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07/09/09 9:22 PM ET
Kinsler edged by Inge in AL Final Vote
Second baseman misses second straight All-Star year
By T.R. Sullivan and Christian Caple / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- Ian Kinsler will be home for the All-Star break.
The Rangers second baseman lost out to Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge in the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote for the American League team. The final results were announced on Thursday afternoon for the 80th annual All-Star Game to be played in St. Louis on Tuesday.
Shane Victorino of the Phillies won the National League Final Vote, edging Pablo Sandoval of the Giants.
This is the third time that Kinsler had to settle for runner-up. Kinsler finished second behind Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox in the fans voting to be in the AL starting lineup, and second behind Toronto's Aaron Hill in the voting by players for the reserves.
Kinsler took the close loss in stride.
"It's not disappointing," Kinsler said before the Rangers' game against Seattle on Thursday. "It's something that's cool to be a part of, but at the same time, if you don't go, there's only a certain amount of guys who can go."
Kinsler was selected by the players as a reserve in 2008 and ended up going 1-for-5 in the AL's 4-3 victory in 15 innings at Yankee Stadium last year.
He is hitting .252 with 20 home runs, 54 RBIs, 60 runs scored and 17 stolen bases going into Thursday's game with the Mariners. The Rangers hold a one-game lead over the Angels in the AL West.
And the division race is more important to Kinsler than making the All-Star team.
"What we're worried about ... we had an important series in Anaheim. We have an important series in Seattle," Kinsler said. "We want to play well before we take our break."
The Tigers are also in first place with a two-game lead in the AL Central. Inge has been a big part of that, hitting .264 with 19 home runs and 54 RBIs.
Kinsler said he has no problem with Inge snagging the final roster spot for the AL.
"Whoever's in that game is supposed to be there," Kinsler said.
The Rangers settle for two players in the All-Star Game. Outfielder Josh Hamilton will be in the AL starting lineup, and third baseman Michael Young, making his sixth trip to the Midsummer Classic, is among the reserves.
Previous winners of the All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote are: Evan Longoria (AL, 2008); Corey Hart (NL, 2008); Hideki Okajima (AL, 2007); Chris Young (NL, 2007); A.J. Pierzynski (AL, 2006); Nomar Garciaparra (NL, 2006); Scott Podsednik (AL, 2005); Roy Oswalt (NL, 2005); Hideki Matsui (AL, 2004); Bobby Abreu (NL, 2004); Jason Varitek (AL, 2003); Geoff Jenkins (NL, 2003); Johnny Damon (AL, 2002); and Andruw Jones (NL, 2002).
The 80th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 7 p.m. CT.
Fans smashed Final Vote records by casting 68.6 million votes at MLB.com and ultimately they decided on the two first-time All-Stars whose respective clubs forged a voting alliance after seeing Inge and Victorino in second place on the second day.
This year's record number of votes represents an increase of 43.5 percent from the previous mark of 47.8 million set in 2008. Since its inception in 2002, the All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote has now recorded nearly 200 million votes.