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Okajima earns AL's Final Roster Spot

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Congrats, Red Sox Nation, Hideki Okajima is now an American League All-Star:

Red Sox Nation -- which now extends all the way to Japan -- has proved what a powerful force it can be once again with Thursday's announcement that Hideki Okajima has won the American League's Monster 2007 All-Star Final Vote ballot.

Okajima is the third Red Sox player to win the Final Vote competition since its inception in 2002. Johnny Damon won the inaugural AL vote that summer, and Jason Varitek -- the current captain of the Red Sox -- captured the honor in 2003.

In the case of lefty reliever Okajima, he got massive support from two continents. Though Daisuke Matsuzaka was the player from Japan who got all the hype when the Red Sox acquired him over the offseason, Okajima has been every bit as valuable to the success of the team.

Great for Oki, he really deserves it with the way he's been pitching this season. I know I voted for him around 20 times this morning.

All together, the Sox have David Ortiz, Mike Lowell, Manny Ramirez, Josh Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon and Hideki Okajima going to San Francisco next week. Odds are Ramirez may drop out, but the rest should be attending.