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Dee Gordon's All-Star case

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon isn’t coy about his feelings toward making the National League All-Star team. His whole face lights up when he talks about it.

“I would absolutely love it,” Gordon said. “If I don’t, I don’t. And, honestly, I’m not supposed to be where I am anyway. But that would definitely be something that’s cool. My whole family would be there.”

Gordon is on the bubble. Among NL second basemen, Philadelphia’s Chase Utley and Pittsburgh’s Neil Walker have stronger cases based on their offensive numbers, but Walker is on the 15-day disabled list following an appendectomy. Scooter Gennett of the Milwaukee Brewers and Daniel Murphy of the New York Mets also are having strong seasons.

Gordon doesn’t have the power numbers of those players and he’s batting a fairly pedestrian .278, but he leads the majors in stolen bases (39) and is atop the National League in triples (eight). He would give NL All-Star manager Mike Matheny arguably the fastest player in baseball as a weapon off his bench.

He's had an up-and-down season, but he has played borderline Gold Glove defense at a new position, second base, and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he has rolled through the good times and the bad with his confidence intact.

“Guys are always going to go in and out. That part’s going to be there. But Dee doesn’t seem real bothered by it anymore,” Mattingly said. “You don’t see big changes, new batting stances or whole different routines like you’ll sometimes see with young guys.”

As a baserunner, Gordon has been a disruptive force the game hasn’t seen in generations, particularly lately. He has 39 stolen bases and has been caught just 13 percent of the time. After he stole a base, went to third on a catcher’s throwing error and scored Friday in San Diego, Dodgers coach Davey Lopes pulled him aside in the dugout to point out that he got a bad jump against Ian Kennedy.

“That’s his job -- to teach -- and I always listen,” Gordon said.

In his last six games, Gordon has a .464 on-base percentage and has scored seven runs. He also disrupts the opposing pitcher’s focus and gets more fastballs for Hanley Ramirez, part of the reason Mattingly loves those two batting 1-2 in the Dodgers’ lineup.

The game could see more players like Gordon in coming seasons, Mattingly believes, though it will be difficult to steal 100 bases or more in a season because teams are more focused on stopping others’ running games than they were in the 1980s. The advent of slide steps, new pickoff moves and quicker deliveries mean players must have blinding speed to consistently steal bases. Gordon is one of the few in that category.

“You see so many strikeouts and so few runs; I think there is a place for stolen bases to come back,” Mattingly said.