Pudge leads crowded field behind the plate in American League All-Star balloting results

Pudge leads catchers in AL All-Star balloting

Ivan Rodriguez of the Detroit Tigers is leading a hotly contested four-way race to start behind the plate for the American League at the 78th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 10th at San Francisco's AT&T Park.

Rodriguez, whose 13 All-Star appearances are tied for most among active Major League players and are most among all American League players, has 469,696 votes. The catcher from the defending American League Champions is followed by the 2006 A.L. batting champion, Minnesota's Joe Mauer, who has 438,365 votes. Also in pursuit are two-time A.L. All-Star Jason Varitek (413,153) of the Boston Red Sox and four-time A.L. All-Star Jorge Posada (392,908) of the New York Yankees. Last year, the top four A.L. catchers finished in the same exact order, with Rodriguez (1,826,720) edging Mauer (1,809,878) in fan balloting and Mauer becoming an All- Star via the Player Ballot. Rounding out the top five is Cleveland's Victor Martinez (206,377), a 2004 All-Star.

The closest contest is at second base, where New York's Robinson Cano (389,265) continues to hold a narrow lead over Detroit's Placido Polanco (381,051). Cano was a first-time All-Star in 2006, while the veteran Polanco is trying to earn his first invitation to the Midsummer Classic.

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez remains the top vote-getter at this stage of the balloting and is the first player to eclipse the one million vote mark with 1,058,907 overall. Next in line as the top vote-getters are New York shortstop Derek Jeter (848,932), Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero (782,268) and Boston first baseman David Ortiz (775,734). (Carlos Beltran is the National League's leading vote-getter with 758,457.) Boston's Manny Ramirez (600,463) and Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki (503,229) would join Guerrero in the outfield for American League manager Jim Leyland.

The Major League Baseball All-Star Balloting Program is the largest balloting program in professional sports. The fan balloting program will determine the eight position players from each League who will start the 78th All- Star Game. Throughout the balloting period, 21 million ballots will be distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks and an additional 1.7 million ballots will be distributed to 95 Minor League Baseball Clubs that are inseason during the balloting period.

In-stadium balloting at Major League ballparks began no later than May 3rd, while balloting at Minor League ballparks began between May 7th and May 17th. Each Major League Club will have 25 home dates during which it will conduct balloting, while Minor League Clubs will have 15 home dates for balloting. The in-stadium program will conclude at Minor League ballparks by June 16th and at Major League ballparks no later than June 22nd. In-stadium balloting at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, sponsored by Rogers Personal TV, began on April 27th and will run through June 16th. Balloting in Puerto Rico, sponsored by DIRECTV, began on May 3rd and will run through June 10th.

Pepsi, Frito-Lay and, for the first time, Quaker - all divisions of PepsiCo Inc. - will distribute 12 million Major League Baseball All-Star ballots exclusively at more than 3,400 Wal-Mart stores, where balloting began on May 13th and will conclude on June 17th across the United States. Pepsi has been the title sponsor of the U.S. retail All-Star balloting program since 1997.

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 Web sites until Thursday, June 28th at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). The Monster 2007 All-Star Online Ballot is available in English, Spanish and Japanese.

The 2007 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 1st on the 2007 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet, which will be televised nationally on TBS at approximately 4:00 p.m. (EDT), immediately following the 1:00 p.m. (EDT) game between the Atlanta Braves and Florida Marlins. Each All-Star squad will have a total of eight elected starters, as determined by the fan balloting program, and 23 pitchers and reserves, as determined by the "Player Ballot" and the two All-Star Team managers - American League manager Jim Leyland of the Detroit Tigers and National League manager Tony La Russa of the St. Louis Cardinals - in conjunction with Major League Baseball.

Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will have the opportunity to select the final position player for each League's 32-man roster at MLB.com. The Monster 2007 All-Star Final Vote will provide fans the opportunity to cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over a four-day period.

For the third year, fans will be able to vote for their Final Vote selections on their mobile phone. Both winners of the Monster 2007 All-Star Final Vote will be announced after the voting has concluded on Thursday, July 5th. 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 78th All-Star Game via the Monster 2007 All-Star Game MVP Vote on MLB.com.

The 78th Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which will decide home-field advantage in the 2007 World Series, will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8:00 p.m. (EDT). ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage. XM will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage of the XM All-Star Futures Game.

Other announcements will be released as follows:

Monday, June 11NL Balloting Release #3
Tuesday, June 12AL Balloting Release #3
Monday, June 18NL Balloting Release #4
Tuesday, June 19AL Balloting Release #4
Monday, June 25NL Balloting Release #5
Tuesday, June 26AL Balloting Release #5
Sunday, July 1Starters & Reserves Announced


2007 MLB All-Star Balloting : American League
1st Base
RANKPLAYER NAMEAL TEAMTOTAL VOTES
1.Ortiz, D.Red Sox775,734
2.Morneau, J.Twins351,497
3.Giambi, J.Yankees283,006
4.Hafner, T.Indians230,623
5.Casey, S.Tigers207,337
2nd Base
RANKPLAYER NAMEAL TEAMTOTAL VOTES
1.Cano, R.Yankees389,265
2.Polanco, P.Tigers381,051
3.Kinsler, I.Rangers236,774
4.Pedroia, D.Red Sox208,172
5.Upton, B.J.Devil Rays196,156
Shortstop
RANKPLAYER NAMEAL TEAMTOTAL VOTES
1.Jeter, D.Yankees848,932
2.Tejada, M.Orioles290,856
3.Guillen, C.Tigers268,250
4.Lugo, J.Red Sox242,124
5.Young, M.Rangers154,653
3rd Base
RANKPLAYER NAMEAL TEAMTOTAL VOTES
1.Rodriguez, A.Yankees1,058,907
2.Lowell, M.Red Sox352,923
3.Inge, B.Tigers159,316
4.Chavez, E.Athletics125,824
5.Beltre, A.Mariners108,720
Catcher
RANKPLAYER NAMEAL TEAMTOTAL VOTES
1.Rodriguez, I.Tigers469,696
2.Mauer, J.Twins438,365
3.Varitek, J.Red Sox413,153
4.Posada, J.Yankees392,908
5.Martinez, V.Indians206,377
Outfield
RANKPLAYER NAMEAL TEAMTOTAL VOTES
1.Guerrero, V.Angels782,268
2.Ramirez, M.Red Sox600,463
3.Suzuki, I.Mariners503,229
4.Hunter, T.Twins419,035
5.Ordonez, M.Tigers394,892
6.Sizemore, G.Indians338,837
7.Abreu, B.Yankees322,315
8.Damon, J.Yankees319,276
9.Drew, J.D.Red Sox316,385
10.Matsui, H.Yankees268,544
11.Sheffield, G.Tigers246,424
12.Crisp, C.Red Sox241,682
13.Sosa, S.Rangers239,535
14.Crawford, C.Devil Rays182,758
15.Wells, V.Blue Jays171,125
Results updated: Tuesday, June 5, 2007