"It's a little disappointing. I'm not the first guy and I definitely won't be the last guy left off an All-Star team, I can tell you that," Bruce said on Sunday morning. "It happens every year. It would do me no good to gripe and moan or complain. I've got a job to do. It's one of those things. It's baseball. It's life. You definitely can't discount the years that the guys named on the team are having."
Bruce entered the day batting .274 with a team-leading 18 home runs, 59 RBIs and his 26 doubles were tied for the NL lead.
"I feel like I had numbers that garnered some attention and some consideration. It's essentially not up to me," Bruce said.
Part of the decision did rest with Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who will helm the NL squad on July 16 at Citi Field in New York. Reds manager Dusty Baker said Sunday he received a text message from Bochy about Bruce and some other Reds players that were not invited to join starters Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips and pitcher Aroldis Chapman.
"He said to tell Bruce and [Shin-Soo] Choo and [Mike] Leake and [Mat] Latos and [Homer] Bailey that they were in strong consideration for the All-Star Game," Baker said. "It's a tough job. I had it once. You're going to leave somebody off. He said it was especially tough to leave Bruce off but other guys are having good years and you've got to pick [only] so many guys on the team."
Bruce pointed out he wasn't the only deserving player left out of the All-Star Game, mentioning the Rays' Evan Longoria and the A's Josh Donaldson.
"There's no time to feel sorry for myself and no one should feel sorry for me," Bruce said. "I'll have plenty more opportunities to make an All-Star team".
Bruce also was not among five NL players included in the Final Vote. One of the players that was is Dodgers rookie outfield sensation Yasiel Puig, who made his Major League debut on June 3.
"I think it's sort of turned into a marketing thing. We [the managers] have a vote. I try to vote not for the names but who deserves it," Baker said. "There are times I didn't make it because I didn't have a good first half. I wasn't a good first-half player. That's what this is about. … It just kind of looks like a marketing, money thing."
"He's been great so far," Bruce said of Puig, who was hitting .420 with eight homers and 19 RBIs before the Final Vote was announced. "I think there are guys that are more deserving. Now it's for the fans to vote him in or not. There is no question he has had an amazing month in the Major Leagues."
The other NL Final Vote players are the Nationals' Ian Desmond (.281 average, 15 homers, 49 RBIs entering Saturday's announcement), the Braves' Freddie Freeman (.309 average, nine homers, 56 RBIs), the Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez (.300 average, 13 homers, 53 RBIs) and the Giants' Hunter Pence (.272 average, 13 homers, 43 RBIs)