ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa will have some leeway in choosing reserves for the National League All-Star team, because he's skippering the squad following the Cards' World Series win. But if Cardinals fans want to make things easy on the manager, they can just vote members of the reigning world champs onto the team, rather than putting it in the manager's hands.
The Cards have plenty of returning All-Stars on the ballot, but the more interesting question may regard a couple of youngsters who have never been All-Stars. Candidates for first-time election include outfielder Chris Duncan, one of the National League's hottest hitters in the early going, and Gold Glove-caliber catcher Yadier Molina.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the Monster 2007 All-Star Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until Thursday, June 28th at 10:59 p.m. CT.
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.
Selecting the rosters isn't the end of the fun in 2007, either. Concluding the All-Star balloting process, fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet at the All-Star Game via the Monster.com 2007 All-Star Game MVP Vote at 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 offer extensive online coverage and MLB Radio will have exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet.
Four Cardinals who are former All-Stars appear on the 2007 ballot -- first baseman Albert Pujols, third baseman Scott Rolen, shortstop David Eckstein and outfielder Jim Edmonds. Pujols, Rolen and Eckstein, as well as pitcher Chris Carpenter, all represented the NL in the 2006 game in Pittsburgh. Second baseman Adam Kennedy is the only Cards infielder on the ballot who has never been an All-Star.
With the rotating cast in right field for the Cardinals, the third outfielder on the ballot was a challenge. Juan Encarnacion, who hopes to be back to active duty before too much longer, was tabbed. Preston Wilson, a former All-Star, and Scott Spiezio are among the Cards receiving frequent playing time who are not on the ballot.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.