Second-place Ethier seeks rally for Final Vote
Dodgers outfielder chases Victorino as stars line up support
LOS ANGELES -- With less than 24 hours left in the voting, Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier continues to chase Philadelphia's Shane Victorino for the 2011 All-Star Game Final Vote National League roster spot.
The 29-year-old -- who returned to the lineup Wednesday night after missing Tuesday night's game with a 103-degree fever -- is making a bid for his second straight All-Star Game and entered the day ranked sixth in the NL with a .317 batting average. Ethier is tied for fourth in the NL with 23 doubles and is tied for seventh with 99 hits, his highest-ever total before the break.
Ethier has seven home runs, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that shouldn't detract from his candidacy.
"I don't worry about home runs," Mattingly said. "I worry about good at-bats and just hitting, and if he's doing that, the home runs will come. He's a pure hitter, with power. I see him hitting .330 with 100 RBIs and 25 home runs. A kind of everything guy."
Todd Helton, Mike Morse and Ian Kennedy trail Ethier, who would be joining teammates Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw, who are already on the NL All-Star squad.
Now in its 10th year, the 2011 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Sunday's Major League All-Star Selection Show presented by Taco Bell and continues until 1 p.m. PT on Thursday. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.
Mobile voting in the U.S. and Canada is open to everyone. In the U.S., to receive the 2011 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, simply text message your choice to 89269 (Example: Text "N1" to vote for Ethier). In Canada, fans should text their choices to 65246. Standard message and data rates may apply.
The fun doesn't end there, however. Fans, having already decided the starters and final player on each team, once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevy via the 2011 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint on MLB.com during the All-Star Game.
The 82nd Major League Baseball All-Star Game, in Phoenix on Tuesday, will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and Le Reseau des Sports, and around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 5 p.m. PT. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
There will be an extra treat for fans who participate in the Final Vote. If you are not a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you are eligible to receive a 10-day free trial of MLB.TV from July 9-19. If you are a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you will receive a 15-percent discount to the MLB.comShop. MLB.com will send an email on Friday to all Final Vote voters with instructions on how to redeem the applicable offer.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, continue their relentless election campaign to send Ethier home to Phoenix for Tuesday's All-Star Game at Chase Field.
The most notable sign of the campaign were the "Vote Andre Ethier" T-shirts given to each of Ethier's teammates before batting practice on Wednesday.
Ethier also has received Twitter "endorsements" from comedian George Lopez, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade, skateboarder Paul Rodriguez Jr. and Sparky the Sun Devil, the official athletics Twitter page for Arizona State, where Ethier attended college. They join Alyssa Milano and Tom Lasorda, who threw their support to Ethier on Monday. Combined, they represent more than 4 million followers.
The club also brought back the Dodger Stadium Voting Suite that was in action Tuesday night, providing fans free tickets to the game, during which they are stationed in front of a computer repeatedly voting for the Dodgers' right fielder.
The Ethier bobblehead political ad, which debuted on DiamondVision Tuesday night, has gone viral. It ends with an Ethier bobblehead saying: "I'm Andre Ethier's bobblehead and I approve of this message."
And the Dodgers announced that the 48-hour sale launched Tuesday night for Thursday night's Ethier bobblehead game moved more than 10,000 tickets.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.