06/28/12 2:21 PM ET
Fans cast record 3.8 million All-Star ballots in one day
Many races too close to call as voting ends tonight
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
The large volume has left many races up for grabs as online voting at MLB.com and the 30 club sites entered its final 36 hours. You are deciding 17 starting positions for the 83rd All-Star Game on July 10 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, and rosters for the National and American Leagues will be revealed at 1 p.m. ET Sunday on TBS with the 2012 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell.
As of the last official updates, the closest races included the NL outfield and third base where Giants teammates Melky Cabrera and Pablo Sandoval again made pushes on Wednesday for starting spots with 125 percent and 138 percent more online votes, respectively, than leaders Ryan Braun of the Brewers and David Wright of the Mets.
The AL features its own tight races, most notably the race at second, where Robinson Cano of the Yankees and Ian Kinsler of the Rangers find themselves deadlocked in the campaign to start at second base. As of the last update, Cano passed Kinsler for the lead, but led by fewer than 100,000 votes.
Adrian Beltre of the Rangers and Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers vie for the nod at third base, while Michael Young of the Rangers looks to catch Boston's David Ortiz at designated hitter. The third spot in the American League starting outfield also is still up for grabs, as slightly more than 100,000 votes separated Jose Bautista of Toronto, Nelson Cruz of Texas and Adam Jones of Baltimore.
The AL All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads -- totaling 25 for the NL and 24 for the AL -- will be determined through a combination of "Player Ballot" choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers -- AL skipper Ron Washington of the Rangers and NL manager Tony La Russa -- in conjunction with MLB.
Last year, Tigers catcher Alex Avila overcame Russell Martin in the final week of online-only balloting to win the starting AL spot, and Jose Reyes, then with the Mets, got a final-week surge to leapfrog Troy Tulowitzki. It is a similar story every year, as the last week tends to bring a "correction" to the overall balloting process, which started in late April.
The 10 candidates for the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone also will be revealed at the end of the Selection Show. It will be your annual chance to add one final player to each roster.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
Social media is having a major impact on this year's voting. MLB.com launched an All-Star Game 2012 "Tweet the Vote" portal where fans can track and rally social support for each player with streams of designated Twitter hashtags, including the closest races as of the last balloting updates. Up-to-the-moment voting updates will be delivered via @MLB throughout the final days of online voting, detailing which players gain the most support from their fans' campaigning and how that may impact the races.
When the rosters are announced on Sunday, MLB.com will feature complete All-Star team coverage with high-quality video and analysis of both teams.
The 83rd All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and Sirius XM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.