Gonzalez flashing power at PETCO
Friars first baseman in need of votes for All-Star berth
SAN DIEGO -- It's not just the road where Padres first baseman and National League All-Star hopeful Adrian Gonzalez does his best work.
Gonzalez, who is attempting to make his second National League All-Star team for the July 14 game in St. Louis, is having more success hitting homers at spacious PETCO Park this season than he has had in his three previous seasons.
Going into their seven-game homestand that started Monday against the Phillies, Gonzalez already had five home runs in his first 23 games at home. Overall, Gonzalez led the Major Leagues with 20 home runs through Sunday.
In 2008, he hit 14 home runs at home in 81 games. In '07, he hit 10 in 79 games. He also hit 10 home runs in 78 games in '06, his first season with the Padres.
This shouldn't be of much surprise for a player who has averaged 30 home runs the past three seasons while playing in a ballpark that strongly favors pitchers.
"He doesn't give you a lot of room," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "You better not make a mistake with him. He's so quiet up there [at the plate]. But he's got a good sense, and he has good reach. Whenever we have a meeting, we talk about not letting him beat us."
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until July 2 at 8:59 p.m. PT.
Starting rosters will be announced during the 2009 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet on TBS on July 5. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote at MLB.com.
The other Padres on the All-Star ballot are catcher Nick Hundley, shortstop Luis Rodriguez, second baseman David Eckstein, third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and outfielders Chase Headley and Brian Giles.
And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote at MLB.com.
The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.