Braun pulls ahead of Cabrera in final NL balloting update

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has moved into third place among outfielders in the final N.L. balloting update for the 83rd All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 10th at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.  The 2012 All-Star squads will be unveiled during the 2012 All-Star Game Selection Show Presented by Taco Bell on TBS, which will air at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday prior to the New York Yankees-Chicago White Sox game at Yankee Stadium.

Braun, who has collected 3,168,617 votes, has surpassed San Francisco’s Melky Cabrera (3,045,884) one week after Cabrera had overtaken the third outfield spot.  Braun has been a fan-elected starter in each of the last four Midsummer Classics, and is the only Brewers outfielder ever to be elected a starter by the fans.  He is one of seven Brewers overall to accomplish the feat, joining: Don Money (2B – 1978); Paul Molitor (2B – 1980, 1988); Robin Yount (SS – 1982-83); Ted Simmons (C – 1983); Prince Fielder (1B – 2007, 2011); and Rickie Weeks (2B – 2011).  Braun is joined in the outfield by 2011 N.L. All-Star Matt Kemp (4,118,524) of the Los Angeles Dodgers and six-time All-Star Carlos Beltran (3,717,483) of the St. Louis Cardinals.  Kemp, who is currently on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, is bidding for his second consecutive starting assignment while Beltran, who is tied with Braun for the N.L. lead with 20 home runs, is seeking his fifth fan-elected start.  Beltran, who is three hits shy of 2,000 for his career, is the eighth player ever, and the only switch-hitter, to record 300 career home runs and 300 career stolen bases.  Cabrera, who continues to lead the Majors with 104 hits and is tied for second with seven triples, is aiming to make his All-Star debut in Kansas City, where he played last season.  He is followed by Andre Ethier (1,948,973) of the Dodgers and Matt Holliday (1,880,342) of the Cardinals.

Two-time All-Star Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds has received 4,475,180 votes and has overtaken Kemp as the leading vote-getter in the N.L.  Votto leads the Majors with 30 doubles and a .481 on-base percentage, and ranks second with a .355 batting average.  The 2010 N.L. MVP is on pace for 68 doubles, which would break the all-time single-season record of 67, set by Boston’s Earl Webb in 1931.  In addition, Cincinnati’s franchise record for doubles in a season is 51, set by Frank Robinson in 1962 and matched by Pete Rose in 1978.  Votto is joined on the right side of the infield by Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla (2,641,361), who continues to lead Brandon Phillips (1,870,966) of the Reds.  Uggla, a two-time All-Star, is seeking his first Midsummer Classic start and would join Marcus Giles (2003) as the only Braves second basemen to earn fan-elected starts.  At third base, New York Mets five-time All-Star David Wright (2,687,818) continues to lead a crowded group that includes Pablo Sandoval (2,223,269) of the Giants, David Freese (2,064,351) of the Cardinals and Chipper Jones (1,958,447) of the Braves.  Wright, who leads the Majors with a .358 batting average, currently has a 15-game hitting streak dating back to June 9th.  He is joined on the left side by Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal, who has received 2,323,486 votes.  The two-time All-Star, who leads Troy Tulowitzki (2,064,021) of the Colorado Rockies, is bidding for his first fan-elected start. 

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (3,335,982) continues to hold a slight lead over Yadier Molina (3,119,530) of the Cardinals.  Posey is aiming to make his All-Star debut while Molina seeks his fourth Midsummer Classic appearance and third fan-elected start.  Posey, the 2010 N.L. Rookie of the Year, leads the Giants with 10 home runs and 40 RBI.  Molina, who ranks seventh in the N.L. with a .319 batting average, leads all Major League catchers with 79 hits and ranks second with 41 RBI.

MLB’s All-Star Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports, and last year produced a record-shattering total of 32.5 million ballots cast.  More than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots were distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks, each of which had 23 dates for balloting, and in approximately 100 Minor League ballparks.  Since the in-stadium phase of balloting concluded on Friday, June 22nd, fans still have the opportunity to cast their votes for starters up to 25 times exclusively online at MLB.com, the 30 Club Web sites and their mobile devices until Thursday, June 28th at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). The All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot is available in English, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and Chinese versions of the online ballot and offers audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans.

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 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 4th 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 Web site 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 June 10th.

The 2012 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 1st on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell on TBS.  The A.L. All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the N.L. All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters.  The pitchers and reserves for both squads – totaling 25 for the N.L. and 24 for the A.L. – will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers – A.L. skipper Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers and N.L. manager Tony La Russa – in conjunction with Major League Baseball.

Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters on Sunday, July 1st, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League’s 34-man roster via the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone.  Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over a four-day period and the winners will be announced after the voting concludes on Thursday, July 5th.  Now in its eighth year, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on their mobile phones.

The final phase of All-Star Game voting again will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet.  During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2012 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year’s recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy. 

The 2012 All-Star Game will be played at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday, July 10th.  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 7:30 p.m. (EDT)/6:30 p.m. (CDT).  ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game.  MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.  For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.

NATIONAL LEAGUE ALL-STAR VOTING TOTALS

FIRST BASE
Joey Votto, Reds: 4,475,180
Lance Berkman, Cardinals: 1,516,737
Freddie Freeman, Braves: 1,462,586
Brandon Belt, Giants: 1,291,982
Ryan Howard, Phillies: 873,526

SECOND BASE
Dan Uggla, Braves: 2,641,361
Brandon Phillips, Reds: 1,870,966
Jose Altuve, Astros: 1,479,652
Rickie Weeks, Brewers: 1,202,051
Omar Infante, Marlins: 1,093,119

SHORTSTOP
Rafael Furcal, Cardinals: 2,323,486
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies: 2,064,021
Starlin Castro, Cubs: 1,395,820
Jimmy Rollins, Phillies: 1,332,848
Brandon Crawford, Giants: 1,298,704

THIRD BASE
David Wright, Mets: 2,687,818
Pablo Sandoval, Giants: 2,223,269
David Freese, Cardinals: 2,064,351
Chipper Jones, Braves: 1,958,447
Placido Polanco, Phillies: 1,236,757

CATCHER
Buster Posey, Giants: 3,335,982
Yadier Molina, Cardinals: 3,119,530
Carlos Ruiz, Phillies: 2,448,942
Brian McCann, Braves: 1,860,130
Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers: 1,216,744

OUTFIELD
Matt Kemp, Dodgers: 4,118,524
Carlos Beltran, Cardinals: 3,717,483
Ryan Braun, Brewers: 3,168,617
Melky Cabrera, Giants: 3,045,884
Andre Ethier, Dodgers: 1,948,973
Matt Holliday, Cardinals: 1,880,342
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates: 1,685,543
Angel Pagan, Giants: 1,613,948
Hunter Pence, Phillies: 1,610,283
Michael Bourn, Braves: 1,553,285
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies: 1,506,613
Shane Victorino, Phillies: 1,365,023
Jason Heyward, Braves: 1,322,217
Jay Bruce, Reds: 1,195,031
Martin Prado, Braves: 1,142,946