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Votto in the running for NL's Final Vote

Votto in the running for NL's Final Vote

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CHICAGO -- Reds first baseman Joey Votto is as deserving as anybody to make the National League All-Star team this year. But Votto was overlooked and will need assistance from the fans to get there.

Votto was named as one of five players that can make the squad via the 2010 All-Star Final Vote.

"I was disappointed," Votto said after Sunday's 14-3 Reds win over the Cubs about the All-Star outcome.

Also in the Final Vote race are Padres reliever Heath Bell, Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, Braves reliever Billy Wagner and Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.

"I would've liked to have gotten in on the first vote, but I still consider this an honor to give myself a chance to go to the All-Star Game with a pretty good group of guys," Votto said.

Quite simply, Votto's numbers this season scream that he should be part of the All-Star Game for the first time.

Votto is among NL leaders with a .312 average and his 19 home runs were tied for second entering Sunday. His 57 RBIs ranked him fourth in the league. His .414 on-base percentage was second in the NL behind St. Louis' Albert Pujols. With his ejection for arguing a called third-strike in his first at-bat on Sunday, Votto's streak of reaching base ended at 41 consecutive games, a Major League high for the season.

And there's this from Reds television statistician Mark Wagner: Since 1952, there hasn't been a National League player to rank in the top five in batting, home runs and RBIs and not make the All-Star team.

"I'm very disappointed for Joey but he still has a shot. I urge everybody to go on the Internet and vote for Joey," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Joey probably has as much competition at that position as anybody he's competing against in name recognition. He probably has equal to better numbers. Everybody knows Albert. Albert is still Albert. [The Padres'] Adrian Gonzalez, he's carrying his team offensively. There are some tremendous first basemen out there."

Besides Pujols and Gonzalez, the Phillies' Ryan Howard also made the NL squad. Howard was selected by his manager, Charlie Manuel, who is the All-Star skipper.

"He's my guy," Manuel said about Howard. "He's my player. My guy. Probably the toughest decision was Howard and Votto. Both of them are having big years. Both of them are standing right there. Like I said, Howard's my guy. Their numbers are close, very close. I have to go with my guy."

So, now Votto needs you.

"Hopefully we can get some T-shirts and rally behind Joey, get the fans out there," said Reds third baseman Scott Rolen, who was selected as an All-Star on Sunday. "He has certainly earned it at his position. He is probably the most valuable player on this team right now."

In its ninth year, the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Sunday's Major League All-Star Selection Show and continues until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 8. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.

Mobile voting in the U.S. is exclusive to Sprint, Nextel and Boost subscribers. To receive the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 1122. To vote for a specific player, simply text message your choice to 1122. EXAMPLE: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Msg&Data Rates May Apply. Mobile voting in Canada is open to all carriers; fans should text their choices to 88555. Std rates may apply.

Fans, having already decided the starters and this week the final player on each team, once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevy via the 2010 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint on MLB.com during the All-Star Game.

The 81st Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and Le Reseau des Sports, and around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.

Mark Sheldon 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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{"content":["all-star_game" ] }
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