Fans pushing Jeter, Cano with All-Star votes
Yanks' middle infielders enjoy comfortable leads in balloting
NEW YORK -- When Joe Girardi hands the ball to his American League starting pitcher for the first inning of this year's All-Star Game, the Yankees' manager should have firsthand knowledge of his double-play combination.
Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter continue to pace all American League competitors at their respective positions as balloting pushes toward the final stretch, according to results released Monday by Major League Baseball.
Last year's leading AL vote-getter, Jeter has passed the three million mark in votes cast (3,350,155), owning a commanding lead over his closest competitor at shortstop, the Rangers' Elvis Andrus (1,607,165).
Cano is also enjoying a sizable advantage at second base, as voters take note of a season that has wowed both observers and teammates. Cano has logged 2,948,269 votes, standing well ahead of the Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia (1,518,334) and the Rangers' Ian Kinsler (1,302,245).
"I went in '06 and I couldn't play, but it was fun to watch," Cano said. "I hope I stay healthy the rest of the way and go out and play this time. I've been doing my thing with men on base, but we've got a lot of games left, too. I've just got to keep going out and swinging at strikes."
With Girardi already assigned to pilot the AL squad from the home dugout at Angel Stadium, his star-studded roster of Yankees will continue pushing to join the skipper in Anaheim.
Mark Teixeira needed a late push in online balloting to make the roster as a first baseman last year, and he still needs another surge in what has progressed as a close race. Teixeira has 1,863,235 votes, which ranks him second behind the Twins' Justin Morneau (2,118,654).
At third base, 12-time All-Star Alex Rodriguez has received 1,921,325 votes, though he has fallen more than one million votes behind the Rays' Evan Longoria (3,118,600). Twins backstop Joe Mauer (3,968,039) has opened up a large advantage on second-place catcher and five-time All-Star Jorge Posada (1,304,978).
In pursuit of his first All-Star selection, Nick Swisher has been saluted for his production this year by placing in the top five among AL outfielders with 1,346,148 votes, chasing four players -- Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki, Texas' Josh Hamilton, Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford, and Texas' Nelson Cruz -- each of whom have tallied more than 1,600,000 votes each.
Curtis Granderson, who made his first All-Star team last year, was ranked sixth among AL outfielders in Monday's results, receiving 1,214,412 votes. Brett Gardner (1,189,995) was eighth. Injured Nick Johnson, who is expected to be sidelined until after the All-Star Game, was not ranked in the top five among AL designated hitters.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites using the 2010 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot sponsored by Sprint until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Starting rosters will be announced during the 2010 All-Star Game Selection Show on TBS on July 4. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by Sprint.
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 Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2010 All-Star Game MVP Vote sponsored by Sprint.
The All-Star Game, to be played in Anaheim on July 13, will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.
Jeter was last year's top AL All-Star vote-getter for the first time in his career, garnering 4,851,889 fan votes to earn his 10th AL All-Star selection and his sixth as the starting shortstop. He went 0-for-2 with two runs scored and a hit-by-pitch in the game, which was played in St. Louis. Teixeira went 0-for-3 while starting his second All-Star Game (the other was in 2005, while he was with the Rangers).
"I've said it time and time again, but it never gets old," Jeter said. "It's something that every player wants to be a part of. If they tell you they don't, I think they're lying to you. There's a lot of great players out there."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.