Rangers' Kinsler maintains All-Star lead
Second baseman holding off Pedroia for starting spot
ARLINGTON -- For the fourth straight week, Ian Kinsler is still leading American League second baseman in fan voting for the All-Star Game.If Kinsler can continue to maintain this lead over Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox, he will be the American League's starting second baseman at the All-Star Game on July 14 in St. Louis.
"If I get voted in because of the fans ... I don't know what to say," Kinsler said. "That would be a heart-felt awesome. Just to have fan recognition no matter where you play is gratifying."Josh Hamilton is also still in the running for a spot in the American League outfield. He continues to sit second among outfielders behind Jason Bay and in front of Ichiro Suzuki. Hamilton, who underwent surgery to repair a partially torn abdominal muscle last week, wants to play during the All-Star festivities and repeat his appearance in the Home Run Derby, but that is doubtful at best. He is sidelined four to six weeks and has yet to resume baseball activities. 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 10:59 p.m. CT. 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 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. Among other Rangers, shortstop Elvis Andrus and third baseman Michael Young are third at their positions, catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is fourth and first baseman Chris Davis is fifth. Nelson Cruz is seventh among outfielders. Kinsler and Hamilton are trying to make the team for the second straight year. Hamilton started last season in the American League's 3-2 victory in 15 innings while Kinsler went as a reserve. Young is trying to make the team for the sixth straight season, all as a reserve. He was the Most Valuable Player in 2006 when he hit a two-run triple in the top of the ninth inning, and he drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the 15th inning last season. Only Ivan Rodriguez has been selected for more All-Star Games with the Rangers than Young.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.