Sheer madness! Teams go wild getting out the All-Star Game Final Vote
Election season is in full swing, and campaigns are really starting to heat up. It's fun, right? Just to clarify, we're talking about the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote, which will determine the last two players who will go to the 2016 MLB All-Star Game presented by MasterCard in San Diego, and not like, any other democratic contest that might be happening right now.
So let's meet the candidates. Who most deserves your vote?
Three fun facts about Ian Kinsler: His middle name is Michael, he's friends with Jack White, and …
What he's doing to earn your vote: Kinsler is hitting .288/.348/.493 on the season, and went 3-for-4 in the Tigers' 12-2 victory over the Indians on Wednesday. Justin Verlander is hyped:
Detroit is hyped!
We'd assume Jack White is also hyped, but we have no idea what that feeling looks like on him. But if you're still undecided, you can watch Kinsler face the Blue Jays in Toronto Thursday at 7:07 p.m. ET.
It turns out that Evan Longoria's middle name is also Michael, but as far as we know, he doesn't hang out with gloomy musicians. He is, however, a Dirtbag:
His 23 doubles as a third baseman are tied for most in MLB, along with the Mariners' Kyle Seager. You'll have time to catch him in action at 12:10 p.m ET on Thursday, when the Rays take on the Angels again.
Dustin Pedroia is looking to join four of his Red Sox teammates who have already been voted in by fans. Pedroia told MLB Tonight that it would be special to be at David Ortiz's last All-Star Game, and we're not going to lie, it made us a little emotional:
He also said he doesn't like to promote himself, but luckily, he has us. And the full support of his team:
What he's doing to earn your vote: Pedey is hitting .308/.371/.446 on the season, and on the Fourth of July, he homered right over the Green Monster:
Long home runs and hit after hit after hit? Sounds good to us:
How can you not vote for an actual superhero? Dubbed Captain Canada, it looks like he already has a team of Avengers:
What he's doing to earn your vote: Well, he scored the first run in Wednesday's contest against the Royals with a home run off Ian Kennedy and he knocked in the go-ahead run (of an eventual 4-2 win) in the eighth inning:
He's hitting .293/.367/.547, and if you want to see more of him before you commit, check him out against the Tigers on Thursday at 7:07 p.m. ET.
One Astros fan has already voted for George Springer more than 1,500 times, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't, too.
What he's doing to earn your vote: He seems to have marshalled the considerable charm of his teammates in his campaign:
But you don't have to take just their word about his greatness. Let's talk numbers.
Watch more Springer on Thursday at 8:10 p.m., ET, when the Astros take on the A's.
The Giants have a pretty solid point about Brandon Belt:
What he's doing to earn your vote: Belt is batting .297/.398/.509 and went 2-for-4 with a run-scoring triple in Wednesday's 5-1 win against the Rockies.
If you vote for Ryan Braun, the Brewers will hook you up:
What he's doing to earn your vote: He's batting .322/.378/.533 this season, and that BA leads all NL outfielders, even the ones that have already been voted into the All-Star Game.
The D-backs might have lost to the Padres on Wednesday, 13-6, but that didn't stop Jake Lamb from hitting an impressive ninth-inning homer:
He's also slugging .617, which leads the NL. But that's not even close to the entire reason you should vote for him.
What he's doing to earn his vote: He has the endorsement of an actual lamb:
He also got Paul Goldschmidt to join Twitter!
Cutch says we should vote Starling Marte, and is there anyone more trustworthy than Cutch?
Fans love him so much, they bring him flowers:
What he's doing to earn your vote: He's batting .320 this season and just having a great time on the basepaths.
He's stolen 25 bases this season, second-most in MLB. See more Marte on Thursdayat 1:45 p.m. ET, when the Pirates once again take on the Cardinals.
If Nolan Arenado and Carlos Gonzalez think you should vote for Trevor Story, well, you probably should.
What he's doing to earn your vote: After all, he started the season as the league's most incredible Cinderella … tale, seemingly having the magical power to hit endless home runs. He still has the most home runs for a rookie, with 19 so far.
See the next chapter in the Story at 8:40 p.m. ET on Thursday, when the Rockies take on the Phillies.
Fans can vote for the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote until 4 p.m. ET on Friday. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will be announced during a Final Vote-themed telecast of "MLB Now" featuring commentary from political analyst Jeff Greenfield, live on MLB Network and MLB.com from 4-5 p.m. ET. MLB Network will provide extensive coverage across all of its studio programming during the Final Vote, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating the cities where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.
Baseball fans have cast nearly 600 million online votes for Final Vote candidates since the program's inception in 2002. In addition to MLB.com and the official club websites, fans can use their mobile devices to cast votes at MLB.com/vote or via text message. To receive the ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, fans can text their choice to 89269. EXAMPLE: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Message and data rates may apply. Text "STOP" to end and "HELP" for information. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Final Vote will include social balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. ET on Friday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners.