Kinsler's All-Star status up to Final Vote
Second baseman one of five candidates for last AL spot
ARLINGTON -- Second baseman Ian Kinsler is one of five candidates to make the American League All-Star team by way of the Sprint Final Vote competition, which fans can vote for either online or on their cellphone.
Kinsler will be competing with Chone Figgins of the Angels, Adam Lind of the Blue Jays, Brandon Inge of the Tigers and Carlos Pena of the Rays for the final spot on the AL team.Kinsler finished second to the Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia in fan voting at second base, and second to Toronto's Aaron Hill in player voting at the position. "I want to go to the game," Kinsler said. "I'm not disappointed being in the Final Vote." Kinsler led fan voting up until the final count, when Pedroia blew by him to earn the starting nod for the second straight year. "There's not much of a reaction," Kinsler said. "It's pretty simple -- he got more votes than me. Playing in Boston is an advantage in a popularity contest or whatever it takes to be voted in." Kinsler went into the Rangers' game with the Rays on Sunday night batting .256 with 19 home runs, 51 RBIs and 57 runs scored. He was tied for sixth in the AL in runs scored, and he was 14th in RBIs despite being Texas' leadoff hitter all season. "The Final Vote is a little weird, but it's cool the fans get a voice," Kinsler said. "There's always someone who is deserving to be in the All-Star Game who misses out. I'm not saying I'm deserving, but to have the fans involved is a good process. It definitely gets fans involved, gets more viewers for the game and creates more attention to baseball. You can't frown about that." Now in its eighth year, the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Sunday's Major League All-Star Selection Show presented by Pepsi and continues until 3 p.m. CT on Thursday. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter. Mobile voting in the U.S. is exclusive to Sprint, Nextel and Boost subscribers. To receive the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 1122. To vote for a specific player, simply text message your choice to 1122. EXAMPLE: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Standard rate messaging fees also may apply; check with your carrier. Mobile voting in Canada is open to all carriers; fans should text their choices to 88555. Fans, having already decided the starters and final player on each team, once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevy via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote on MLB.com during the All-Star Game. The 80th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 7 p.m. CT. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage. XM will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage of the XM All-Star Futures Game.
Kinsler is trying to make the AL All-Star team for a second consecutive year. He was selected by the players as a reserve second baseman in 2008, and he ended up going 1-for-5 in the 15-inning game."I think he's got a great chance," said Rangers third baseman Michael Young, who is going to the Midsummer Classic for a sixth straight year. "Obviously I'd love to see Kins there. He's having a great year and is a huge part of our ballclub. Hopefully our fans will continue to vote for him and get him to St. Louis." Pena is hitting .233, but with 23 home runs and 55 RBIs. Figgins, the Angels' leadoff hitter, is batting .316 with 60 runs scored and 24 stolen bases. Inge is hitting .269 with 18 home runs and 52 RBIs, while Lind is hitting .309 with 17 home runs and 55 RBIs. Kinsler is the first Rangers player nominated for the Final Vote competition. Other winners from the AL are Johnny Damon (2002), Jason Varitek ('03), Hideki Matsui ('04), Scott Podsednik ('05), A.J. Pierzynski ('06), Hideki Okajima ('07) and Evan Longoria ('08).
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.