Final push could shake up NL All-Stars

Margins narrow in NL ASG balloting

With only nine days remaining until the polls close, some of the races for starting spots on the National League All-Star team remain too close to call.

The current NL leaders remained unchanged from last week, with the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers accounting for seven of the eight potential starters for the July 12 All-Star Game at Comerica Park in Detroit: first baseman Albert Pujols, third baseman Scott Rolen and center fielder Jim Edmonds of the Cardinals; outfielder Carlos Beltran and catcher Mike Piazza of the Mets; and shortstop Cesar Izturis and second baseman Jeff Kent of the Dodgers.

Phillies outfielder Bobby Abreu leads the race for the third outfield spot.

Though the leaders are the same as last week, some of their margins are relatively small -- which means the battles at a few positions could go right down to the wire.

At the corners, two NL Central rivals -- the Cardinals and the Cubs -- are going at it mano a mano.

Pujols, who leads all National Leaguers with 1,283,047 votes, is fighting off a challenge from Derrek Lee of the Chicago Cubs at first base. Lee trailed by nearly 315,000 votes two weeks ago, but he has whittled the deficit to 165,413. Since June 6, Lee has doubled his vote total and has outpolled Pujols by more than 400,000 votes.

Across the diamond, Rolen boosted his advantage over Aramis Ramirez of the Cubs to roughly 280,000.

The shortstop battle is still up for grabs. Izturis, who took over the lead last week in his bid to make the All-Star team for the first time, leads David Eckstein of the Cardinals by only 65,457 votes. Nomar Garciaparra of the Cubs is not far behind in third place.

Meanwhile, Kent padded his lead at second base and now enjoys a whopping 440,000-vote advantage over Mark Grudzielanek of St. Louis.

Piazza, bidding for a 12th All-Star appearance and what would be an 11th starting nod at catcher, maintained a commanding lead over Paul Lo Duca of the Marlins and Michael Barrett of the Cubs.

Piazza has 908,968 votes, boosting his career total to 24,290,194. He is the all-time leading vote-getter among catchers and surpassed Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith (24,266,021) for fifth place.

The man who has received more All-Star votes than any player in history, Ken Griffey Jr. of Cincinnati, passed the 38 million career vote plateau but remains in fifth in the current balloting behind Miguel Cabrera of the Marlins.

Fans can cast their votes up to 25 times with the Ameriquest All-Star Online Ballot, which is available exclusively at and all 30 club sites. Ballots are still being punched at some Major League ballparks. Online balloting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on June 30.

From July 3-6, fans will once again be able to participate in the Ameriquest All-Star Final Vote, which determines the final position player for each League's 32-man roster.

VOTE NOW: English | Spanish | Japanese

Results as of June 20:

1st Base
Player NameTeamTotal Votes
1. Pujols, A.Cardinals1,283,047
2. Lee, D.Cubs1,117,634
3. Mientkiewicz, D.Mets325,286
4. Choi, H.Dodgers237,043
5. Bagwell, J.Astros230,083

2nd Base
Player NameTeamTotal Votes
1. Kent, J.Dodgers1,015,097
2. Grudzielanek, M.Cardinals573,618
3. Biggio, C.Astros487,040
4. Walker, T.Cubs424,829
5. Giles, M.Braves349,333

Player NameTeamTotal Votes
1. Izturis, C.Dodgers677,260
2. Eckstein, D.Cardinals611,803
3. Garciaparra, N.Cubs522,519
4. Barmes, C.Rockies427,711
5. Furcal, R.Braves383,300

3rd Base
Player NameTeamTotal Votes
1. Rolen, S.Cardinals941,631
2. Ramirez, A.Cubs659,533
3. Glaus, T.Diamondbacks559,587
4. Jones, C.Braves540,984
5. Wright, D.Mets394,873

Player NameTeamTotal Votes
1. Piazza, M.Mets908,968
2. Lo Duca, P.Marlins622,476
3. Barrett, M.Cubs501,249
4. Hernandez, R.Padres469,054
5. Molina, Y.Cardinals429,577

Player NameTeamTotal Votes
1. Beltran, C.Mets1,047,531
2. Edmonds, J.Cardinals972,720
3. Abreu, B.Phillies965,805
4. Cabrera, M.Marlins677,345
5. Griffey Jr., K.Reds625,219
6. Walker, L.Cardinals526,668
7. Bradley, M.Dodgers501,846
8. Burrell, P.Phillies442,911
9. Floyd, C.Mets437,946
10. Jones, A.Braves427,040
11. Drew, J.Dodgers412,971
12. Patterson, C.Cubs398,277
13. Burnitz, J.Cubs376,751
14. Sanders, R.Cardinals349,823
15. Lee, C.Brewers334,218

Jim Molony is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.