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Seeing stars

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  June 20, 2006 04:41 PM

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Jason Varitek, David Ortiz, and Manny Ramirez are all in position to be starting for the American League in the All-Star Game on July 11, according to voting data released today by Major League Baseball.

In addition, major league owners and players agreed today that home-field advantage in the World Series this year will again go to the league that wins the mid-summer exhibition game. Originally a two-year experiment in 2003 to make the game more meaningful, the idea was extended last season as well.

The American League has won the All-Star Game all three times, and the Red Sox and White Sox have won the World Series the last two years. Florida won in 2003 without the home-field edge.

On to the particulars:

  • In today's AL voting update, Sox captain Jason Varitek (831,154) is locked in a close battle with 12-time All-Star Ivan Rodriguez (803,964) of the Tigers for the starting catcher position.

  • Ramirez (1,477,626) is the second-leading vote getter among outfielders, behind Vladimir Guerrero, who leads all AL players with 1,518,276 votes.

  • David Ortiz (1,257,595) is comfortably ahead of the Yankees’ Jason Giambi (796,146) in the balloting for first base.

  • Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell (650,861) trails the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez (1,374,155), who is far ahead of the pack and appears to be a lock to start at the position.

  • At second base, the Yankees Robinson Cano (796,204) maintains a slight lead over Boston’s Mark Loretta (722,099).

  • Of the eight positions open for voting in the American League, six members of either the Red Sox or Yankees lead at the positions, which speaks to the popularity of both clubs. That number could rise to seven if Johnny Damon, who is currently fourth in the voting among outfielders, gets a late lift in the polls.

  • Blue Jays outfielder Alex Rios leads the American League in write-ins with 213,346 votes.

    On to the vote totals ...

    First base
    1. David Ortiz, Red Sox 1,257,595
    2. Jason Giambi, Yankees 796,146
    3. Paul Konerko, White Sox 579,666
    4. Travis Hafner, Indians 520,853
    5. Chris Shelton, Tigers 350,707

    Second base
    1. Robinson Cano, Yankees 796,204
    2. Mark Loretta, Red Sox 722,099
    3. Tadahito Iguchi, White Sox 670,547
    4. Jose Lopez, Mariners 384,890
    5. Placido Polanco, Tigers 352,665

    Third base
    1. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees 1,374,155
    2. Mike Lowell, Red Sox 650,861
    3. Troy Glaus, Blue Jays 474,506
    4. Joe Crede, White Sox 459,189
    5. Eric Chavez, Athletics 407,628

    Shortstop
    1. Derek Jeter, Yankees 1,457,637
    2. Miguel Tejada, Orioles 1,073,827
    3. Michael Young, Rangers 407,261
    4. Alex Gonzalez, Red Sox 346,302
    5. Juan Uribe, White Sox 311,030

    Catcher
    1. Jason Varitek, Red Sox 831,154
    2. Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers 803,964
    3. Jorge Posada, Yankees 608,670
    4. A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox 493,385
    5. Joe Mauer, Twins 464,161

    Outfield
    1. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels 1,518,276
    2. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox 1,477,626
    3. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners 996,148
    4. Johnny Damon, Yankees 956,595
    5. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays 752,422
    6. Jermaine Dye, White Sox 598,441
    7. Gary Sheffield, Yankees 535,564
    8. Torii Hunter, Twins 509,722
    9. Scott Podsednik, White Sox 508,210
    10. Coco Crisp, Red Sox 481,612
    11. Trot Nixon, Red Sox 437,693
    12. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers 427,319
    13. Hideki Matsui, Yankees 425,894
    14. Grady Sizemore, Indians 392,102
    15. Jonny Gomes, Devil Rays 272,381

    In-stadium balloting will conclude at major league ballparks no later than June 24. Online balloting concludes on MLB.com and the 30 team websites on Thursday, June 29.

    The 2006 AL and NL All-Star teams will be named on Sunday, July 2. Immediately following the announcement of the rosters, fans will have the opportunity to vote in the final player for each league's 32-man roster at MLB.com.

    The 77th All-Star Game is scheduled to be played Tuesday, July 11 at Pittsburgh's PNC Park.

    Information from Major League Baseball and the Associated Press was used in this report.

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