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Toronto Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston, who has led the Toronto Blue Jays to a surprising 33-24 record this season, has declined an invitation from New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi to be one of his assistant coaches at this year's all-star game.

After thinking about it, Gaston said he declined he offer.

"I was very pleased and very happy to, I think it's an honor that he asked me," Gaston said before Sunday's game against the Yankees. "I told him I appreciate it but I want to spend that time with my family.

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"I think it was nice of him to think of me."

Gaston has appeared in four all-star games, once as a player in 1976 with the San Diego and three times as manager - the last time in 1994 when the all-star game was in Pittsburgh.

Gaston said it was a difficult decision turning down Girardi's request.

"Sometimes you need those days off, man, you really do," he said. "It's something that you just need to get away for a while."

Sticking with the all-star theme, Gaston said he hopes Girardi can find it in his heart to choose Toronto's Jose Bautista to the American League all-star team. Bautista is leading the Majors in home runs with 18.

"I know it would be great for him" Gaston said. "I know his tailor's out there too, so it would be really great for him."

The game will be played this year in Anaheim.

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