

Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for
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