Before the 2010 All Star Game Home Run Derby gets underway, each All-Star is available on Monday for about an hour. The players are asked wide-ranging questions from hundreds of media members covering the event. Here's a sample of the answers to wide-ranging questions posed during the NL session.
"This is the only place I want to be right now. Each year you as a player want to try and do enough to entertain the fans, and you want to play well. It is an incredible honor to be with the game's perennial All-Stars, to be with the game's greats."
-- Mets third baseman David Wright on wanting to be at the All-Star Game as opposed to getting three-days rest.
"It is a long shot that I win it. But if I do I want all of these guys [fellow NL All-Stars] to carry me off the field."
-- Chris Young, Diamondbacks outfielder, on the possibility of winning the Home Run Derby.
"Being from Texas it would have to be Nolan Ryan. You would just always hear about him. He was a great player and he was my favorite player."
-- Yovanni Gallardo on his favorite player as a kid.
"I think it is great. They have gone so long without being recognized at an All-Star Game. Arthur Rhodes is a former teammate of mine, and he did amazing things for our team including almost helping us get to the playoffs. I voted for him this year, and I think he definitely deserved it."
-- Josh Johnson, Marlins starting pitcher, on middle relievers and setup men being named All-Stars.
"Being a pitcher, I don't normally get to meet a lot of guys on other teams. I'm not around the batting cage all the time in pre-game. For me, this is a great opportunity to meet some of the stars from around the league and to meet some of the guys I hate facing. They then tell me that they hate facing me, and I say, 'Why?'"
-- Heath Bell, Padres closer, on meeting new players from other teams.
"They have a great pitching staff and they have a great first baseman in Adrian Gonzalez, who puts up a lot of big numbers. The Padres winning might shock you, [the media] but it does not shock us as players. We played them early, in May I think, and they have a good ballclub. They are legit."
-- Albert Pujols on the Padres leading the N.L. West.
"I did hear some last year, but this year I've heard a lot more. I think that mostly has to do with our team not playing as well. That could lead to some trades."
-- Corey Hart on hearing trade rumors.
"I might take [Carlos] Marmol and his slider. That's one of the best pitches in baseball. Jose Valverde has a pretty good splitter. It is really nasty. [Francisco] Cordero is pretty good too, throwing 97 miles per hour."
-- Matt Holliday on the best closers in baseball.
"That was before Spring Training. Now we're midway through the season. I lost a little bit of weight, but nothing to brag about."
-- Pirates reliever Evan Meek on gaining eight pounds of muscle during the winter.
"Making the team when they originally announced the team never entered my mind. My teammates joked about it, but for me I never even thought about it. For me I just think about staying healthy."
-- Hong-Chih Kuo, Dodgers reliever, on being named to the All-Star team as an injury replacement.
"It's very gratifying. It's an honor, no question about it. Mr. [Charlie] Manuel picked me as a manager's selection and at 35 years of age, and what I have been through, to have the opportunity to come back here and to be surrounded by so much talent is really exciting."
-- Chris Carpenter on being named to this year's All-Star team.
"It will be a pretty special feeling to go out there and to be with all the stars from every team. We have four guys here from our team, so it is about going out there and competing and having fun."
-- Reliever Jonathan Broxton on playing in the All-Star Game with his Dodger teammates.
"I'm so happy for him. I'm very proud of him. Him overcoming the adversity he has overcome is the ultimate sign of his character. It also shows perseverance. Coming out of Spring Training he didn't start on Opening Day, but he never sulked. He just continued to work hard and to believe himself."
-- Ryan Braun on his teammate Corey Hart getting selected for the All-Star Game.
Jeff Moeller is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.