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Podsednik needs All-Star shot

Swift Podsednik needs All-Star shot

CHICAGO -- He leads the Major Leagues in stolen bases with 35, a 12-stolen base advantage over baseball's second-best thief.

When it comes to making a positive impact on his team, Scott Podsednik ranks right near the top in terms of what he has meant to the best team in baseball during the course of the 2005 season.

But as a left-handed leadoff man without much power, the White Sox left fielder understands that his chances to be selected for the All-Star Game are slim.

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"Maybe if I had 15 home runs and had driven in about 40," said Podsednik, assessing his All-Star chances with a wry smile. "Otherwise, I think it would be a long shot to try to crack that lineup."

Podsednik sits 10th in the latest round of All-Star voting, five spots ahead of teammate Jermaine Dye. White Sox fans no longer have a chance to check off Podsednik's name at U.S. Cellular Field, with in-stadium balloting ending on the South Side this past weekend. But votes still can be recorded online for Podsednik, Dye and any of their teammates until 10:59 CT on Thursday, June 30.

Paul Konerko remains the highest vote-getter of any White Sox starter, ranking fourth at first base behind New York's Tino Martinez and Texas' Mark Teixeira, who are engaged in a tight battle for the starting spot.

Tadahito Iguchi ranks fifth at second base, but he probably will have a tough time making the team with Baltimore's Brian Roberts and Texas' Alfonso Soriano firmly entrenched above him. Frank Thomas sits fifth at designated hitter, although a lack of plate appearances due to injury will send him home, as opposed to Detroit.

Catcher A.J. Pierzynski also cracked the top five this past weekend, checking in at fifth amongst backstops. Pierzynski has made the same sort of immediate positive impact as Podsednik on his new team.

Podsednik isn't expecting any sort of reward, though, aside from a very good shot to be part of the postseason.

"It's tough for a leadoff guy to break into an All-Star Game," Podsednik said. "You have guys hitting home runs and others winning Gold Gloves. As far as American League outfielders go, it's a long shot for a leadoff hitter."

Scott Merkin 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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