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 VOTE HERE for 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote

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PostSubject: VOTE HERE for 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote   Sun Jul 06, 2008 3:36 pm

What's the best way to help your favorite player win the Monster All-Star Game Final Vote? Get everyone you know to vote. July 6-10

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PostSubject: Re: VOTE HERE for 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote   Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:56 pm

Longoria, Hart are fans' final All-Stars
Rays rookie, Brewers outfielder win voting to join rosters
By Mark Newman /

Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria and Milwaukee outfielder Corey Hart have won the 32nd and final roster spots for the 79th All-Star Game on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium, holding off marquee competition all the way as a record 47.8 million votes were cast in the Monster 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote.

The voting, which began exclusively at on Sunday and concluded at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, ultimately will be remembered not only for those two young players' selections but also the amazing participation by baseball fans worldwide. The final vote total was more than half of the entire number cast in the previous six years of the Final Vote, and it was more than double last year's record of 23.2 million.

Longoria drew a record nine million votes to win a close American League race over outfielder Jermaine Dye, who could have become the third White Sox player in four years to win the Final Vote. Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi, despite a high-profile "Support the 'Stache" campaign, finished third, followed by Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts and Kansas City outfielder Jose Guillen -- all of whom finished with impressive vote totals.

Hart, with eight million votes, joined fellow Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun and pitcher Ben Sheets on the National League roster, and the way he was supported throughout the process was similar to the way fans pushed Braun from seemingly nowhere into the No. 1 outfield spot late in the starter voting. Finishing a close second to Hart was Mets third baseman David Wright, an All-Star the past two years. They were followed by outfielders Pat Burrell of the Phillies, Aaron Rowand of the Giants and Carlos Lee of the Astros.

"This year's balloting produced a gigantic level of voter turnout, in part because of how deserving each candidate was and, further, because of the unprecedented interest we're seeing in the All-Star Game," said Dinn Mann, executive vice president of content at "The teams and the fans were creative and inspired in their campaigning, making this whole historic run-up to Yankee Stadium's final Midsummer Classic a privilege to track."

There is hope that a non-winner from this year's Final Vote ballot will make it to Yankee Stadium for the game. Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano, voted in as a starter for the NL squad, will not be able to play because of a fractured hand and will need to be replaced by manager Clint Hurdle of the Rockies. That player could be chosen from among those outvoted by Hart.

Longoria, 22, entered Thursday's action batting .281 with 16 homers and 53 RBIs since his April callup, and on Wednesday he won the AL Rookie of the Month Award presented by Gillette for June. Longoria earned an immediate reputation for clutch hitting, becoming no stranger to walk-off reception parties at home plate. He is synonymous with the 2008 breakout of the Rays, who remain on top of the AL East standings.

"If I get the chance to come here, that would be a dream come true," Longoria said during the Rays' just-completed series at Yankee Stadium.

Hart, 26, is in his second full season with the Brewers, having appeared for parts in 2004-06. He is batting .293 with 14 homers and 56 RBIs, helping the Brewers remain in contention in the NL Central. Baseball is electric there right now, with the addition of left-handed ace CC Sabathia. The club designed a big heart into the dirt behind the batter's box this week, gave candy hearts to fans, and it turned into one of the most successful campaigns in Final Vote history.

"The fans have always been great here," Hart said during an online chat on Wednesday. "You look at the support Braunie got, this town is obviously excited about the team and will do anything for us. It means a lot to me and my teammates."

Now that the Final Vote has been decided, there is still work to do for the crowd. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet at the 79th All-Star Game through the Monster 2008 All-Star Game MVP Vote on

Notable facts about this year's Final Vote:

Longoria was the first third baseman to win a Final Vote. The breakdown of all 14 Final Vote winners is seven outfielders, three pitchers, two catchers, a first baseman and now a third baseman.

Milwaukee, also with Geoff Jenkins in 2003, became the third club to have a winning representative more than once. Boston won with Johnny Damon in 2002 and Jason Varitek in 2003. The White Sox won with Scott Podsednik in 2005 and A.J. Pierzynski in 2006.

