Longoria keeping pace in third-base balloting

Longoria keeping pace in third-base balloting

Longoria keeping pace in third-base balloting
Rays third baseman Evan Longoria and outfielder B.J. Upton remain in contention for starting spots on the American League All-Star team as the third installment of voting updates was released on Monday.

Longoria, working his way back from a partially torn left hamstring that has sidelined him since the beginning of May, is third in the voting among third basemen. His 1,442,308 votes trail Texas' Adrian Beltre (2,251,304) and Detroit's Miguel Cabrera (1,869,727).

Upton, who is hitting .269 with five homers and 24 RBIs this year for the Rays, ranks 11th in voting (753,581) among AL outfielders. Josh Hamilton is the league's leading vote-getter, with 5,414,880, and Curtis Granderson (2,818,535) and Jose Bautista (1,996,940) follow him in the outfield category.

Upton is vying for his first career All-Star Game appearance, while Longoria is looking to participate in the Midsummer Classic for the fourth time in his five-year career.

The 83rd All-Star Game will be held July 10 in Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium. Fans can submit up to 25 ballots per email address with the All-Star Game Online Ballot, through June 28 exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 club sites, wired or mobile. Once that voting ends, then comes the always-frenetic finish with the All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote from July 1-5 and the annual MVP vote during the All-Star Game to help decide who wins the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award.

As of the last count, Prince Fielder led first basemen, Ian Kinsler led second basemen, Beltre was the top third baseman, Derek Jeter paced shortstops, David Ortiz was the designated hitter front-runner and Mike Napoli was the top catcher.

The National League update is to be released Tuesday.

The MLB All-Star balloting program last year produced a record-shattering total of 32.5 million ballots cast. More than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks, each of which will have 23 dates for balloting, and in approximately 100 Minor League ballparks.

When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes on June 22, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively online at MLB.com until 11:59 p.m. ET on June 28.

Firestone, the official tire of MLB, is once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2012 In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program. The ballot features an All-Star sweepstakes, in which a winner will be rewarded with a trip for two to MLB All-Star Week, including airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to the All-Star Game and other MLB All-Star Week events.

Scotts, the official lawn-care company of MLB, is once again the sponsor of the retail All-Star Balloting Program, which launched on May 4 in select Lowe's stores and Chevrolet dealerships across the country. The Scotts ballot includes an opportunity to enter for a chance to win a baseball field makeover using Scotts products for your community.

Banco BHD sponsors All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the Dominican Republic via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language website of Major League Baseball, and at All-Star balloting terminals across more than 80 branches. Coors Light provides offline All-Star balloting in 60 Wal-Mart and Amigo convenience stores throughout Puerto Rico, through Sunday.

The 2012 rosters will be unveiled July 1 on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell, televised nationally on TBS. The AL All-Star team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL squad will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads -- totaling 25 for the NL and 24 for the AL -- will be determined through a combination of Player Ballot choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers -- AL skipper Ron Washington of the Rangers and NL manager Tony La Russa -- in conjunction with MLB.

The 83rd All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. Pregame ceremonies will begin at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.