Tampa Bay Rays Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria in close races in All-Star voting
Tampa Bay Rays LF Carl Crawford and 3B Evan Longoria are involved in close races as voting for the AL All-Star team comes down to the final days.
Crawford is fifth among outfielders (with 1,442,175 votes) in the latest totals released today, though less than 200,000 votes behind third-place hold Josh Hamilton (1,635,781). Another problem for Crawford is that the Angels Torii Hunter is between him and Hamilton (with 1,490,800). Hamilton has been on the DL but is rehabbing and said he plans to play if elected.
Longoria (2,988,363) remains the leader by a large margin over Alex Rodriguez for the starting spot at third, but is also in the running to surpass Yankees SS Derek Jeter (3,046,813) as the leading vote-getter.
Among other Rays, Jason Bartlett is a distant second (1,419,499) to Jeter at shortstop and Carlos Pena (767,088) finally made it into the top five among first baseman.
The starters and reserves will be named on Sunday. After fans elect the eight starters, eight reserves and eight pitchers are chosen from the players vote. AL/Rays manager Joe Maddon gets to pick the final seven, plus the five players or pitchers who will be on an additional ballot for the 32nd spot. He has to make sure every team is represented and that there are 12 pitchers on the roster.
Online voting continues through Thursday night at mlb.com.