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Francona keeping mum on Tribe's potential All-Stars

BALTIMORE -- Manager Terry Francona knows how difficult it is for a skipper to select an All-Star team, having twice been tasked with that duty for the American League after his World Series title runs with the Red Sox.

One thing he knows all too well is that the AL manager is not going to make everybody happy with his picks, and some deserving players will inevitably be left off the roster. He has thought about which of his players are worthy of being included, but he is not willing to make that public.

Francona takes that approach out of respect for Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who is leading the AL this year.

"I'd like to keep that private," Francona said. "I have given it some thought, but I'd like to keep it private. Jim Leyland, I have as much respect for him as anybody in the game. And I've also been through the process, so I know how it works. I know he will leave no stone unturned, I'd be willing to bet. I also know it's an impossible job."

The Indians have a handful of candidates, but none is considered a lock.

Right-hander Justin Masterson is one possibility, considering he entered Tuesday with a 9-5 record, 3.48 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 108 2/3 innings. Other candidates are catcher Carlos Santana (.276, 10 homers, 19 doubles, 32 RBIs, 43 walks, .385 on-base percentage), second baseman Jason Kipnis (.282, nine homers, 19 doubles, three triples, 41 RBIs, 17 stolen bases) and left fielder Michael Brantley (.278, 16 extra-base hits, 37 RBIs).

Francona said that it's impossible for a manager to include all of the deserving players.

"You can't," he said. "You can't, because every team has to be represented. Sometimes one position can take away from something else. That's OK. You just have to know going in that you're not going to have the best 20 or 30 [players], because every team has to be represented. At some point, somebody is going to lose out."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.
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