Mauer, Morneau close in All-Star voting
Twins' sluggers both in second place at respective postions
Twins stars Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau are each within striking distance of winning a starting job in the 2008 All-Star Game.Both are currently second in online balloting at their respective positions. Mauer climbed a spot this week, leapfrogging Ivan Rodriguez of the Tigers. The leading vote-getter at catcher is the Red Sox's Jason Varitek. Mauer last played in the All-Star game in 2006, when he was voted in by his peers after finishing second in the balloting. He missed the game last season in the midst of an injury-plagued campaign. Morneau competed in his first All-Star Game in 2007. The 2006 AL MVP is trailing only Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis in the voting.
The 79th All-Star Game is being held on July 15 at Yankee Stadium, which is in its final season. It will be the fourth All-Star game hosted at Yankee Stadium.The Midsummer Classic 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. Pregame ceremonies will begin at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide online coverage. XM will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage of the XM All-Star Futures Game. Heading into Monday's game against the Yankees, Mauer was tied for fifth in the American League in batting average (.315) and Morneau was seventh (.308). Mauer became the first AL catcher to win the batting title in 2006, when he hit .347. Mauer is fifth in the league in on-base percentage (.403). Morneau is fourth in the AL in RBIs (42) and ninth in slugging percentage (.495). Morneau leads the Twins in home runs (10).
Thor Nystrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.