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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

One last day to stuff the ballot box

Without a big push today, it looks like the Tigers — barring an injury replacement scenario — won't have a starter in the 2011 All-Star Game. Fans can cast their votes at until 11:59 Eastern Time on Thursday.

No Tiger position player leads the voting at their position, and the timing of Justin Verlander's next two starts will preclude him from being pitching in the game, even though his first half would warrant him being the odds-on favorite to start the game on the mound for the American League.

Alex Avila may have the best chance of sneaking his way in, though, trailing New York catcher Russell Martin by 434,527 votes when the final update was announced Tuesday. The gap has been closing the past two weeks — it was 619,086 two weeks ago, and 496,286 last week — but not fast enough.

In part, it's been a concerted effort from not only the Detroit Tigers fanbase — including inventive fans like this one — but also his teammates. New to Twitter himself, Verlander has tried to spearhead the #voteavila movement online, making a concerted plea for his backstop.

"In my opinion — and I think even Russell Martin would say — he deserves to be the starter in the All-Star Game," Verlander said after his last start last weekend, when Avila added to his statistical lead over Martin with a home run, a double and four RBI.

Avila told reporters Wednesday that he'd thank all the fans on Twitter, if he knew how.

"The response has been amazing," he said. "To have that kind of support makes you feel great."

Miguel Cabrera (third at first base), Brandon Inge (fifth at third base), Jhonny Peralta (fourth at shortstop) and Victor Martinez (fourth at designated hitter) are all in the top five in the voting at their respective positions, but trail the leaders in those spots by significant margins.

As of the last voting update, it looked like the Yankees and Red Sox would own every starting position but one for the All-Star Game. The rosters will be announced on Sunday.

Russell Martin, Yankees: 2,779,592
Alex Avila, Tigers: 2,345,065
Joe Mauer, Twins: 1,699,604
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox: 1,505,143
Yorvit Torrealba, Rangers: 1,309,802

Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox: 4,014,722
Mark Teixeira, Yankees: 3,077,242
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers: 2,184,480
Mitch Moreland, Rangers: 1,209,258
Paul Konerko, White Sox: 932,422

Robinson Cano, Yankees: 4,724,816
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox: 2,979,181
Ian Kinsler, Rangers: 1,896,259
Orlando Cabrera, Indians: 1,127,840
Ben Zobrist, Rays: 963,481

Alex Rodriguez, Yankees: 3,735,406
Adrian Beltre, Rangers: 2,935,373
Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox: 2,724,286
Evan Longoria, Rays: 2,000,379
Brandon Inge, Tigers: 633,519

Derek Jeter, Yankees: 3,392,128
Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians: 2,885,778
Elvis Andrus, Rangers: 1,971,514
Jhonny Peralta, Tigers: 1,178,114
Marco Scutaro, Red Sox: 1,099,744

David Ortiz, Red Sox: 4,237,014
Michael Young, Rangers: 2,235,504
Jorge Posada, Yankees: 1,453,385
Victor Martinez, Tigers: 1,234,879
Johnny Damon, Rays: 1,028,366

Jose Bautista, Blue Jays: 5,263,840
Curtis Granderson, Yankees: 4,582,419
Josh Hamilton, Rangers: 3,173,000
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox: 3,051,675
Carl Crawford, Red Sox: 2,294,337
Nelson Cruz, Rangers: 1,912,783
Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners: 1,912,062
Nick Swisher, Yankees: 1,648,599
Brett Gardner, Yankees: 1,499,367
J.D. Drew, Red Sox: 1,428,367
Matt Joyce, Rays: 1,226,439
Jeff Francoeur, Royals: 1,061,445
David Murphy, Rangers: 1,057,887
Grady Sizemore, Indians: 1,033,014
Shin-Soo Choo, Indians: 924,326


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