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06/20/2006 11:49 AM ET
Guerrero takes over as American League's leading vote-getter; Ichiro joins leading outfielders in AL All-Star balloting
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Vladimir Guerrero of the Angels is now the American League's top overall vote-getter and Ichiro Suzuki of the Mariners has moved up to third place among outfielders in A.L. fan balloting for the 77th All- Star Game, to be played Tuesday, July 11th at Pittsburgh's PNC Park.

Suzuki, whose 996,148 votes trail only Guerrero and Boston's Manny Ramirez among outfielders, has been an A.L. All-Star every year of his Major League career. Ichiro was Major League Baseball's top vote-getter in fan balloting each year from 2001-2003, was also elected by fans to start the 2004 All-Star Game in Houston and was selected by his fellow players to be a part of the American League squad at the 2005 Midsummer Classic in Detroit. After batting .371 in May, Ichiro has enjoyed a torrid June, going 34- for-72 (.472) in 16 games played with 11 multi-hit efforts. Suzuki, batting .365 on the year with four home runs, 23 RBI and 22 stolen bases, currently has an 18-game hitting streak. His 111 hits are the most in baseball and his six outfield assists are tied for the American League lead.

Guerrero, elected by fans as a starter each of the last two years and three times overall, leads all American League players with 1,518,276 votes. The six-time All-Star is batting .298 with 16 home runs and 54 RBI. The closest A.L. race remains at the catcher position, where two-time A.L. All-Star Jason Varitek (831,154) of the Boston Red Sox is trying to stave off a run by 12-time All-Star Ivan Rodriguez (803,964) of the Detroit Tigers, who own Major League Baseball's best record at 46-24 (.657).

The other American League position leaders are Red Sox first baseman David Ortiz (1,257,595); Yankees infielders Robinson Cano (796,204), Derek Jeter (1,457,637) and Alex Rodriguez (1,374,155); and Boston's Ramirez (1,477,626).

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Alex Rios continues to lead American Leaguers in write-in votes. The 25-year-old Rios, batting .328 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI, has drawn 213,346 votes.

The Major League Baseball All-Star Balloting Program is the largest balloting program in professional sports. The fan balloting program will determine the eight position players from each League who will start the 77th All-Star Game. Ameriquest is sponsoring the 20 million ballots that were distributed at the 29 U.S. Major League ballparks and the 1.9 million ballots that were distributed to 117 Minor League Baseball Clubs that are in-season during the balloting period. MLB International rightsholder Rogers Personal TV is sponsoring in-stadium balloting at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. The in-stadium program will conclude at Minor League ballparks by June 17th and at Major League ballparks no later than June 24th. Monster online balloting concludes on MLB.com and the 30 Club Web sites on Thursday, June 29th at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).

Pepsi, which has been the title sponsor of the retail balloting program since 1997, will again be joined by Frito-Lay for 2006 Major League Baseball Retail All-Star Balloting, providing additional exposure for the entire balloting program. Pepsi and Frito-Lay, both divisions of PepsiCo Inc., distributed over 13 million Major League Baseball All-Star ballots exclusively at more than 3,300 Wal-Mart stores, where balloting began on May 8th and ended on June 10th across the United States.

The 2006 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 2nd with a total of 16 elected starters, as determined by the fan balloting program, and 46 pitchers and reserves, as determined by the player ballot and the two All-Star Team managers - American League manager Ozzie Guillen of the Chicago White Sox and National League manager Phil Garner of the Houston Astros - and 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 2006 Monster 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.

Also, for the second 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 6th at 6:00 p.m. (EDT).

The 77th Major League Baseball All-Star Game 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 pre-game ceremonies beginning at 8:00 p.m. (EDT). ESPN Radio will provide exclusive, national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage and MLB Radio will provide exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet. XM Satellite Radio will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage of the XM Satellite Radio All-Star Futures Game.

Remaining announcements will be made on the following dates:

Monday, June 26NL Balloting Release #5
Tuesday, June 27AL Balloting Release #5
Sunday, July 2 NL/AL Starters & Reserves Announced


AMERICAN LEAGUE ALL-STAR BALLOTING UPDATE
June 20, 2006

First Base
1. David Ortiz, Red Sox1,257,595
2. Jason Giambi, Yankees796,146
3. Paul Konerko, White Sox579,666
4. Travis Hafner, Indians520,853
5. Chris Shelton, Tigers350,707
 
Second Base
1. Robinson Cano, Yankees796,204
2. Mark Loretta, Red Sox722,099
3. Tadahito Iguchi, White Sox670,547
4. Jose Lopez, Mariners384,890
5. Placido Polanco, Tigers352,665
 
Third Base
1. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees1,374,155
2. Mike Lowell, Red Sox650,861
3. Troy Glaus, Blue Jays474,506
4. Joe Crede, White Sox459,189
5. Eric Chavez, Athletics407,628
 
Shortstop
1. Derek Jeter, Yankees1,457,637
2. Miguel Tejada, Orioles1,073,827
3. Michael Young, Rangers407,261
4. Alex Gonzalez, Red Sox346,302
5. Juan Uribe, White Sox311,030
 
Catcher
1. Jason Varitek, Red Sox831,154
2. Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers803,964
3. Jorge Posada, Yankees608,670
4. A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox493,385
5. Joe Mauer, Twins464,161
 
Outfield
1. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels1,518,276
2. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox1,477,626
3. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners996,148
4. Johnny Damon, Yankees956,595
5. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays752,422
6. Jermaine Dye, White Sox598,441
7. Gary Sheffield, Yankees535,564
8. Torii Hunter, Twins509,722
9. Scott Podsednik, White Sox508,210
10. Coco Crisp, Red Sox481,612
11. Trot Nixon, Red Sox437,693
12. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers427,319
13. Hideki Matsui, Yankees425,894
14. Grady Sizemore, Indians392,102
15. Jonny Gomes, Devil Rays272,381
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