Vote for baseball's Mane Man for June

Vote for baseball's Mane Man for June

Vote for baseball's Mane Man for June
Matt Cain of the Cardinals, R.A. Dickey of the Mets, Mike Trout of the Angels and Joey Votto of the Reds are your choices as voting is under way to select the Head & Shoulders Mane Man of the Month winner for June.

The Head & Shoulders Mane Men are being recognized on as the star of each game this season. In addition to that daily selection of the top players, you have a say in deciding the monthly recipients of this fan award. Here is a look at your four candidates for June:

Cain: On June 13, the San Francisco right-hander threw the 22nd perfect game in Major League Baseball history. He struck out 14 Astros that night to match Sandy Koufax's 1965 record for the most in a perfect game, and it continued a brilliant run in which he won eight consecutive decisions before falling to the Reds on Friday.

There should have been another W in the month, but Giants closer Santiago Casilla blew a save at Oakland on June 24. After that game, catcher Buster Posey summarized the entire month: "Cain did a great job of staying consistent. He's just been doing what he's done all year, throwing all four pitches when he's wanted to."

Dickey: Like Cain, the Mets' knuckleballer had people opening record books in June. Dickey threw back-to-back one-hitters and ran an unearned run streak to 44 2/3 innings, finally stopped by the crosstown Yankees and finishing second to Dwight Gooden's 49 innings in 1985 as the longest such streak in Mets history. It became clear in June that Dickey would be a strong candidate to start for the National League in the All-Star Game in Kansas City on July 10 on FOX.

"I never considered it perfect, but it was fun to be a part of history," said Dickey, who was 5-0 in June. "When you can say you were a part of the pedigree of people that have come through this game -- I mean some big names -- it certainly makes for an enjoyable ride."

Trout: The 20-year-old wunderkind was a bolt of lightning for the Angels after their slow start. Trout was 42-for-113 (.394) in June with 14 steals, 27 runs and a .950 OPS. Three times during the month he had four hits in a game, and he just recently had what some consider the play of the year so far, a stunning catch high over the wall in the Angels' victory Wednesday at Baltimore.

"We were sitting on the bench wondering how anybody threw him out," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said after watching Trout run wild against his club in Interleague Play. "You don't see many Trouts. You see parts of the package, but not like that. The hype is well-deserved. He's a game-changer."

Votto: The Cincinnati first baseman has somehow gotten better every month this season, and in June, he was lights-out and constantly building his popularity as the top National League vote-getter for the All-Star Game. Votto was 38-for-97 in June (.393) with six homers, 18 RBIs and a 1.178 OPS. He's second in the Major League lead with 60 walks, as pitchers increasingly want little to do with him unless required. Votto leads the Majors in OPS, with a 1.103 mark.

"I don't let my emotions go too high or too low, but this is something that is a great, great honor for me," Votto said earlier this month of his chance at becoming the first Reds player since Ken Griffey Jr. in 2007 to earn a starting spot in the Midsummer Classic, "especially being able to do it as a Cincinnati Red. Hopefully things finish out well, but to be at this point, it's really something I'm very proud of."

The four nominees for the monthly honor are selected by an editorial panel.

The most recent Mane Man of the Month winner was Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels, for his 5-0 record in May. He edged out sluggers Carlos Beltran, Josh Hamilton and Giancarlo Stanton in the online fan voting.

The overall program began with Seattle's Dustin Ackley getting the nod for that first game of the Japan Opening Series on March 28, and it will continue through the World Series clincher. Look back at daily videos to see the conga line of Mane Men so far, including each of these four monthly candidates.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of Read and join other baseball fans on his community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.