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Pedroia to miss all-star game to tend to "serious family matter"

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has elected to withdraw his name from the 2009 All-Star game to tend to a serious family matter.

Pedroia, the 2008 American League MVP, was voted by the fans to start at second base for the American League. Instead Pedroia will stay at home in Boston to be with his wife, who was recently hospitalized because of early labor compications.  His wife was due in August with the couple's first child.

"After consulting with [Red Sox manager Terry Francona], Theo [Epstein], Phyllis Merhige of Major League Baseball and my wife, Kelli, I have decided to withdraw from this year's All-Star Game in St. Louis. I will instead stay in Boston with my wife as we tend to a serious family health matter," Pedroia said in a statement released by Major League Baseball.

To replace Pedroia American League manager Joe Maddon has elected to add his own first baseman Carlos Pena to the roster. This will be Pena's first all-star selection.

"I'm extremely humbled by this opportunity," Pena said. "What I like is the fact that I was chosen by my own manager. That's what means the most to me. I want to experience the whole thing. I'm thrilled."

The addition of Pena means Tampa Bay's entire infield is on the team, including third baseman Evan Longoria, shortstop Jason Bartlett and second baseman Ben Zobrist.

Lets hope for the best for the Pedroia family. The game won't be the same without "mighty mouse".