ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington wanted Matt Harrison, Joe Nathan and Yu Darvish on his American League All-Star pitching staff.He picked Harrison and Nathan, and included Darvish as one of the five candidates in the Final Vote in the hopes that he can be voted on to the team by the fans.
Darvish's competition is Royals reliever Jonathan Broxton, Angels reliever Ernesto Frieri, White Sox starter Jake Peavy and Orioles starter Jason Hammel.
Final Vote candidates
|P||Jonathan Broxton, KC|
|P||Yu Darvish, TEX|
|P||Ernesto Frieri, LAA|
|P||Jason Hammel, BAL|
|P||Jake Peavy, CWS|
|OF||Michael Bourn, ATL|
|3B||David Freese, STL|
|OF||Bryce Harper, WAS|
|2B||Aaron Hill, ARI|
"I just felt like he has a good chance of winning the Final Vote," Washington said. "I'm encouraging our fans to get out there and make sure that happens. Both he and Nathan, and Harry, are having outstanding years. I feel like each and every one of them deserves to be an All-Star, and I just felt this was the best way to make sure that happens."Others figured out Washington's strategy. "It was a pretty good strategy by Ron Washington to try to get Darvish in there," Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista said. "The whole country of Japan is going to vote for him, so my congratulations go out to Darvish, because he's going to make it for sure." Josh Hamilton, who made the squad with a record-breaking amount of votes agreed, saying, "I'm going to say he's in." Darvish, who is pitching on Sunday against the Athletics, went into that start with a record of 10-4 and a 3.57 ERA. He was fourth in the American League in strikeouts, with 106. "He's done well," Hamilton said. "He's deserving of it. It will be good to have another teammate there." The Rangers already have seven players on the All-Star team but wouldn't mind having Darvish join them on the trip.
"I hope he gets in," All-Star starting catcher Mike Napoli said. "He's got a chance, definitely. I think he's an All-Star, and it'll be up to the fans to vote him in.""His numbers speak for themselves," Harrison said. "He said he's not deserving, but I think he is." Now in its 11th year, the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Sunday's MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell and continues until Thursday, July 5, at 3 p.m. CT. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.
Fans can use their mobile phone to cast votes via the mobile web at MLB.com/vote or via text message. To receive the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, simply text message your choice to 89269. EXAMPLE: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Msg & Data Rates May Apply. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010. Std rates may apply.
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 2012 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on MLB.com.
The 83rd Major League Baseball 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. Pregame ceremonies begin at 6:30 p.m. (CT). ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
There will be an extra treat for fans who participate in the Final Vote. 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 6-20. 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 on July 6 to all Final Vote voters with instructions on how to redeem the applicable offer.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.