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MLB All-Star Voting, a travesty....


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this is a goddamn mockery is what it is. fan voting is ludicrous; they vote for all the wrong reasons (we should be used to this, right?). michael jordan could suit up for the ChiSox tomorrow and be the leading vote-getter for AL OF's.... a goddamn shame.

Where the hell is Melvin Mora? The best 3B in the AL by far. He has gotten over his fielding woes and now bats over .380 (tops in MLB), and his OB%, and SLG% are both top-2 in the AL (as of a few days ago).... WTF!?!?!? he's not even in the top-5 of AL 3B!!!

equally embarrasing is the AL SS situation... any guess who is in first? well, who has played the best at the SS position this spring? is it Tejada? is it Jeter? is it... Bobby Crosby? well, of course it isn't Bobby Crosby, but at least he ****ing played this season! the leading SS is Nomah Garciaparra!!!??? WFT!? He hasn't even swung the bat, yet he has gotten 412,742 votes, leading a guy who is batting .220, with almost as many K's (41) to hits (47).. no, that's not Bobby Crosby either, it's Derek Jeter. so, a .000 average is good enough for 1st, a .220 average is good enough for 2nd... am i missing something?

as for the NL, the Pirates are getting robbed of two guys playing all-star caliber baseball: Jack and Craig Wilson. both of these guys are dominating at their respective positions (well, Craig isn't dominating, but he is putting up numbers equal to Bonds, good enough?)...

they need to stop letting the fans vote, period. this is a shame to tell all those great players who are having great seasons, career seasons, that production is just not enough, you've got to be popular too. what a load.


"Soriano tops All-Star Game voting

Giants' Bonds leads National League balloting

By Mark Newman / MLB.com

Alfonso Soriano is all smiles as the leader in votes for the All-Star Game. (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

• AL All-Star balloting update

• NL All-Star balloting update

Alfonso Soriano is the top overall vote-getter as a new Ranger, Nomar Garciaparra has been gone but not forgotten, Jeff Kent and Adam Everett are on course to turn more double plays together at home, and the comeback story of Ken Griffey Jr. is being noticed by fans who once made him a fixture at the biggest show of the summer.

On Tuesday, Major League Baseball announced the first weekly update of fan voting to determine the starting position players for the 75th All-Star Game on July 13 at Minute Maid Park in Houston. If recent history is an indication, then the first update is a catalyst for heavier, record voting to come as you get a feel for the pulse of your peers.

Fans can cast their votes up to 25 times in the Ameriquest All-Star Online Ballot, which is available exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 club sites, and ballots also are being punched at each Major League ballpark. Online balloting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on June 30, and the starters and reserves will be announced July 4.

The early National League leaders include Mike Piazza of the Mets behind the plate; Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen of St. Louis at the corners; Kent at second and Everett at shortstop to represent Houston; and Barry Bonds of the Giants, Sammy Sosa of the Cubs and Griffey ranking 1-2-3 in the outfield.

In the American League, Pudge Rodriguez of Detroit has the early lead over Jorge Posada of the Yankees in an expected ballot battle between the two catchers from last year's World Series. Other vote leaders are Jason Giambi of the Yankees at first, Soriano at second, Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees at third, Garciaparra of the Red Sox at short, and outfielders Vlad Guerrero of the Angels and Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon of the Red Sox.

Both league totals were announced jointly with this first update, and in the next month the totals will be revealed for the NL on Mondays and the AL on Tuesdays leading up to the roster announcements. Then fans again will be able to determine the 32nd men for each league with the Ameriquest All-Star Final Vote. In the meantime, here is a closer look at the players who drew your early support:


Catcher: This was expected to be one of the glamour showdowns of the balloting. Last fall, Rodriguez helped the Marlins past Posada and the Yankees in the World Series. Now that Pudge is back in the AL, where he once was an All-Star fixture for Texas, he has helped Detroit to respectability after a forgettable 2003 and it is visible at the ballot box. Rodriguez had 516,322 votes to Posada's 343,255 -- and Boston's Jason Varitek is breathing down his neck in third with 337,574.

First base: Giambi has been an All-Star each year of this decade, and he is on course for a fifth. Giambi entered June with a .270 average, nine homers and 24 RBIs, and fans have him on top with 376,307 votes. Toronto's Carlos Delgado, last year's starter at first, got off to a slow start in 2004 but is up to eight homers and 32 RBIs and is second with 211,209 votes.

Second base: Soriano, dealt to the Yankees before the season for Rodriguez, has by far the biggest lead at any position and leads all players with 729,949 votes. Although he slumped in May with a .235 average that month, his hot start helped set the tone for the Rangers' surprising 2004 start. In the distant battle for second at this position, Boston's Pokey Reese leads Seattle's Bret Boone, 276,726 to 262,789.

