Votebook: Potential All-Stars second to none
Cano, Pedroia, Kinsler having quite a derby at second base
There's no wrong choice when it comes to selecting a second baseman on the American League All-Star ballot.
But for some fans, who to choose boils down to team loyalty.
Yankees fans are probably inclined to check the box next to 2011 All-Star starter and State Farm Home Run Derby champion Robinson Cano.
Red Sox Nation's vote unquestionably goes to 2008 AL Most Valuable Player Dustin Pedroia.
And fans of the two-time reigning AL-champion Rangers know full well what two-time All-Star Ian Kinsler can do.
All three are among the best players the game has to offer, regardless of position. And while they don't take part in intense rivalries between themselves, unlike those that exist between their teams, they do keep tabs on one another.
"I wouldn't say there is a rivalry but I definitely pay attention to the other second basemen in the league," Kinsler said. "I don't go home at night and turn on the computer to see what they did that night but I have an idea of what they're doing. They're really good players and regardless of position, you pay attention to the really good players in the league."
Cano didn't get out of the gate well but appears to be heating up, getting eight hits -- including two homers -- in his past four games to raise his average to .286. He said he feels good, and that it would be just a matter of time before the ball starts jumping off his bat and finding holes.
"The best thing is that I feel good at the plate. As long as I feel good, it doesn't bother me," Cano said. "If I chase pitches or swing at everything, [it would], but I've been hitting a lot of my swings right at people."
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or with a mobile device -- using the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, June 28, at 11:59 p.m. ET.Fans can also once again participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the Derby. The 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby -- part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day -- will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 9. The 2012 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 1, on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show, televised nationally on TBS. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2012 All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com. And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy. The 2012 All-Star Game will be played at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday, July 10. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of All-Star Week festivities. The 83rd 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 Sirius XM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.
The NL also has two solid second basemen with All-Star histories in Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips and Milwaukee's Rickie Weeks. But while neither of them are off to eye-popping starts, neither are many of the other second basemen -- with the notable exception of Houston's Jose Altuve, who carried a .333 average and 12 extra-base hits, good for an .869 OPS, into the weekend.
Still, Phillips has made two successive All-Star Games, while Weeks earned the starting nod from the fans a year ago.
"It's just one of those things. The fans voted me in last year, and that was a great thing," Weeks said.
Weeks hasn't gotten off to a good start -- hitting only .164 entering Friday -- but said he felt fine and remained confident.
"Your confidence has to be strong," he said. "If it's not strong in this game, it's going to be hard."