CLEVELAND -- It's another All-Star Game at another National League park, which probably doesn't sit too well with Travis Hafner. National League rules aren't kind to a man who makes his living as a designated hitter. And NL baseball is what will be played at the 78th Midsummer Classic, which will take place July 10 at San Francisco's AT&T Park. The ballot-makers are doing what they can to help Hafner make the All-Star team for the first time in his career. Once again this season, he's listed as the Tribe's representative at first base, even though he plays the position infrequently.
Regardless, Hafner is still up against the likes of David Ortiz, Justin Morneau, Paul Konerko and Jason Giambi in the first-base balloting, so this will be no easy race. But Indians fans will be given plenty of opportunities to help out the man known as Pronk. Ballots will be accepted at Indians home games at Jacobs Field from April 25 until June 18. And for those who prefer to vote from the comforts of home, the Monster 2007 All-Star Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites will allow fans to cast their votes for starters up to 25 times until Thursday, June 28, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Fans around the world will again have the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team via the Monster 2007 All-Star Final Vote. The vote will begin immediately following the 2007 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show Presented by Chevrolet, which will be televised by Turner Sports on Sunday, July 1. Not only are fans selecting the rosters for the game, they'll have a say as to who gets recognition as the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player, presented by Chevrolet. Voting for that award will be handled through the Monster.com 2007 All-Star Game MVP Vote at MLB.com. Joining Hafner on the All-Star ballot are teammates Josh Barfield (second base), Casey Blake (third base), Jhonny Peralta (shortstop), Victor Martinez (catcher), and Grady Sizemore, David Dellucci and Trot Nixon (outfield). Blake's inclusion on the ballot as a third baseman, even though he regularly plays first base, leaves Andy Marte in the shadows.
Sizemore was the Indians' lone representative in the All-Star Game last season, when a campaign to get Hafner onto the AL team through the Final Vote came up short. The 2007 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 offer extensive online coverage and MLB Radio will have exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet. For his part, Hafner hopes to forego the above options and watch the game in person.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.