Fielder holds All-Star vote lead
Slugger could be club's first All-Star starter since 1999
MILWAUKEE -- With some help from his friends, it was another very good week at the All-Star polls for Brewers star Prince Fielder.For the second straight week, Fielder was at the top of the list of National League first basemen when the latest round of All-Star balloting results were released on Monday. Fielder led the field with 1,453,716 votes, over 250,000 more than Cardinals superstar Albert Pujols, who swapped spots this week with the Dodgers' Nomar Garciaparra. The 78th All-Star Game will be held July 10 at San Francisco's AT&T Park.
The Brewers have been doing their part by mobilizing a "Vote Prince" campaign. The team distributed T-shirts to Miller Park staff, and many of Fielder's teammates have been wearing them under their uniforms."It's nice when you see the fans and your teammates with that shirt on," said left-hander Chris Capuano, who was surrounded by "Vote Cappy" T-shirts last year, when he was a candidate for the All-Star Final Vote on MLB.com. "It puts out some good vibes for the whole team. Makes you feel more together." In-stadium balloting has ended, but voting continues online. Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the Monster 2007 All-Star Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until Thursday at 10:59 p.m. CT. Results will be announced on Sunday. The last Brewers player to start an All-Star Game was outfielder Jeromy Burnitz, an injury replacement for Tony Gwynn in 1999. The last Brewer elected to start was Paul Molitor in 1988, and the last Brewers first baseman to start an All-Star Game was Cecil Cooper in 1982. Several of Fielder's teammates remained in the running. J.J. Hardy, who missed most of last week with hip and back stiffness, remained in second place among NL shortstops, trailing the Mets' Jose Reyes. Second baseman Rickie Weeks and catcher Johnny Estrada each ranked fourth at their positions, and Geoff Jenkins and Bill Hall have cracked the top 15 outfielders. Jenkins was at the center of a successful "get out the vote" campaign in 2003, when he won the Final Vote and earned a trip to Chicago. "I think the team has done a great job of that," Jenkins said. "It's one of those deals where you have to strike while the iron is not and get people voting. Every little bit is going to help."
Jenkins and other Brewers remained hopeful that Fielder would hold off Pujols, a five-time All-Star. Fielder led Pujols in most offensive categories, including home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage, total bases, runs scored, doubles and extra-base hits. Pujols had the edge in batting average, on-base percentage and walks."Prince's numbers speak for themselves," Jenkins said. "He's gotten a lot of good national pub, and he deserves it. "Clearly, Prince is the guy. I don't think anyone can make an argument otherwise." Fans will again be given the opportunity to cast an All-Star vote immediately following the 2007 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show Presented by Chevrolet, which will be televised by Turner Sports on Sunday. Baseball fans around the world will be able to select the final player on each All-Star team via the Monster.com 2007 All-Star Final Vote. Selecting the rosters isn't the end of the fun in 2007. Concluding the All-Star balloting process, fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet at the All-Star Game via the Monster.com 2007 All-Star Game MVP Vote at MLB.com. The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage and MLB Radio will have exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.