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07-08-2008, 12:37 AM
Why wasn't Brandon Phillips in the top five among second basemen in All Star balloting? He is not having that bad of a year.
-- Jacob P., Greensburg, Ind.

Apparently, enough Reds fans didn't vote "early and often," and it's too bad. Phillips is putting together another nice season and has heated up even more recently. Plus, he hasn't made an error in 77 games since April 9 (pay attention managers and coaches that vote for Gold Gloves).

What's the deal with Ryan Freel? The information on him says his 15-day disabled list stint began June 4th, and here it is the 26th and there's still no word on him? Have they re-upped his DL stint?
-- Zack B., Hamilton, Ohio

The DL time is for a minimum of 15 days, not a maximum. Freel is still rehabilitating from a torn distal tendon in the right hamstring. As of the middle of last week, he hadn't started running yet, so I wouldn't expect him back anytime too soon.

Why are Major League baseball parks allowed to be of so many different sizes and shapes? All pro football fields are the same, all pro basketball courts are the same, all pro bowling lanes are the same, all pro tennis courts are the same. It does not seem fair that one player plays half his games in a hitters' park, and all his home runs count the same as a player that must play in a pitchers' park.
-- Dianna H., Paris, Ky.

I think the diversity of ballparks makes baseball great. It means a player has to be talented enough to play well under different conditions. I grew up during the "cookie cutter ballpark" era in the 1970s and 80s when many multi-purpose stadiums looked alike (including Riverfront Stadium). I hope the game never, ever returns to that era again. Besides, there is a basic similarity in every ballpark. The mound is 60 feet, six inches from the plate and it's 90 feet between the bases.
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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.