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Bay making push for All-Star nod

Bay making push for All-Star nod

All-Star balloting has ended at PNC Park, but it's not too late for Pirates fans to make a final push for their favorite players.

Up until 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 30, fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the Ameriquest 2005 All-Star Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites.

With less than a week to go before the participants in the Midsummer Classic will be announced, Bucs left fielder Jason Bay has continued to make a strong argument for his inclusion on the National League squad. Bay, the reigning National League Rookie of the Year, was batting .305 with 40 RBIs and a team-leading 15 home runs through Sunday. Bay also ranked in the top-10 in the Senior Circuit with 53 runs, 21 doubles, 160 total bases, 26 multihit games, and 40 extra-base hits.

According to numbers released on Tuesday, Bay tallied 294,617 votes, which is 37th place among NL outfielders.

The last Pirates player to be voted in as an All-Star starter was Andy Van Slyke in 1993. Catcher Jason Kendall started behind the plate for the NL in 2000 when Mike Piazza was forced to miss the game due to an injury.

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 MLB.com. 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 MLB.com or on the go from cell phones. Fans can simply text the word "VOTE" to 69652 (MYMLB) and be instantly registered to receive the 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 MLB.com 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 MLB.com. 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 MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage and MLB Radio will provide exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet.

Ed Eagle 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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