Many of the American League races will hinge on the final days of balloting for the 79th All-Star Game, which will be played on Tuesday, July 15th at Yankee Stadium. Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer, Boston Red Sox teammates Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia and Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who is vying for the third starting outfield slot, cling to tight leads.
Mauer (1,632,338 votes), who has an edge for the second straight week, leads Boston’s Jason Varitek (1,487,390) by less than 145,000 votes. On the right side of the infield, the pair of Red Sox continues to hang on in their bids to make their Midsummer Classic debuts; Youkilis (1,915,376) is in front of Minnesota’s Justin Morneau (1,641,467) at first base and Pedroia (1,669,216) is outpacing Ian Kinsler (1,485,530) of the Texas Rangers at second. Suzuki, an A.L. All-Star in each of his seven Major League seasons and a fan-elected starter six times, leads a crowded pack in contention for the final starting outfield position with 1,397,460 votes. Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero is fourth with 1,187,273 votes.
The two leading American League vote-getters comprise the left side of the infield of the host New York Yankees. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who was Major League Baseball’s most popular choice in last year’s All-Star balloting, has vaulted to the top of this year’s A.L. totals for the first time with 2,518,067 votes. Right behind him is his teammate, shortstop Derek Jeter, with 2,507,534 votes. Rounding out the top five most popular American Leaguers are designated hitter David Ortiz (2,482,981) and outfielder Manny Ramirez (2,409,388) of the Red Sox along with Major League Baseball’s RBI leader, outfielder Josh Hamilton (2,327,467) of the Rangers.
With the in-stadium phase of balloting at Major League Baseball’s 30 ballparks complete, final votes can be cast exclusively on MLB.com and all 30 Club Web sites via Monster All-Star Online Balloting, which closes at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, July 2nd. The 2008 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be revealed on Sunday, July 6th on the “MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevy,” televised exclusively on TBS at 2:00 p.m. (EDT) with Ernie Johnson as host and Hall of Famer Cal Ripken as analyst.
The American League All-Star Team will have nine starters elected via the fan balloting program, while the National League All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads – 23 for the N.L., 22 for the A.L. – will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers – American League skipper Terry Francona of the Boston Red Sox and National League manager Clint Hurdle of the Colorado Rockies – in conjunction with Major League Baseball.
Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will have the opportunity to select the final player for each League's 32-man roster at MLB.com. The Monster 2008 All-Star Final Vote will provide fans the opportunity to cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over a four-day period. For the fourth year, fans will be able to vote for their Final Vote selections on their mobile phone. Both winners of the Monster All-Star Final Vote will be announced after the voting has concluded on Thursday, July 10th. Finally, fans once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the 79th All-Star Game’s Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the Monster All-Star Game MVP Vote on MLB.com.
The 79th Major League Baseball All-Star Game, being held at Yankee Stadium in its final season, will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8:00 p.m. (EDT). ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage that will also be available on XM Satellite Radio, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage.
The remaining updates will be released as follows:
BALLOTING ANNOUNCEMENT SCHEDULE
Tuesday, July 1st
NL Balloting Release #6
Sunday, July 6th:
Starters & Reserves Announced
Select Read More to see details of the final American League All-Star Game voting update
Select the image above to see the final update for the American League All-Star Game voting (PDF)
Source: Major League Baseball press release