Beltran, Piazza in line for All-Star starts

Make sure Beltran, Piazza are Motown bound

A Mets presence at the All-Star Game hasn't necessarily taken a hit. But Carlos Beltran isn't the leading vote-getter among National League outfielders, a distinction the Mets center fielder held throughout the first four weeks of the ballot counting.

Beltran still is in position to start in the National League outfield in Detroit on July 12 -- perhaps in center field, perhaps in left. But Phillies right fielder Bobby Abreu emerged from the fifth week of voting as the leading National League outfielder. On the strength of his unusually productive May, Abreu built a lead of a 72,317 votes over Beltran. Jim Edmonds remains runner-up in the outfield voting.

The Mets are close to ensuring another All-Star starter. Mike Piazza has retained his wide lead among NL catchers, recording 1,173,789 votes, more than 378,000 tallies over the Marlins' Paul Lo Duca. It would be Piazza's 12th All-Star appearance.

Online balloting for the All-Star Game continues on through 11:59 p.m. ET on June 30.

The 2005 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on the Major League Baseball All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet, which will air live on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 3. This special program will feature the announcement of the 17 elected starters, as determined by the fan balloting program, and 45 pitchers and reserves, as determined by the player ballot and the two All-Star Team managers -- Terry Francona of the Boston Red Sox and Tony La Russa of the St. Louis Cardinals -- and Major League Baseball.

Immediately following the Major League Baseball All-Star Game Selection Show, fans will have the opportunity to select the final position player for each league's 32-man roster at The Ameriquest 2005 All-Star Final Vote will provide fans the opportunity to cast their votes from a list of five players from each league over a three-day period.

There will be two ways for fans to vote for the 2005 All-Star Final Vote -- online at or on the go from cell phones. Fans can simply text the word "VOTE" to 69652 (MYMLB) and be instantly registered to receive Final Vote ballots. Then, for just 99 cents a ballot, they'll have the freedom to vote from wherever they are. Fans can pre-register for the mobile ballot now.

The Ameriquest 2005 All-Star Final Vote will conclude on Wednesday, July 6, at 8 p.m. (ET). The two winners will be announced on ESPN and shortly thereafter.

Concluding the All-Star balloting process, fans once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet at the 76th All-Star Game via the Ameriquest 2005 All-Star Game MVP Vote on The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive, national radio coverage, while will provide extensive online coverage and MLB Radio will provide exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet.

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