Ironman Pence doesn't want All-Star break to rest
Outfielder, who is a Final Vote candidate, hasn't missed a game this year
SAN FRANCISCO -- Whenever Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, who was chosen as one of five candidates for the National League Final Vote balloting that will run through Thursday, takes the field, he is one of the most energetic and aggressive players on the diamond.
Whether he's running into walls, making sliding grabs in the outfield or swiping bases, Pence's throwback approach has made him a fan favorite since the Giants acquired him from the Phillies last July.
In fact, Pence has become San Francisco's ironman, as he has played in each game and all but eight innings in 2013.
"I think I've been fortunate," said Pence, who remained third in the Final Vote on Wednesday. "There's things that happen throughout a season where you can get injured. There's a lot. You can get hit by a pitch, run into a wall, these are just things that happen. I try to do everything I can to the best of my ability to stay healthy and prepared. You're going to play hard and do everything to win, because every game is the biggest game of the year."
Pence worked in the offseason to improve his speed, and it has paid off with a perfect 13-for-13 slate this season on stolen bases, making him one of just four players who have attempted to steal a base and not been caught.
NL Candidates BY THE NUMBERS
Pence said he feeds off his energy and tried to bring the same approach to each game.
"I think there's all sorts of personalities," Pence said. "I study myself, and my goal is to perform the best I can and do everything I can to win. I feel at my best with high energy, amped up a bit, and that's just where I feel I perform better. It's something I have to create and come with every day. There are a lot of players that have to be calm. Baseball is a relaxed sport. It's just one of those things where you have to know yourself."
Pence entered Wednesday with a .267 average, 13 home runs and 43 RBIs. He recently snapped an 0-for-24 streak at the plate, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy said the team couldn't afford to have Pence sit for even one game.
"When a guy goes through things like this, I think about it," Bochy said. "He's just such an important part of our club that he'll be out there [every day]."
For a guy who has played every day of a grueling season to this point, a couple days off over the All-Star break might sound enticing, but not to Pence, who said he tries to simulate game action as much as possible during the annual break.
"To me, I feel in years I've gotten to go to the All-Star Game, and everyone has a different opinion, but I like that better because you stay around batting practice, stay around the game," he said. "If I have the four days off and don't happen to go, I try to find a way to keep hitting, but it's different than actually going through batting practice or going through the games. With four days off, I like to stay seeing live pitching as much as possible. I try to get on the machine or find something to keep hitting."
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 Pence, simply text message N4 to 89269. In Canada, fans should text N4 to 101010. Standard message and data rates may apply. To vote for another player via text message, use the codes below.
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.