Three Orioles making All-Star charge
Help Jones, Izturis, Markakis rise up the ranks
The All-Star Game keeps getting closer, and the Orioles are holding their own on the ballot. Baltimore has three players -- Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Cesar Izturis -- who have made the short list of contenders at their respective positions, allowing the Orioles to contemplate having multiple All-Stars.
Jones and Markakis, the pair of outfield cornerstones, both rank in the top 10 among American League outfielders, with Jones in 10th place with 384,774 votes and Markakis in seventh with 412,824.
Izturis is fifth at shortstop, with 178,701 votes, according to voting results released by Major League Baseball on Tuesday for the July 14 game in St. Louis. First baseman Aubrey Huff and second baseman Brian Roberts are out of the top five, but there's still plenty of time left to vote.
Jones has already surpassed his career-high total in home runs, and Markakis has maintained his solid and spectacular production in right field. Izturis has fit in to his new team with his typically brilliant work on defense.
Designated hitter Luke Scott, who has been torrid of late, finds his candidacy undercut by the very fact that the All-Star Game will take place in a National League park this season. Third baseman Melvin Mora has also started slow and finds himself on the outside looking in, but still has a chance to pick up some support.
The Orioles have had just one All-Star in seven of the past eight seasons, but they had four players at the Midsummer Classic in 2005. Balloting will end at Camden Yards on June 18, giving the Baltimore audience a month to support their favorite players and a little bit longer to let their voice be heard with an online ballot.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until July 2 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Starting rosters will be announced during the 2009 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet on TBS on July 5. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote at MLB.com.
And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote at MLB.com.
The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.