How 'suite' it is to be voted in by fans
Club offers incentive to help make Braun an All-Star starter
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun is still on pace to start in this July's All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium, but is even closer than before because of an injury to one of his fiercest competitors.Braun is currently fourth in the voting among outfielders behind the Cubs' Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome and the Reds' Ken Griffey Jr. Soriano, who is on the disabled list with a broken hand, hopes to return in time for the Midsummer Classic, but if he doesn't, Braun looks poised to grab his spot.
Braun still might have a shot at a starting spot even if Soriano does return, but he'll need a boost in the voting. Braun trails Griffey -- for third place -- by a little over 175,000 votes as of Friday.Brewers fans can help Braun by voting often at the online polls and with paper ballots at Miller Park, and his team is providing a new incentive to do so. To help get out the vote, the Brewers are offering fans the opportunity to win a suite for a Brewers game, which includes a special visit to the suite by Braun and J.J. Hardy. To be eligible for the sweepstakes, fans can vote online, as well as visit the "Polling District" set up at Miller Park through June 21. Each fan who votes 25 times or more will be eligible to win the sweepstakes' suite prizes. The 79th Major League Baseball All-Star Game, being held at Yankee Stadium in its final season, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD, and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 7 p.m. CT. 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. The Midsummer Classic will be the fourth held at Yankee Stadium and the eighth in New York City. The Yankees previously hosted the All-Star Game in 1939, 1960 and 1977; the Polo Grounds held the game in 1934 and 1942; Ebbets Field was the site in 1949; and Shea Stadium hosted the 1964 tilt. Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the Monster 2008 All-Star Game Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until Wednesday, July 2, at 10:59 p.m. CT. Starting rosters will be announced during the 2008 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet on TBS on Sunday, July 6. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the Monster 2008 All-Star Final Vote at MLB.com. And the voting doesn't end there. 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 2008 All-Star Game MVP vote at MLB.com.
Dave Fultz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.