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McKeon's All-Stars: Sanchez and Sanchez

    SEATTLE -- Jack McKeon put two Marlins on his All-Star ballot: Gaby Sanchez and Anibal Sanchez.

    Gaby's been the Marlins' best hitter and enjoyed an outstanding May but, as a first baseman, will have his work cut out trying to make the N.L. team. There are five first basemen with higher averages than his .300, five with more home runs than his 14, and four with a higher OPS than his .869, though he outranks Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard in that category.

     McKeon included Anibal on his ballot of three pitchers, along with Philadelphia's Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.

     Anibal has made an immediate impression on McKeon, not only with how he performs on the mound, but with his work habits on days he's not pitching.

      "He's average big-league stuff but he's got great command," McKeoon said of Sanchez, who takes the mound tonight for the Marlins as they go for their first series win since sweeping the Giants in May. "I like his attitude. He's the hardest worker we've got out there."

      McKeon said when he showed up at Safeco Field at 10 a.m. the morning after the team flew in Thursday night, he saw Sanchez working out on the field. McKeon said that he pulled Sanchez aside and encouraged him to convince a few of his other teammates to get with the program.

       "I said, 'Do me a favor. There's a couple of other guys on this club. Start taking them with you."


       When Bobby Cox retired as Braves manager last year at the age of 69, the median age of an National League East manager declined somewhat. Now, with the 80-year-old McKeon back on board with the Marlins and 68-year-old Davey Johnson joining the Nationals, the NL East is suddenly a division for old-timers. That suits McKeon just fine.

        "I think they're bringing back guys with experience," McKeon said. "This (manure) of you've got to have a young guy to relate to the young guys, (fiddlesticks). They all get fired, so what's the difference?