Eight is enough for the Texas Rangers.
When Major League Baseball's Final Man Vote was done Thursday, Yu Darvish was headed to the All-Star Game in Kansas City thanks to 7.3 million online votes. Darvish becomes the eighth Ranger on the team. Darvish beat the Chicago White Sox's Jake Peavy for the last spot on the AL squad.
Darvish joins Mike Napoli, Ian Kinsler, Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton, Matt Harrison and Joe Nathan. The Rangers' previous high for representation had been six.
Only days before the final tally was announced, Darvish said he did not think himself worthy of being an All-Star.
He maintained that feeling Thursday, but also expressed gratitude.
"I know that I mentioned not being worthy a few days ago," he said through interpreter Joe Furukawa. "But now that I'm selected, what it means to me now, is that if I get a chance to compete, I want to put the best effort forward that I can. To be selected by the fans like this, it is very much an honor and I'm very appreciative of it."
Darvish is 10-5 with a 3.59 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 102 2/3 innings. In anticipation of the possibility that Darvish would make the team and be subject to incredible media attention in Kansas City, the Rangers elected to skip his final scheduled start of the first half on Friday. If he doesn't pitch in the All-Star Game, he will likely pitch July 15 at Seattle. If he does pitch in the game, his first second-half start likely would come July 17 at Oakland.
"I always thought he was an All-Star," manager Ron Washington said before the Rangers' 2-1 loss to the White Sox. "I'm very happy for Yu. I never really knew what the outcome of this (vote) would be, but I thought he had a pretty good chance."