Fans congregate to rally behind Puig for Final Vote
Dodgers rookie phenom needs help as he trails Freeman in latest results
BURBANK, Calif. -- It was difficult to tell which was louder: the sound from Yasiel Puig's bat on another hit by the rookie outfielder, or the cheers from Dodgers fans rooting on the Cuban sensation at the Dodgers All-Star viewing and voting party on Monday night.
Puig and teammate Adrian Gonzalez are two of the five players from the National League on the 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote balloting sponsored by freecreditscore.com. The Dodgers are hosting two more voting parties during the club's series against the D-backs to promote Puig and Gonzalez as they go for a spot on the All-Star team.
NL Candidates BY THE NUMBERS
Former Dodgers infielder Steve Garvey, a 10-time All-Star, signed autographs and took pictures with fans, while keeping an eye on what Puig was doing in Arizona. Garvey will be at Tuesday's watch party at Barney's Beanery in Pasadena. Wednesday's event will take place at Barney's Beanery in West Hollywood.
Garvey, who is managing the campaign to send Puig to the All-Star game as a write-in candidate, said Puig deserves to play in the Midsummer Classic.
"I think everyone wants to see him," Garvey said. "It's great having Dodgers fans behind this."
Monday was Puig's 33rd game in the Major Leagues. So what about the argument that he hasn't been on the field enough to merit All-Star status?
"It doesn't matter," Garvey said. "He's made such an impact on the Dodgers and L.A. and across the sports world."
Dodgers fans agree.
"Puig energized this team and us," said Robbie Martinez, a lifelong Dodgers supporter.
"We can't wait to see what this guy is going to do next," said Sarah Dunn, covered head to toe in Dodgers blue.
Gonzalez said Sunday he was voting for Puig, who was in second place in the NL voting, closely behind Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, in a balloting update released Monday.
Now in its 12th year, the 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Saturday's Major League All-Star Selection Show presented by Taco Bell and ends Thursday at 1 p.m. PT. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.
There will be an extra treat for fans who participate in the Final Vote online. If you are not a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you are eligible to receive a 14-day free trial of MLB.TV from July 12-26. If you are a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you will receive a 15 percent discount to the MLB.com Shop. MLB.com will send an email Friday to all Final Vote voters with instructions on how to redeem the applicable offer.
Mobile voting in the U.S. and Canada is open to everyone. In the U.S., to receive the 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for Puig, simply text message N5 to 89269, and to vote for Gonzalez, text message N3. In Canada, fans should text N5 or N3 to 101010. Standard message and data rates may apply.
For the second consecutive year, the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com (#FinalVote) will include a social balloting element as Twitter support from the candidates' fans over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their final vote totals. From 7 a.m.-1 p.m. PT on Thursday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the overall vote total used to determine the American League and National League winners. Fans may follow @MLB on the popular social networking service for the latest standings updates in advance of the 1 p.m. PT balloting deadline.
The fun doesn't end there, however. 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 Chevrolet via the 2013 All-Star Game MVP Vote on MLB.com during the All-Star Game.
The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
If Puig win the Final Vote, he would join Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw on this year's NL All-Star team. Kershaw was selected in balloting of players. Nomar Garciaparra became the only Dodger to earn an All-Star berth through the Final Vote process in 2006, while Matt Kemp was a runner-up in 2009.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.