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06/18/12 10:00 PM ET
Ichiro in need of push at All-Star ballot box
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- Mariners fans need to get out the vote if right fielder Ichiro Suzuki is going to make any headway in the American League All-Star balloting for the July 10 Midsummer Classic at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Ichiro remains the only Mariners position player among the leading vote-getters. He's 10th among the 15 outfielders listed with 795,665 votes. Only the top five are listed at the other positions. Ichiro is a 10-time AL All-Star and winner of the MVP for the 2007 Midsummer Classic in San Francisco. His last All-Star appearance came in '10. This year, Ichiro is batting. 255, 68 points below his career average. He has four homers and 23 RBIs and has bounced back and forth from his traditional leadoff spot in the batting to the third slot. Ichiro, 38 and in his 12th big league season after playing seven years in Japan, was the AL Rookie of the Year and MVP in '01. His next hit will be the 2,500th in the Majors. He collected 1,278 in Japan. The Rangers have four players in position to land starting spots in the voting: Third baseman Adrian Beltre, catcher Mike Napoli, second baseman Ian Kinsler and outfielder Josh Hamilton. Kinsler has a 15,260-vote lead over Robinson Cano of the Yankees. The other current leaders are shortstop Derek Jeter and outfielder Curtis Granderson of the Yankees, first baseman Prince Fielder of the Tigers, outfielder Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays and designated hitter David Ortiz of the Red Sox. 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 8:59 p.m. PT. 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 5 p.m. PT on Monday, July 9. The 2012 AL 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. 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. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.