Two-time World Series Champion Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals has surpassed fellow two-time Fall Classic victor backstop Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants in what is shaping up as an all-time classic race, while David Wright of the host New York Mets has overtaken Posey's teammate Pablo Sandoval at third base in the latest N.L. balloting results for the 84th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 16th at Citi Field in New York. The fourth N.L. update was announced earlier this evening on ESPN's "Baseball Tonight" prior to its Sunday Night Baseball telecast.
In the tightest balloting race in the Majors, Molina and Posey continue to clash for the overall N.L. lead and the starting job behind the plate at the Midsummer Classic. Molina, a four-time All-Star and fan-elected starter in 2009 and 2010, has received 3,596,858 votes, while Posey, last year's fan-elected starter, has garnered 3,506,402 votes. Molina, who leads the N.L. and ranks second in the Majors with a .358 batting average, is bidding to become the fifth N.L. catcher to earn at least three fan-elected starts, joining Hall of Famers Johnny Bench (10) and Gary Carter (8), as well as Mike Piazza (11) and fellow Puerto Rico native Benito Santiago (4). The 30-year-old, who leads the N.L. with 25 doubles and ranks second with 95 hits, is also aiming to become the fourth player in Cardinals history to earn at least three fan-elected starting nods, joining Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith (12), Albert Pujols (5), Mark McGwire (3) and Scott Rolen (3). Posey, the 2012 N.L. MVP, is bidding to become the first Giants player to receive consecutive fan-elected starts since Barry Bonds (2003-04) after setting a new N.L. All-Star balloting record with 7,621,370 votes in 2012.
At the hot corner, Wright has amassed 2,917,819 votes to pull in front of Sandoval, who has 2,788,988 votes. Wright, who will serve as N.L. captain for the 2013 Chevrolet Home Run Derby, is contending for his fifth fan-elected start and eighth All-Star selection overall. The 30-year-old Virginia native picked up his 1,500th career hit on Tuesday night, becoming the seventh New York player to have at least 200 home runs and a batting average of .300 or higher at the time of his 1,500th hit, joining Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Joe DiMaggio, Duke Snider and Mickey Mantle. Wright, who would join Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt (nine) as the only N.L. third basemen to claim at least five fan-elected starts, is hitting .377 (26-for-69) with eight runs, six doubles, four home runs and nine RBI over his last 16 games since June 5th. Together, Wright (2006-07, 2009-10) and Sandoval (2012) have earned five of the last seven fan-elected starts at third base for the N.L. Sandoval, the 2012 World Series MVP, is currently on the disabled list with a left foot strain as he attempts to become the first Giants infielder to earn consecutive fan-elected starts since second baseman Jeff Kent (2000-01) and the first Giants third baseman since Matt Williams (1994-96).
Cincinnati Reds teammates Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips continue to lead a pair of tight races on the right side of the infield. Votto, a three-time All-Star and the fan-elected starter in 2012, has received 2,677,813 votes and is followed closely by N.L. RBI leader (65) Paul Goldschmidt (2,270,886) of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Votto, the 2010 N.L. MVP, is attempting to become the first Reds player to earn consecutive fan-elected starts since Hall of Famer Barry Larkin (1999-2000). Phillips, a two-time All-Star, is bidding for his first fan-elected start, and he would become the first Reds second baseman to earn one since Hall of Famer Joe Morgan received seven consecutive fan elections from 1972-78. Phillips, who leads the Majors with 24 go-ahead RBI and 13 game-winning RBI, paces all Major League second basemen with 58 RBI, which is also tied for second in the N.L. overall. He has garnered 2,597,742 votes and is followed by 2012 NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro (2,272,484) of the Giants and Matt Carpenter (2,251,248) of the St. Louis Cardinals, both of whom are aiming for their first All-Star selections. Votto and Phillips would become the fifth pair of N.L. teammates (sixth time) to receive fan-elected starts at first and second base. The others include Steve Garvey and Davey Lopes of the Los Angeles Dodgers (1979 and 1980), Pete Rose and Manny Trillo of the Philadelphia Phillies (1982), Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio of the Houston Astros (1997) and Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks of the Milwaukee Brewers (2011).
Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who is currently on the disabled list with a broken rib, rounds out the N.L. infield with 3,104,285 votes. Tulowitzki is contending for his first fan-elected start and his third All-Star selection overall, and he is followed by Brandon Crawford (1,757,255) of the Giants and Jean Segura (1,625,753) of the Brewers. Tulowitzki, the 28-year-old California native, leads all Major League shortstops with a .347 batting average, 16 home runs, 51 RBI, a .413 on-base percentage and a .635 slugging percentage. He would join Dante Bichette (1996), Larry Walker (1997-99) and Todd Helton (2001-03) as the only players in Rockies history to earn a fan-elected starting assignment. In addition, he would become the fourth consecutive different N.L. shortstop to earn a starting bid, joining Hanley Ramirez (2010), Jose Reyes (2011) and Rafael Furcal (2012).
A pair of first overall picks in the MLB Draft, Justin Upton (2,453,531) of the Atlanta Braves and Bryce Harper (2,363,965) of the Washington Nationals, continue to rank second and third in the outfield as they try to hold off a group of outfielders led by 2012 N.L. All-Star Carlos Gonzalez (2,060,388) of the Rockies, five-time All-Star and four-time fan-elected starter Ryan Braun (2,010,310) of the Brewers and six-time All-Star Matt Holliday (1,947,864) of the Cardinals. Upton, who ranks eighth in the N.L. with 15 home runs, is attempting to make his first fan-elected start and his third All-Star appearance overall. The younger Upton, in his first season with the Braves, would join Rico Carty (1970), Hall of Famer Hank Aaron (1970-72, 74), Dale Murphy (1982-86), David Justice (1993-94), Kenny Lofton (1997), Gary Sheffield (2003) and Jason Heyward (2010) as the only Atlanta outfielders to earn a fan-elected start. Harper, who is on the disabled list with left knee bursitis, is aiming for his second All-Star selection and first fan-elected start after becoming the youngest All-Star position player in history and third-youngest Major League All-Star ever in 2012. In addition, he would be just the second fan-elected starter in Nationals history, joining Alfonso Soriano (2006). Seven-time All-Star and five-time fan-elected starter Carlos Beltran of the Cardinals maintains his lead in the N.L. outfielder with 3,473,030 votes. Beltran, who ranks fifth all-time among switch-hitters with 351 home runs, is among N.L. leaders with a .444 batting average with runners in scoring position (2nd), 17 home runs (6th), a .542 slugging percentage (7th) and 46 RBI (T-10th). The Puerto Rico native was a fan-elected starter in 2012 after receiving the second-highest total of votes among N.L. outfielders. Following his start last season and Lance Berkman's nod in 2011, this year would mark the third consecutive season for a Cardinals outfielder to receive a fan-elected starting assignment. The Cardinals have had at least one player earn a fan-election in each of the last four seasons, the longest active streak in the N.L.
MLB's All-Star Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports, and last year produced a record-shattering total of 40.2 million ballots cast. This year, more than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks, each of which will have 25 dates for balloting, and in approximately 100 Minor League ballparks.
In addition, fans around the world can cast their votes for starters 25 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 Club web sites - online or via their mobile devices - with the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by freecreditscore.com. During the voting period, the All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by freecreditscore.com will be available in English, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and Chinese, and will offer audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans. Banco BHD will sponsor online 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.
Every Major League Club began its in-stadium balloting no later than Tuesday, May 7th. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes on Friday, June 28th, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively online at MLB.com, the 30 Club Web sites and their mobile devices until Thursday, July 4th at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).
Firestone, the official tire of MLB, is once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2013 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 and tickets to the All-Star Game and other MLB All-Star Week events.
For the fifth consecutive year, this year's ballot features the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select the three players in each League who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The Fan Poll is also available online at MLB.com. The 2013 Home Run Derby, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8:00 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, July 15th. The 10 American League candidates are Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays; Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers; Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers; the winner of the 2011 Home Run Derby, Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees; Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox; the winner of the 2009 and 2012 Home Run Derby, Prince Fielder of the Tigers; Josh Hamilton of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles; Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays; and Mike Trout of the Angels. The 10 National League candidates are Carlos Beltran of the St. Louis Cardinals; Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers; Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals; Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves; Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates; Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants; Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins; Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds; and David Wright of the Mets.
The 2013 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on Saturday, July 6th on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell, televised nationally on FOX at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) prior to its slate of prime time games that evening. 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 Jim Leyland of the Detroit Tigers and N.L. manager Bruce Bochy of the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants.
Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by freecreditscore.com. 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 11th. Now in its 12th season with more than 350 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile phones.
This year's 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 and the 30 Club sites via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com 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 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 16th. The 84th 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). 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 mets.com/asg.