Giambi, a non-winner in 2003, joined Travis Hafner (2004, 2006), Frank Thomas (2003, 2004), Billy Wagner (2005, 2006) and Brandon Webb (2005, 2007) as the only players who have made multiple bids without winning.

The only clubs whose players have never appeared on the Final Vote ballot are the Mariners, Rangers and Reds. Guillen was the first Royals player to appear. The Washington Nationals never have been represented since moving, but Orlando Cabrera did represent them in 2003 when they were the Montreal Expos.

Roughly one million votes per hour were cast on the final day. The 100 millionth vote in the history of Final Vote balloting was cast late Tuesday night. Nearly half that many votes came just this week. Emerging trends included "player pacts" among social networks as blocs of fans promised other blocs that they would vote for their guy and quid pro quo; and the opportunity of club alliance, shown as the White Sox backed their ex-player, Rowand, in return for the Giants supporting Dye.

Four of the candidates were all playing at the same time on Thursday afternoon while the voting was in the final stretch. With 3 1/2 hours remaining, the Phillies' broadcasters were talking about all the "Go to Bat for Pat" signs throughout Citizens Bank Park during the Phils' game against the Cardinals. In each case, the broadcasters were emphasizing the Final Vote throughout the game and showing evidence of the campaign presence that has become typical with Final Vote week.

There has been a trend lately for more fresh new faces in the All-Star Game, once dominated by veteran repeaters in the starting lineups and on the benches. The decisions have been more performance-based than ever lately, as fans -- whether following their favorite teams and players or simply managing their fantasy rosters -- are able to stay on top of the stats more than ever with technology such as MLB.TV.

This has resulted in a wave of new All-Star talent, and it was evident when fans voted for the starting lineups. Consider the arrival of Geovany Soto as the first NL rookie ever to start the game at catcher, Hanley Ramirez at NL shortstop, Ryan Braun of the Brewers and Kosuke Fukudome of the Cubs in the NL outfield, Josh Hamilton of the Rangers in the AL outfield, Joe Mauer of the Twins at AL catcher, and Boston's Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia at AL first and second base, respectively.

That theme clearly extended to the Final Vote, with fans selecting a rookie and a player in his second full season.

The incredible week of fan voting was merely an extension of what has been happening at the past month. During the online balloting process to decide starters, 214.7 million votes from 16.5 million ballots were cast at and the 30 individual club sites, even though there were seven fewer days in the voting period than in 2007. These record figures each represent increases of nearly 40 percent over the previous marks for total votes and ballots cast.

Longoria is the third Rays player selected for the All-Star Game, joining pitcher Scott Kazmir and catcher Dioner Navarro. Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees was the top overall vote-getter and thus will starts at third base. The other reserves at that position are Joe Crede of the White Sox and Carlos Guillen of the Tigers.

Hart is the third Brewers player selected for the game, joining Braun and pitcher Ben Sheets. There are six outfielders on the NL roster, not including Soriano. Starting alongside Braun will be Fukudome and Colorado's Matt Holliday. Ryan Ludwick of St. Louis, Nate McLouth of Pittsburgh and Hart are currently the available reserves, so an outfield addition seems probable.

With the majority of the individual races going down to the wire, fans cast their final votes online at unprecedented rates -- more than 41 million votes in the final 24 hours of online balloting were cast on July 2. That mark was 57-percent higher than the previous single-day record, 26 million, set on the final day of online balloting in 2005.

Previous winners of the Monster All-Star Game Final Vote include Hideki Okajima (AL) and Chris Young (NL) in 2007; Pierzynski (AL) and Nomar Garciaparra (NL) in 2006; Podsednik (AL) and Roy Oswalt (NL) in 2005; Hideki Matsui (AL) and Bobby Abreu (NL) in 2004; Varitek (AL) and Jenkins (NL) in 2003; and Damon (AL) and Andruw Jones (NL) in 2002.

The 79th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD, and around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage that will also be available on XM Satellite Radio, and will provide extensive online coverage.

bow Z. Miner
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