Third base: All blockbuster trades should have such an immediate All-Star balance. A-Rod has played each All-Star Game since 1996, with the exception of 1999 because of an injury, and he is on track for his first one as a Yankee with 558,880 votes. Defending AL batting champ Bill Mueller, now unavailable to Boston because of injury, is second with 288,955. Right behind him is the hero of the 2003 All-Star Game, the Rangers' Hank Blalock. It appeared that Anaheim's Troy Glaus would be in a tight race with A-Rod here, but Glaus' injury makes that unlikely.

Shortstop: Here is where it gets really weird, and this first update is sure to mean some immediate ballot submissions. With Rodriguez moved to third, this position was wide open. Garciaparra has been out all year with an Achilles injury, and he leads with 412,742 votes. Close behind with 396,268 votes is the Yankees' Derek Jeter, who is just recently coming on after his slowest start ever offensively. Miguel Tejada of the Orioles has 299,517 votes, and in fourth is the second baseman-turned-shortstop who unquestionably had the biggest individual first quarter season among this group: Michael Young of the Rangers (292,763).

Outfield: Guerrero was the cream of the crop in the last free agent pool, and his 637,515 votes are testament to another monster season as a new Angel -- .348 average, 12 homers and 38 RBIs. Boston has the other two outfield spots in the early returns, with Ramirez receiving 626,272 votes and Damon 360,755. It was just two years ago that Damon was voted by fans onto the team with that first final vote to round out rosters. New Yankee Gary Sheffield is fourth despite a rough first quarter, and keep an eye on fifth place where Ichiro Suzuki of Seattle is traditionally an All-Star favorite and coming off a 50-hit month.


Catcher: Piazza missed last year's Midsummer Classic after playing in it each year from 1993-2002. He was injured last May 16 and out three months, and Javy Lopez took his customary role. Lopez jumped leagues, and now Piazza, the new all-time leader in homers by a catcher, is comfortably on top with 500,446 votes. Bidding for a hometown gig, Houston's Brad Ausmus is second with 302,090. Paul Lo Duca (236,067) was a reserve at last year's game, and he has been even better this year with a .366 average as a Dodger catalyst.

First base: This will be one of the great races. Pujols is red-hot again after all that talk of a letdown, and leading the Majors in homers with 15. He leads with 449,708 votes, but right behind him with 442,247 is a sentimental candidate and much more: Houston's Jeff Bagwell (.291, 8 homers, 30 RBIs).

Second base: Kent is the best bet for a home starter, with twice as many votes (500,876) as anyone else. On course to become the Majors' all-time home run leader at this position, he has seven so far in 2004 to go along with a .309 average and 40 RBIs. Atlanta's Marcus Giles, who burst onto the scene in 2003 to make this start, is second on the list and has a .339 average, three homers and 18 RBIs in 17 fewer games than Kent.

Third base: Rolen was a runaway winner in this category last year, and he is back on top with a 50-RBI start and 461,194 votes. But this might be the deepest category on your entire ballot, so there are no early locks here. Chicago's Aramis Ramirez is second with 298,443, and Houston's Morgan Ensberg slipped in at third with 225,255. Mike Lowell is having a spectacular season for Florida with a .346 average, 14 homers, 34 RBIs and a .670 slugging percentage, and he is fourth in the first update, which is one of those little surprises.

Shortstop: This definitely is not the year of the automatic lock at this position in either league. There is no Ozzie Smith or Barry Larkin to dominate the voting here these days. Everett jumps out to a slim 302,310-297,291 lead over last year's starter, Edgar Renteria of the Cardinals. Better keep a close eye on rookie Kaz Matsui of the Mets. He is third with 217,749, and with this position somewhat wide open, it is worth remembering that Hideki Matsui came over from Japan last year and was bumped by voters into a starting AL outfield spot late in the game. The online ballot is in English, Japanese and Spanish, and Matsui (.265, five homers, 19 RBIs, six steals) could have grassroots support across the Pacific Rim.

Outfield: Bonds, now sitting on 672 career dingers and leading the Giants on a 10-game winning streak through Monday, is a given and leads the NL with 647,183 votes. You could argue that Moises Alou (currently sixth with 330,300 votes) is having the best year for a Cubs outfielder, but Sammy Sosa, heading for the 600-homer club and currently on the DL, is the fan choice at No. 2 in the outfield with 586,479. It will be interesting to see whether Griffey stays in this threesome now that he is charging toward 500 homers and helping the surprising Reds to first place in the NL Central -- or whether the Minute Maid crowd might see at least one Astro out there. Craig Biggio (364,546) and Lance Berkman (345,255) are right behind Griffey, and even Richard Hidalgo is in the running with 315,568 votes.

The Major League Baseball All-Star voting program is the largest in professional sports, with fans last year shattering the record by casting more than 15 million votes.

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