Votebook: Races nearing a hot finish
With two weeks left in All-Star voting, several spots wide open
The stretch run for determining the position starters for the 77th All-Star Game in Pittsburgh is just around the hot corner.Only two weeks remain for fans to vote for their favorite players and help send them to PNC Park for the Midsummer Classic on July 11. Rosters for the All-Star Game will be unveiled at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 2. The announcement will reveal the 16 elected starters, as determined by fan balloting, and 45 pitchers and reserves, as determined by the player ballot, the two All-Star team managers -- Ozzie Guillen of the World Series champion Chicago White Sox and Phil Garner of the NL champion Houston Astros -- and Major League Baseball. Thursday marks the ending of the in-stadium voting at three MLB sites -- Chase Field, Comerica Park and Rogers Centre (see chart). The Monster.com 2006 All-Star Online Ballot, available on MLB.com and the 30 club sites, ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on June 29. Just as there are some exciting division races developing as the season approaches the halfway mark, the same could be said of several All-Star Game position battles. In the National League, which will host the All-Star Game this season and again in 2007 when it is played in San Francisco, some terrific, down-to-the-wire races are shaping up at third base, shortstop and the outfield. At last count, New York Mets third baseman David Wright moved past Cardinals third-sacker Scott Rolen and into first place. Both have substantial leads over third-place Morgan Ensberg of the Astros. Right next door, at shortstop, David Eckstein of the St. Louis Cardinals continues to lead the way with the Mets' Jose Reyes running second, followed closely by Edgar Renteria of the Atlanta Braves.
|In-stadium balloting for the 77th All-Star Game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh is beginning to wind down. Below is a chart of balloting end dates at each of the Major League ballparks.|
|Great American Ball Park|
|Citizens Bank Park|
|Minute Maid Park|
|U.S. Cellular Field|
|Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome|
You might recall that the NL went 19-1 from 1963 through '82 and took the game far more seriously, it seemed.The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports and shown around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ET. 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.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.