Weeks takes NL vote lead at second base
Fielder gaining ground; Braun still top among outfielders
MILWAUKEE -- The possible All-Star selections for Rickie Weeks and Prince Fielder are coming down to the wire.
In the most recent ballot update released Monday, Weeks moved into first place ahead of Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips. There are less than 79,000 votes separating the two second basemen.
Fielder, who was third in the previous round of results, moved up to second. The first baseman trails injured Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols but has just 70,727 votes separating him from Joey Votto. The final results will be unveiled on Sunday.
Ryan Braun continues to lead all National League outfielders with 3,932,100 votes, well ahead of the Cardinals' Lance Berkman (3,208,183) and Matt Holliday (2,935,965).
Weeks continues to stay focused on the regular season and is sticking by his motto of "not counting his chickens before they hatch." The Brewers' leadoff hitter is batting .290 this season, has a .360 on base percentage and 14 home runs, but Weeks said he's not worrying about numbers that are out of his control.
"I'm always like that. That's not just an All-Star thing, but that's just me in life, period," he said. "I just always try to go hard and see what happens after that, and that's all that you can do."
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke gave both Weeks and Fielder a vote of confidence and said the team wouldn't be in first place in the NL Central without either of their efforts.
"Rickie, I mean, my gosh, how could you do more for a team than what Rickie is doing for us from the leadoff spot and at second base?" Roenicke said.
The manager added that he tries not to compare Weeks to other second basemen since he doesn't see other players on a daily basis. However, Roenicke can't say the same thing about the race at first base, since he's seen Votto beat him late in games a few times.
When it comes to making sure Fielder lands a spot on the All-Star roster, Roenicke said there shouldn't be any denying Fielder because of the numbers he's posted. The first baseman's 21 home runs lead the NL, his 68 RBIs are also tops in the NL and second in all of baseball, his OBP is .426 and his value to the team and ability to come through in the clutch set him apart, Roenicke said.
"So far, he's had an incredible year," the manager said. "If we don't have Prince, we're not where we are. I mean, the rest of the guys are playing great, but if we don't have him, we're not doing what we're doing."
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via your mobile device -- using the 2011 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Sprint until Thursday at 10:59 p.m. CT.
Rosters will be announced Sunday during the 2011 All-Star Game Selection Show on TBS. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2011 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint.
And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2011 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint.
The All-Star Game, to be played in Phoenix on July 12, will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.
Audrey Snyder is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.