Major League Baseball released the results of the first round of voting for NL and AL All-Stars and the Yankees Captain, Derek Jeter, is currently leading the AL in total votes. Although the All-Star game is technically an exhibition, the league that wins claims home field advantage in the World Series.
Jeter leads the Tampa Bay Rays Evan Longoria by a minuscule 570 votes, but both lead their respective position by more then double. Jeter leads the Blue Jays’ Marco Scutaro and Longoria leads the Ranger’s Michael Young.
The top player at each position and the top three outfielders are voted in as starters. The All-Star game is set to be played on July 14 in St. Louis.
Mark Texeira is currently in third, behind Miguel Tejada of Detroit and Kevin Youkillis of Boston, who leads all first basemen. Robinson Cano at second is a distant fourth to Ian Kinsler of Texas. Alex Rodriguez is currently in third, behind Longoria and Jorge Posada is in fourth at catcher behind Joe Mauer of Minnesota.
In the outfield, the top three vote-getters are Jason Bay of Boston, Josh Hamilton of Texas, and Ichiro Suzuki of Seattle. The next three are Ken Griffey, Jr of Seattle, Nick Markakis of Baltimore and Carl Crawford of Tampa Bay. Johnny Damon is the only Yankee outfielder in the top fifteen, sitting at a distant 11th.
Now for those who are not familiar with the whole All-Star voting experience, MLB allows any fan to vote up to 25 times, however there is nothing prohibiting a fan from making up a fake name and voting more. Regardless, the top vote-getter at each position and the top 3 outfielders are named starters. Then the coaches of each team name the reserves. If a player pulls out of the game due to injury, I believe that the commissioner’s office picks a replacement, but I could be wrong. Thus, the most popular players are typically always represented, as well as most of the deserving, all-star caliber players.
The most interesting thing about All-Star voting is going on in the NL this season. Recently suspended Manny Ramirez is sitting in fourth-place in NL voting, despite only playing in the first 30 games before being suspended 50 for testing positive for steroids.