06/13/2011 3:10 PM ET
Braun, Pujols Vying for Top Spot in Latest N.L. All-Star Balloting Update
McCann Holding Off Molina At Catcher; Phillips, Weeks in Close Battle at Second
Three-time National League All-Star Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers continues to lead the N.L. in voting in the third balloting update for the 82nd All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 12th at Chase Field.
Braun, who has totaled 2,230,505 votes, is tied for the N.L. lead with 48 runs scored and tied for fourth with 48 RBI. The 27-year-old slugger has appeared in all 66 games this season and is trying to become the first N.L. outfielder to gain a fan-elected start in four straight All-Star Games since San Francisco's Barry Bonds was elected to five consecutive from 2000-2004. Braun holds a slight advantage over first baseman and N.L.-Central rival Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals for the most votes in the N.L. The nine-time N.L. All-Star, who passed Lou Brock for second place on the Cardinals all-time doubles list on Thursday, has garnered 2,081,590 votes, ranking ahead of Joey Votto (1,773,348) of the Cincinnati Reds.
Cardinals teammates Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday, who are aiming to become just the third pair of N.L. outfield teammates to gain fan-elected Midsummer Classic starts since 1984 (Bonds/Andy Van Slyke - PIT, 1992; Alfonos Soriano/Kosuke Fukudome - CHI, 2008), make up the remainder of the outfield leaders. Berkman, a five-time N.L. All-Star who is tied for fourth in the N.L. with 16 home runs after homering four times in his last six games, has collected 1,878,314 votes while Holliday, a four-time N.L. All-Star, has received 1,855,416 votes. They are followed by Los Angeles Dodgers teammates Andre Ethier (1,468,537) and Matt Kemp (1,372,804), and Cincinnati's Jay Bruce (1,201,224). MLB All-Star FanFest official spokesperson Justin Upton of the Arizona Diamondbacks has received 719,937 total votes, good for 10th among N.L. outfielders.
Behind the plate, Brian McCann (1,646,822) of the Atlanta Braves continues to lead in a bid for his first Midsummer Classic starting assignment. The five-time N.L. All-Star, who was named the Most Valuable Player at last year's All-Star Game in Anaheim, collected his 500th career RBI on Saturday night in his 811th career game. Since 1950, only three other catchers (Mike Piazza, Johnny Bench, Victor Martinez) have earned their 500th career RBI in fewer games. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, the N.L.'s starting backstop in each of the last two years, has risen to second behind McCann with 1,345,260 votes. The last N.L. catcher voted to start three consecutive All-Star Games was Piazza, who was elected to start nine straight from 1994-2002.
Pujols is joined in the infield by Brandon Phillips of the Reds, Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies and Placido Polanco of the Philadelphia Phillies, all of whom maintained leads at their respective positions. Phillips, who ranks second among N.L. second baseman in hits (72), RBI (36) and on-base percentage (.343), has earned 1,754,872 votes in his attempt for a second N.L. All-Star nod (also 2010). Milwaukee's Rickie Weeks, who leads N.L. second basemen in hits (74), runs (47) and slugging percentage (.490), and is tied for first with 12 home runs and 15 doubles, remains close behind Phillips with 1,461,383 votes.
Tulowitzki (1,828,509), who has five straight multi-hit games and four multi-RBI games in his last five games, ranks ahead of New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes (1,241,553), who leads the Major Leagues in hitting with a .346 batting average. Polanco, who hit his third career grand slam on Friday night against the Chicago Cubs, has obtained 1,822,129 votes and continues to be trailed by Atlanta's Chipper Jones (1,197,332). Tulowitzki, an N.L. reserve in 2010, and Polanco, the American League's starting second baseman in 2007, are both trying for their second career All-Star selections.
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports. More than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks, each of which will have 23 home dates for balloting, and in approximately 100 Minor League ballparks. Every Major League Club began its in-stadium balloting no later than Tuesday, May 10th.
Fans around the world can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 Club web sites - online or via their mobile devices - with the 2011 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Sprint, which offers English and Spanish-language versions of the online ballot as well as audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes on Friday, June 24th, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club Web sites until Thursday, June 30th at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).
Firestone, the official tire of MLB, is once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2011 In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program. The ballot features an All-Star sweepstakes, in which a winner will win a trip for two to MLB All-Star Week, including hotel, airfare, tickets to the All-Star Game and other MLB All-Star Week events, and a set of four Firestone tires.
Scotts, the official lawn care company of MLB, is once again the sponsor of the retail All-Star Balloting Program, which began on May 10th at more than 1,700 Lowes stores across the country. The Scotts ballot features an All-Star sweepstakes, where a winner and one guest will win a trip to the MLB All-Star Week including hotel, airfare, tickets to the All-Star Game, and a $500 MasterCard gift card.
Banco BHD sponsors All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available online at lasmayores.com, the official Spanish-language Web site of Major League Baseball, and at All-Star balloting terminals across more than 80 branches, through June 30th.
The 2011 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 3rd on the 2011 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell, televised nationally on TBS. The American League All-Star Team will have nine elected starters 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 - totaling 25 for the N.L. and 24 for the A.L. - will be determined through a combination of "Player Ballot" choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers - National League manager Bruce Bochy of the San Francisco Giants and American League skipper Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers - in conjunction with Major League Baseball.
Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters on Sunday, July 3rd, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2011 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over a four-day period and the winners will be announced after the voting concludes on Thursday, July 7th. Now in its seventh year, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on their mobile phones, courtesy of Sprint.
The 82nd Major League Baseball All-Star Game 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 8:00 p.m. (EDT)/5:00 p.m. (PDT). ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or dbacks.com/asg.