All-Star voting, the largest balloting program in professional sports, is underway. Fans get to select eight position starters in each league.
The first balloting results were announced this week. In the National League, Chase Utley is a close second to Craig Biggio at second base, Jimmy Rollins is fourth among the shortstops, and two Phillies rank among the top 15 outfielders, Bobby Abreu, sixth and Aaron Rowand, 10th.
Ryan Howard, at first base, is not among the leaders. Obviously, a guy named Albert Pujols is the best at that position and there are a lot of good first baseman but not seeing Howard in the top six is kind of surprising. Nomar Garciaparra ranks fifth, which is another surprise.
Tony Taylor was a Phillies All-Star second baseman with the Phillies in 1960. He offers his NL team:
First base: “Albert Pujols, a great player, I mean great.”
Second base: “Chase Utley, he’s a player, plays hard, always hustles.”
Shortstop: “Jimmy Rollins or Rafael Furcal? Give the edge to Jimmy.”
Third base: “Scott Rolen, easily the best there.”
Catcher: “I like the kid in Atlanta, Brian McCann.”
Outfielders: “Bobby Abreu, Ken Griffey Jr. and Andruw Jones.”
Voting online is the easiest way to cast your votes. Just check the main page of MLB.com. Fans can vote 25 times online until 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on June 29.
The 77th All-Star Game will be played in Pittsburgh’s PNC Park on Tuesday, July 11.