ATLANTA - John Smoltz and Brian McCann are heading back to the All-Star game. The Atlanta Braves player who may be having the best season of all was left out Sunday.
Smoltz, having another strong season (9-4, 2.98 ERA) in which he reached 200 wins, was named to the NL All-Star team for the eighth time in his 19-year career. McCann was a bit of a surprise, making it for the second straight year even though he is hitting just .261.
Both were selected on the players' ballot.
"I'm happy to be going," said McCann, who has seven homers and 41 RBIs. "But I don't feel like I really deserve it."
Shortstop Edgar Renteria has put up All-Star numbers, batting .324 with 10 homers and 41 RBIs. But Jose Reyes (.317, four homers, 34 RBIs) was voted in as the starter by the fans, and Milwaukee's J.J. Hardy (.283, 18, 51) was selected as the backup by the players.
A five-time All-Star, Renteria finished a distant sixth in fan balloting.
"I feel bad for Edgar," Smoltz said in Miami after a Braves wrapped up a series against the Florida Marlins. "It never fails, happens every year. It's just a hard system to get everybody in there. He's certainly ... an All-Star."
The 40-year-old Smoltz claimed his second All-Star berth since returning to the Braves' starting rotation in 2005. Overall, he is 1-2 with a 3.18 ERA in the midsummer classic, having made it for the first time in 1989.
"I'm going to go to this one like it's my last one," Smoltz said.
McCann was off to a strong start (.339) when he got hit on the left ring finger with a swing at New York's Shea Stadium on April 22. He has batted just .235 with 16 extra-base hits since the injury.
"I didn't expect to go," the 23-year-old McCann said. "I'm not having the best season. My average isn't where it wants to be."
In 2006, his first full year with the Braves, McCann batted .333 with 24 homers and 93 RBIs.
The All-Star game will be played in San Francisco on July 10.