05/28/2008 1:18 PM ET
Utley, three Cubs among National League balloting leaders
NL All-Star vote update
Second baseman Chase Utley of the Philadelphia Phillies is the National League's leading vote-getter in the first N.L. balloting results for the 79th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 15th at Yankee Stadium.
Utley, a two-time All-Star, leads the National League with 537,788 votes, more than 100,000 votes higher than the next closest N.L. player. Utley, who has started every game this season, is tied for the Major League-high with 16 home runs. Lance Berkman of the Houston Astros has drawn 329,743 votes, placing him atop a star-studded first base race ahead of Albert Pujols (317,317) of the St. Louis Cardinals and Derrek Lee (283,515) of the Chicago Cubs. Berkman, a four-time N.L. All-Star, is batting .384 with 16 homers (tied for the M.L.-high), an N.L.-best 46 RBI and a M.L.-high 56 runs scored. Hanley Ramirez (268,386) of the Florida Marlins leads a tight race at shortstop, currently edging Miguel Tejada (256,613) of the Houston Astros and Jose Reyes (237,800) of the New York Mets. Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones has collected 420,664 votes, putting him nearly 100,000 votes ahead of the N.L.'s starter at the hot corner the last two years, David Wright (321,091) of the Mets. Jones is batting a Major League-best .418 with 12 home runs and 35 RBI.
The National League Central-leading Chicago Cubs have the most leaders with three - outfielders Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome as well as catcher Geovany Soto - and have a player among the top four at every position. Soto, enjoying a stellar first full season behind the dish, has garnered 343,427 votes. Soriano, an All-Star in each of the last six seasons, has drawn 352,267 votes, while Fukudome is the next highest outfielder with 325,456. Third among N.L. outfielders with 300,230 votes is Cincinnati Reds star Ken Griffey, Jr., who has received the most votes in the history of Major League Baseball's All-Star Game balloting program with 44,397,033.
The 2008 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 6th on the 2008 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show Presented by Chevrolet, televised nationally on TBS following the weekly Sunday MLB on TBS match-up. 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 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|
|Monday, June 2nd||AL Balloting Release #2|
|Tuesday, June 3rd||NL Balloting Release #2|
|Monday, June 9th||AL Balloting Release #3|
|Tuesday, June 10th|| NL Balloting Release #3|
|Monday, June 16th||AL Balloting Release #4|
|Tuesday, June 17th||NL Balloting Release #4|
|Monday, June 23rd||AL Balloting Release #5|
|Tuesday, June 24th|| NL Balloting Release #5|
|Monday, June 30th||AL Balloting Release #6|
|Tuesday, July 1st||NL Balloting Release #6|
|Sunday, July 6th||Starters & Reserves Announced|