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Buck deserving of All-Star votes

Buck deserving of All-Star votes

KANSAS CITY -- No matter how many homers John Buck hits or how many runs he drives in, the Royals catcher still can't break the top five online vote-getters among American League catchers for the All-Star Game.

Buck's 10 homers trail only the Indians' Victor Martinez for most among American League catchers. Plus, the Royals backstop's .930 on-base plus slugging percentage is second to only the Yankees' Jorge Posada, who's .980 OPS is tops among catchers.

But Buck doesn't hold a top-five spot. Those belong to Martinez, Posada, Detroit's Ivan Rodriguez, Minnesota's Joe Mauer and Boston's Jason Varitek in the most recent online balloting. Buck isn't the only Royals player receiving short shrift. No KC player ranks in the top five at their position among infielders or in the top 15 among outfielders.

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Mark Teahen is another Royals position player who presents a strong argument for an All-Star nod, but he isn't seeing much help from the voters. The first-year right fielder ranks eighth among AL outfielders in on-base percentage (.361) and fourth in OPS with runners in scoring position (1.059), trailing only All-Star veterans Vladimir Guerrero, Ichiro Suzuki and Toronto's Reed Johnson.

Teahen also has flashed a strong arm, tying for second with Tampa Bay's Delmon Young for assists (nine). Only the Twins' Michael Cuddyer (13) has more.

KC ends its in-stadium voting June 17, but fans still can vote online. 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 June 28 at 10:59 p.m. CT.

Fans again will be given the opportunity to cast an All-Star vote immediately following the 2007 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show Presented by Chevrolet, which will be televised by Turner Sports on Sunday, July 1. Baseball fans around the world will be able select the final player on each All-Star team via the Monster.com 2007 All-Star Final Vote.

All-Star Game Coverage

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.

Conor Nicholl is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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