WASHINGTON -- Nationals first baseman Michael Morse did everything he could to make the National League All-Star team, but fell short in the All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint on Thursday.
Morse finished fourth in the voting and was competing against Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier, Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, D-backs right-hander Ian Kennedy and Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino for the final spot on the NL roster. Victorino won the Final Vote.
Morse, who was looking to join reliever Tyler Clippard as representatives for the Nationals, said he was grateful that he was even considered for the Midsummer Classic.
"First, I would like to thank the fans for coming out to vote. I would like to thank my teammates, the organization, my friends and family for supporting me," said Morse, who went 2-for-5 in a 10-9 loss to the Cubs on Thursday night. "It was fun, it was exciting and it brought some attention to Washington, which is always great. Hopefully, next year, I won't be in that situation. I'll make it the first time."
It's safe to say Morse is Washington's best hitter. The right-handed-hitting Morse is batting .303 with 15 home runs and 48 RBIs. Since becoming the regular first baseman on May 22, Morse leads the NL in homers (13) and RBIs (37).
"It felt good to get that opportunity again, to come out and play every day and knowing you are going to be in the lineup," Morse said. "I just keep telling myself, 'I'm going to out there and I'm going to get three hits. I'm going to drive in runs. I'm better than this pitcher. There is no reason that this guy should get me out.' I think having that mentality is helping me a lot, and that's from talking to [hitting coach] Rick [Eckstein] and coaching me in that mental way."
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 2011 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint on MLB.com during the All-Star Game.
The 82nd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and Le Reseau des Sports, 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. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.