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Sizemore making All-Star noise

Sizemore making All-Star noise

CLEVELAND -- Indians fans are running out of time to write in Grady Sizemore's name for a spot on the American League All-Star team.

Balloting at Jacobs Field ends June 26, although Indians fans can continue to vote online until June 30 for Sizemore, second baseman Ronnie Belliard and other members of the Tribe.

With the recent surge by the team, Sizemore and Belliard have both played well and emerged as strong candidates for selection. Of the two, the 22-year-old Sizemore has made the loudest noise.

After coming close to not making the team in Spring Training, he stepped into the starting lineup after Juan Gonzalez's injury and made it impossible for manager Eric Wedge to pull him out of the lineup.

"He plays the game hard," Wedge said of Sizemore. "He plays the game the right way."

In an age of new-school ways, Sizemore is "old school" in all the right ways. No primping, no posturing, he just goes about his business, which is built around all-out hustle, enthusiasm and savvy.

Sizemore, a center fielder who was hitting .308 after Sunday, has been the most consistent player for the Indians. His name, however, isn't on the official ballot. Fans will have to write in his name.

Not so with Belliard's name, though. It is very much on the ballot, and Belliard has been putting up solid numbers that make him worthy of consideration. Although he's not having the sizzling first half of hitting that marked his play in '04 when he earned his first trip to the All-Star Game, he's played consistently well.

After Sunday, Belliard was second on the team in homers with eight, an oddity on a team with bigger men like Victor Martinez, Ben Broussard and Travis Hafner.

Belliard was hitting .293, and his RBI total of 28 was second on the team to Hafner's 33 this season.

Nobody expects that kind of power and RBI production from the energetic infielder, but they do expect him to play defense like some of the top infielders at his position. In that area, the 30-year-old Belliard has done as well as ever.

He's been the same fluid fielder who surprised Indians fans last summer with this glove work. Belliard's play in general has been another bright spot among the everyday players in the Indians lineup, and he merits fans' consideration.

In balloting sponsored by Ameriquest Mortgage Co., Tribe fans can vote for Sizemore, Belliard, Coco Crisp and the other Indians on the ballot at MLB.com and Indians.com, as well as at Jacobs Field and at Indians Team Shops across Northeast Ohio.

Justice B. Hill is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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