KANSAS CITY -- No Royals have surfaced among the top vote-getters in the All-Star Game balloting -- not even Mike Sweeney.
Sweeney is the Royals' most logical contender for the July 12 game at Detroit. Sweeney was batting .300 and leads the club with nine home runs, 16 doubles and 36 RBIs.
However, Sweeney has another candidate in mind -- a guy who is not even on the ballot.
"Let's give Matt Stairs some love," Sweeney said.
For a player with some impressive credentials, it's somewhat surprising that Stairs never has been on an All-Star team. Not even in 1998 when he finished with a .294 average and had 106 RBIs with 26 home runs. Or in 1999, a 38-homer, 102-RBI season.
"He's a great teammate and has been around for a long time. He's had great numbers all through his career and he's never been rewarded with an All-Star Game," Sweeney said.
This season, Stairs is hitting .272 and has seven homers and 17 RBIs in 42 games. He's been used in the outfield, at first base and
as the designated hitter.
"Zero," Stairs said.
Perhaps it's that in voting. It's tough to get votes when you're not on the ballot. But there are those roster spots that are filled by the leagues and managers, too.
"Anything is possible," Stairs said upon reflection. "You could get hot. But, as a part-time player, you don't expect to make it."
Yeah, but at least he's got Sweeney's vote.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.