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Victorino among Final Vote candidates

Victorino among Final Vote candidates

PHILADELPHIA -- Charlie Manuel had Shane Victorino's back, just like he had Ryan Howard's back.

Manuel chose Howard as a reserve for the National League All-Star team, but he also chose Victorino as one of five Final Vote candidates for the final roster spot on the All-Star team. Victorino joins Washington's Cristian Guzman, Los Angeles' Matt Kemp, Arizona's Mark Reynolds and San Francisco's Pablo Sandoval.

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"I'm very excited," Victorino said. "I guess I never expected something like this to come. Now we leave it up to the Philly faithful. I think I've got a good chance. I've got faith in the Phillies fans."

Now in its eighth year, the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Sunday's Major League All-Star Selection Show presented by Pepsi and continues until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.

Mobile voting in the U.S. is exclusive to Sprint, Nextel and Boost subscribers. To receive the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote mobile ballot text the word "VOTE" to 1122. To vote for a specific player, simply text message your choice to 1122. EXAMPLE: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Standard rate messaging fees also may apply; check with your carrier. Mobile voting in Canada is open to all carriers; fans should text their choices to 88555.

Fans, having already decided the starters and final player on each team, once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevy via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote on MLB.com during the All-Star Game.

The 80th Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 14 in St. Louis will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage. XM will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage of the XM All-Star Futures Game.

Victorino is hitting .300 with 20 doubles, six triples, five home runs, 35 RBIs, 13 stolen bases and 55 runs scored. Even if Victorino does not win the vote, he could make the team because it is highly unlikely Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran will be able to play because of an injury.

While that increases Victorino's chances, he doesn't want to leave anything to chance. He wants to win the vote.

Either way, he would be joining Howard, Raul Ibanez and Chase Utley. Ibanez and Utley won the fan vote at their respective positions.

"I think here is big," Victorino said of playing in Philadelphia. "With the showing we had with Raul and Chase, now those fans can put another [Phillies player] in there. Why not?"

Said Howard: "You know what? I might actually vote for Shane. I should. Yeah, I think I'll vote for Shane 25 times and then I'll go on somebody else's computer."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"content":["all-star_game" ] }
{"content":["all-star_game" ] }