Fielder's All-Star voting lead shrinking
First baseman chased by Chicago's Paul Konerko
It looks like Prince Fielder is going to have a battle for his starting job at first base on the American League All-Stars after all. It just won't be from the usual suspects.
The hot start at the plate and disappointing totals at the ballot box for Paul Konerko have converged for a timely surge in votes, pushing him to within 275,000 of Fielder for the lead at first in the latest balloting results released Monday. If the Tigers are going to put their new slugger and local favorite in the Midsummer Classic, they're going to need votes to answer.
The same holds for Miguel Cabrera at third base, where Gold Glove winner Adrian Beltre has used a strong showing from Rangers fans to stretch his lead to 320,000 votes over the reigning AL batting champion.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via your mobile device -- using the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, June 28, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Fans can also cast their ballots in person at Comerica Park until June 21.
No other Tigers player ranks in the top five at his position. Austin Jackson, who returned from the disabled list and turned in a game-tying double off Aroldis Chapman on national television Sunday night, ranks 11th among AL outfielders, but he has nearly a million vote gap to make up to crack the top three and earn a starting spot at next month's Midsummer Classic in Kansas City.
While Konerko leads the Majors in hitting, Fielder continues to pad his resume with big hits. He had the go-ahead single in Saturday's comeback win against the Reds at Great American Ball Park. His big contribution in Sunday's comeback victory was in the field, where he nearly did the splits to dig out a throw from shortstop Ramon Santiago in the eighth inning after the Tigers had taken the lead.
Fielder's .316 batting average ranks sixth among AL hitters, while his 40 RBIs rank seventh. His .895 OPS ranks just outside the top 10.
One of those hitters Fielder trails in many of those categories is Cabrera, who leads AL third basemen in several stats.
In addition to All-Star balloting, fans can also once again participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby. The 2012 State Farm 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 p.m. ET on Monday, July 9.
The 2012 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 1, on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show, televised nationally on TBS. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2012 All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again 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 via the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2012 All-Star Game will be played at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday, July 10. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 83rd 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. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and Sirius XM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.